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Signature Beers at the Ballpark

Target Field Drafts at 34 2018

Ballparks have evolved from simple sports venues to sophisticated operations where food and beverage are integral parts of the fan experience. Beer is especially marketed as integral to baseball—and many MLB teams have embraced signature beers as a result.

For our purposes, a signature beer is something you can’t get except at the ballpark and the producing brewery—or, in the case of the three MLB ballparks with their own breweries, only at the ballpark. We’re also including ballparks with very unique beer offerings. Every MLB ballpark features some sort of craft-beer section, but not every ballpark operator has put the effort into creating a signature beer or a specialized venue. Here are our favorites.

Citi Field As one of three MLB ballparks with a brewery at the ballpark, Citi Field has raised its beer program to new heights. The Danish beer company Mikkeller set up shop at Citi Field in a 10,000-square-foot taproom, serving signature ballpark beers like Henry Hops IPA, Henry Hustle pale ale, Henry Heater imperial IPA and Say Hey Sally pilsner. If this doesn’t work for you, head to one of the two Empire Craft Beer Stands for plenty of local selections.

Coors Field The home of the Colorado Rockies has featured its own microbrewery, the Sandlot, since opening in 1995. Blue Moon Belgian White was born here—originally called Belly Slide Wit—and in 2018 the focus is back on unique local offerings, including Right Field Red (produced in that inaugural 1995 season), Rockpile Golden Ale and Pinch Hit Pilsner. Nice bit of trivia: the Sandlot is housed in an old 1913 warehouse, incorporated into Coors Field.

Fenway Park The Boston Red Sox said goodbye to Budweiser and entered into a new long-term deal with Boston Beer to make Sam Adams the featured brand at Fenway Park. Various Sam Adams beers—Boston Lager, Sam ’76, Rebel IPA among them—are featured throughout the ballpark. Meanwhile, several spaces have been converted to Sam Adams branding: the 3rd Base Saloon is now Sammy’s on 3rd, and the right-field roof deck is now the Sam Deck. If you want something a little hoppier, Wachusett Brewing Company’s Green Monsta IPA is available at stands near the Green Monster.

Guaranteed Rate Field Last season the Chicago White Sox unveiled Craft Kave, featuring plenty of craft beers and this year the White Sox debuted a new Craft Kave Express near section 542. Goose Island is now the official beer of the White Sox as well. In addition, this season the White Sox launched the Revolution Brewing #SoxSocial Tap Room. It will feature Revolution beers on tap and a rotating food menu from Levy Restaurants, as well as unique amenities like #SoxSelfie photo opportunity spots and an area for fans to redeem check-in offers through the MLB Ballpark App. The area can be accessed via a set of stairs located above section 157.

Miller Park Any team named the Brewers should offer a great lineup of state beers, and 2017 upgrades to Miller Park stressed a wider assortment of Wisconsin microbrews. Our advice is to seek out Wisconsin Brewing Co. Badger Club Amber and Karben4 Fantasy Factory IPA at the Local Brews stand. Both are flagship brews from Madison-area breweries. If you want something unique, check out the Hinterland Cherry Wheat out of Green Bay. It’s not a sweet fruit beer, to be sure. Brewed especially for Miller Park by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing: Bernie’s Barrelman Ale, found on tap throughout the ballpark.

Petco Park The Padres offer up an impressive number of microbrews from the vibrant San Diego brewing community, with .394 Pale Ale from Alesmith leading the way. Named for Padres great Tony Gwynn (who batted .394 in 1994), .394 Pale Ale tastes great, and there’s a bonus—part of the proceeds go to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation. Other great offerings come from right outside the doors of the ballpark. Stone Brewing Company is located right near the center-field gates to the ballpark, while Half Door Brewing is located a block north.

PNC Park The Pittsburgh Pirates team up with local stalwart Pittsburgh Brewing Co. for new I.C. Light cans and bottles branding every season, available at every game. The Pittsburgh Baseball Club level features 30 different craft beers from local breweries, a slate that includes but is not limited to Fatheads, Full Pint, East End Brewing Company, and Great Lakes.

Safeco Field The home of the Seattle Mariners has been a destination for beer lovers for years: the Pyramid Brewery is directly across the street from the ballpark, and Pyramid beers are sold at Safeco Field concession stands.

SunTrust Park The home of the Atlanta Braves is one of three MLB ballparks with an onsite brewery, this one created with Terrapin Brewing from nearby Athens, Georgia. The taproom includes the ATL Brew Lab, a place that allows fans to taste exclusive beers, while giving Terrapin the opportunity to test new recipes. Terrapin offers several distinct beers–Sun-ray Wheat, On Deck, a tropical-style IPA, and Swing Batter Brown Ale—both at the taproom and at points throughout the ballpark.

Target Field A craft-been haven, the Twins upped the ante in 2017 with the addition of Drafts at 34 stand with plenty of Minnesota craft brews on tap. One of them is this year’s signature beer: a 7.2 ABV Kut Down IPA, a limited-edition Surly/Glen Perkins collaboration. Perkins is as Minnesotan as they come—he attended Stillwater High School and the University of Minnesota before blossoming into an All-Star reliever with the Twins—and worked with Minneapolis’s Surly Brewing on this IPA he originally created as a homebrewer. It’s both hoppy and citrusy and a lighter pour despite the ABV and amber color. (Yes, the K in Kut Down is intentional, and on the beer’s logo it’s featured as a backwards K, the scoring system for a strikeout with a batter caught looking.)

Wrigley Field Harry Caray and Arnie Harris may have worked to make Budweiser a popular brand at Wrigley Field and throughout Chicago, but there’s only one true signature beer in Chicago, and it ain’t from St. Louis. A visit to Wrigley Field means a search for Old Style, once brewed at the G. Heileman brewery in La Crosse, Wis., and served throughout Chicago. (You can still find plenty of Old Style signs at neighborhood taverns.) If Old Style is not to your liking, there are plenty of taps featuring Goose Island brews.

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