Craft Beer in the World of Sports

Beer and baseball

Baseball and beer is a national past time where boisterous vendors selling popcorn, cotton candy and ice cold beer yell over screaming fans. Some stadiums in beer-centric cities want to share those craft brews and give a little variety during the seventh inning stretch. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies in the great beer city of Denver, has a nice selection of goodies, including New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Breckenridge and Odell. Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, gives fans a taste of local favorites, including Lakefront, Milwaukee Brewing, Sprecher and Horny Goat. Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, has an awesome lineup that includes Stone, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss, AleSmith, Pyramid, Anderson Valley, Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada, Knee Deep Brewing, Alaskan Brewing, Rogue, Kona Brewing and Widmer Brothers. AT&T Park, home of the San Franscisco Giants, boasts an excellent tap list as well, including Lost Abbey, High Water Brewing, Anchor Brewing, Marin Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Drake’s Brewing, Lagunitas, Ballast Point, Russian River, North Coast, 21st Amendment, AleSmith, Victory Brewing, Stillwater Ales, Avery Brewing, Blind Pig Brewery and Jolly Pumpkin. Other stadiums offer impressive tap lists, catering to the ever-growing beer palates of fans young and old.

The NFL wants you to sip a craft treat while your team scores a touchdown. Many craft oriented football stadiums share attractive tap lists. Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, offers some big Texas favorites, including Karbach, Shiner, Southern Star and St. Arnold. Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, serves some area breweries like Bell’s, New Holland, Atwater, Liberty, Founders and Short's Brewing Company. More and more stadiums are going the extra yard to provide fans with an awesome microbrew.

Basketball is no exception to the craft beer scene. Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, did one better than merely serving craft–they presented Hawktoberfest earlier this year during a game where they hosted the New Orleans Pelicans. Hawktoberfest was actually a craft beer competition that featured some great Georgia breweries like Blue Tarp, Jailhouse, Jekyll, O’Dempsey’s, Red Hare, SweetWater, Terrapin, Three Taverns, Wild Heaven and Red Brick.

Craft beer sales are skyrocketing and professional sports do not want to be left behind. These stellar varieties are designed to entice fans to come to the stadium to view live games instead of stay at home to get their favorite beers when, during the not-so-distant past, the beer selection was very limited. So if you are singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” throwing your arms up for a touchdown, or celebrating a buzzer-beating three-pointer, take a moment to cherish that delicious beer and know that your team loves you back.  

Adam Shugan, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits beer consultant – Gainesville

Follow me on Twitter @abcbeeradams

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