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  • Beer at the Ball Park

    I received a lot of reaction to a facebook post about the beer at the ball park. I posted a photo of the beer prices at the “Spirits of Ohio” stand in section 154 at Progressive Field and in came the feedback. Overall, nobody would pay the price of the local craft beer options now available at the park. There was outrage and disbelief.

    Relax people, it is “only beer” and there are some good local craft beer options for around the same price as the traditional overpriced macro beers.

    I am sure some of these same people pay $6.75 or more for a Bud or Miller Lite at the stadium. Or, perhaps they don’t go to the games. Maybe they watch the games from home or at the local pub and pay a lot less on the evening. Believe me, I do not go to the park often, maybe 4-6 times a year,  but I would rather support the fact that there are more craft beer options available when I do go to the stadium and pay a little bit more.

    Of course, some of the prices are excessive. $30 for a Hoppin Frog Black & Tan? No thanks. $15.75 for a 22oz of The Brew Kettle Four C’s. I can handle that. $7.75 for a whole host of other local craft options including Great Lakes, Thirsty Dog, Buckeye, Crooked River and more? Yes. My view is that if you are going to enjoy a beer at the game, support the local and craft brews. You can buy a draught for $7.75 of a Thirsty Dog Twisted Kilt and an assortment of Great Lakes for $6.75. The problem is, there is only one craft beer stand and that is in section 154.

    The argument of whether it is going to turn non-craft beer drinkers off is pretty much non-existent since there is only one stand. Plus the stand that sells these beers also sells Miller Lite, Bud, Labatt, etc.

    Sure, everything is overpriced at the games. A vendor selling hot chocolate was charging $6.75… for some cocao mix and water. Again, most of the craft beer selections are only $6.75 or $7.75. When we go to our local beer store, isn’t it more expensive to purchase our beloved craft beers over the InBev, MillerCoors, etc. of the world? So are we just going to stay home and watch our teams on TV or go to the games and boycott any beer purchases?

    As for the “Your Dad’s Beer Stand” selling Pabst, Blatz, Genessee, Stroh’s. I am not really interested in it.

    I know that it was cold and wet, but there were under 10,000 fans were at the game tonight, and that was with the Red Sox in town. Go Tribe. Go local craft beer at the stadium.


    1. Ryan CLECraftBeerRun
      Posted April 7, 2011 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      While I love the idea of supporting our local brewers at the ballpark, those prices are too steep for my wallet. I have to respectfully disagree with the Facebook comment that said “If you buy big beer, you can afford it.” I rarely purchase $16-20 bombers unless it is a special release (Jackie O’s, Great Lakes Bourbon Barrel Blackout, which is actually $15, but close enough). But, I will not pay $20 for a Hippie that retails for $4.99 or $15 for a 4 C’s that retails for $3.99. If my choice is to pay those prices or drink BMC, I won’t be drinking anything at the ballpark.

      However, I do think a draught of Thirsty Dog Twisted Kilt for $7.75 is something I would buy, mostly because a) it’s local, and b) it’s not much more expensive than buying a bottle of water. Can’t say I’m surprised at all about the bomber prices; they are right in line with what I expected them to be. It doesn’t however, mean I am able to pay them.

    2. Posted April 7, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Great post and I agree with you. I was at the game last night and no way were there 10k people in the stands ;)

    3. Posted April 7, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      I think at $1 more the local draughts and bottles, that is what I am going to stick with. What did people think a bomber would go for? Should they not even try to sell bombers and just do 12oz bottles and draught?

    4. Posted April 7, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      SM – They were all in the Terrace Club.

    5. Posted April 7, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I would rather pay $6.75 or $7.75 for a slightly smaller but better tasting beer in comparison to the $7.75 you pay the beer guy for a 20oz Miller/Bud/Coors light.

    6. Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      I didn’t realize $7.75 craft drafts were an option. That makes me feel much better about going to a game and walking away without credit card debt.

      The 4C’s Pale Ale at $15.75 isn’t awful and would probably be pretty tempting if the local drafts weren’t an option. However, in the heat of the Summer, those 22ozs would heat up quicker than I’d want to drink them. I’d only go that route if we had 2 people sharing bottles. The Hippie IPA is too steep for my tastes at $20 and the Black & Tan for $30 was laughable.

      In past years where no crafts were available, we’ve gone to the stand that considers Labatt domestic and charges accordingly. That stand only had 22oz or 24oz pours and we realized pretty quickly that water was more expensive (ounce for ounce) than large pours of domestic beer. So, we may as well drink some “beer water” to stay hydrated. I’m happy to know that we have better options this year!

      For what it’s worth, we almost never eat anything at a Tribe game. If we get hungry, we may buy a bag of peanuts, but normally beer is our only spending outside of the ticket price. With the low attendance this year, I’d love to see outside food permitted in the stadium. With the recent permit changes for food trucks, maybe that will finally happen someday (like it does in Baltimore.) I’d love to grab some Dim and Den Sum on my way into the ballpark!

      (This topic also makes me wonder how people feel about paying a large mark-up on bottles in restaurants.)

    7. Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Here is what I’d like to see. Proportional Mark-Ups on the beers offered.

      1. The store cost of a 16oz bottle of “domestic” is around $2. They have it marked up to $7.75. That is a 5.75 profit.

      2. The store cost of a 12oz bottle of Great Lakes Thirsty dog ect is $7.75. They cost between $2-3 each to buy then in the store as a single. A $5.75 Profit. Granted it is 4oz LESS but is is MUCH better beer. I’ll gladly pay this if I want a beer at the game.

      Here is my problem with the 22oz debate.
      3. The store cost of a 22oz Hippie is $5. they are charing $20! That is a $15 profit and a rip off in my eyes. I can understand a $8-10 mark up but not a $15 mark up. The same can be said for the 4C’s. And the Hopping Frog Example for $30 is just insane to me.

      My point is that I wish things would be more “fair”. All I am asking for is a reasonable mark up.

      How much would a Brookly Black Opps cost at the stadium? $20 store price…..Stadium Price of $80….Would you pay that?

    8. Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Point #2….I meant to say STADIUM cost when I talked about Great lakes and thirsty dog being $7.75! Store cost is $2-3 for a single.

    9. Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      And sorry for the typos….I am doing these replies from my smartphone which loves to auto correct INcorrectly!

      On a side note…has anyone been to a Captains Game and see their craftbeer selection and prices. I remember the selection being very, very good. Prices were between $5-8 for a 12oz brew.

    10. Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      For me personally, I would never, ever pay that much for one 22 oz. bottle. I do like the fact that the Indians are making craft beer available at the stadium. Could the reason be for such a high price is because onne of the big sponsors for the Indians is Budweiser? Maybe Bud is afraid that if the price for craft beer was comparable, more people would choose the local craft beer over the usual Bud or Bud Light. Just a thought. Great article.

    11. Mr. Fishel
      Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I go to maybe one game a year, if that (proportionate to free or dramatically price reduced tickets). Unlike the local pub stop, I wouldn’t go to the game just to drink beer, it would be the event of going to a MLB game. That said, I would be perfectly fine with any craftbeer, $7.75 is fine. I would ditch the 22oz, regardless of the price, it just doesn’t fit. Do you get a 22oz cup to put it in? Or, do you have to sit and finish it? Stick to a 12oz bottle, or a 16oz pour and be done with it.

      I’d better see most, if not all, of the craft taps and bottles be from local brewers, and a couple other different offerings that come and go.

      HIPPIE kicks butt!

    12. Brittany
      Posted April 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink


    13. Posted April 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Bottom line… if you are a craft beer person and attend Tribe games, why would you not pay an extra dollar? I am not going to pay $20 or $30 for a 22oz beer at the games either, but $7.75 is only a dollar more.

      And the 4 C’s was delicious, too.

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