Yankee Stadium’s worst offense:  not enough snooty beer

We’ve read about Yankee Stadium’s problems for two weeks now. Too many home runs. Not enough fans in the seats. Too expensive. Frankly, it’s played out. But now comes news of a truly serious problem*:

THE new Yankee Stadium has a problem. No, it’s not all those home runs, it’s the beer.

The stadium pushes the usual mass-market brews, which is to be expected of any big venue. It also has a beers-of-the-world stand that sells brews like Heineken, from the Netherlands; Beck’s, from Germany; and Stella Artois, from Belgium — all from nowheresville, if you ask me.

It has a retro-beer stand that sells — give me strength — Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schaefer. If you look really hard, you can find Guinness, which is an acceptable fallback. But with all the great craft beers available nowadays, why aren’t any of them at Yankee Stadium?

The article veers off of baseball here and delves into an extended discussion of American craft pilsners, so if that’s your thing, then this is really your thing. For my part, if, as the article notes, they’re really charging $9 for a 16 ounce can of Pabst at Yankee Stadium, I can’t imagine how much, say, a Tröegs Sunshine Pils would run you if they thought to carry it.

I’ll also note that given all of the charges that Yankee Stadium caters only to the elites, maybe not carrying American beers with semi-ironic umlauts in their name is a good thing. I mean really, wouldn’t you guzzle Miller High Life all afternoon if it meant a reasonably priced seat in that park? I sure would.

*note: due to a glitch in the New York Times‘ matrix, I may have seen this article before its time. It was dated April 29th when I saw it this morning, and the main page of it had trouble loading. As of 6:30 AM you could still read the whole thing if you clicked “print this entry,” however. If that doesn’t work I’m guessing it will be up tomorrow.

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  1. YankeesfanLen said...

    The Times website always wants to get ahead of itself, seems like some reporters hit the wrong button and preview later articles to the whole world.  Last week it was stuck on Wednesday for a couple of days. 
    Now, if only the Yankees would put their 6 run average in the right games, maybe we could get started and where were those 16 oz PBRs?

  2. Ben said...

    This is anti-snob snobbery. Drinking a good beer is far more enjoyable that sipping swill knowing that your a regular ol’ Joe who doesn’t give a whit about these fancy-pants newfangled beers with flavor.

    At Camden Yards it’s about a dollar difference between the “Champagne of Beers” and Clipper City and other local brews. For me, it’s worth the extra buck to support the local guys, and for a far more enjoyable beer.

    There are a ton of great beers being made in New York – the Yankees could be serving Brooklyn and Ommegang (from Cooperstown), and make a show of supporting the local breweries.

  3. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Ben—I love great beer just as much as the next guy.  In the context of Yankee Stadium as currently constructed, however, I think that maybe it would be better not to go super high-end in yet another aspect of the place.

  4. Aaron Moreno said...

    I would not pay 25$ for a bottle of Three Philosophers.

    I’ve observed that as sports sophistication increases, so does beer snobbery. This applies to me as well. I make my own stuff from time to time.

  5. Grant said...

    Victory Prima Pils is quite enjoyable. I’ll admit to buying a six pack of PBR for 3 bucks at the bodega, or dollar cans of Coors Original, too, though. I’m a graduate student, sometimes I need to save.

    9 bucks for a 16 ounce? That’s steep even for ballpark prices.

  6. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I paid $7.50 for 16 oz of cheap domestic at Great American Ballpark on Saturday. I did see it at $7.25 at another stand, though I’m not sure why the difference.

    $6.50 for 20 oz (I think) at the AAA park on Friday, which the is the most I’ve ever paid for beer at a minor league park.

  7. Vin said...

    I found out yesterday that Citi Field has 12oz. cans of Brooklyn Lager for $6.50. You can get ‘em without leaving your seat, too. I gotta say, by ballpark standards (which, admittedly, are insane), that’s a pretty good deal.

  8. John Rylance said...

    Why is Europe ‘Nowheresville’ to you? At least those European beers you listed are decent unlike ‘regular’ American ‘beer’. We have soft drinks that are stronger!

  9. kranky kritter said...

    This kind of complaint veers awfully close to “why isn’t the seat custom-molded to fit the shape of my @ss?” But then Fenway HAS Smithwick’s. And Sam. [$7.50, by the way, but the Bud was $6.75 IIRC]

    Teaching tale. I used to work in a grocery store for a long time. At one point, a series of strange and inexplicable changes began to unfold. Until I came to find out that big companies were beginning to pay for shelf space. over time, this fundamentally altered the nature of what appeared on the shelves. Supermarkets aren’t free markets, they are showrooms. Ballparks are the same thing. You want your craft brew at Yankee Stadium? Pay. It’s that simple.

  10. Ben said...

    Sorry to underestimate your tastes, Craig, but I think the ensuing price comparisons show that microbrews don’t necessarily have to be way more expensive than generic brands. If the beer prices at Yankee Stadium are high, that’s because the Yanks only view their fans as walking ATMs.

    John: Sorry, but Beck’s and Heineken are only slightly better than American generics, and to my mind they’ve got no more personality. (Stella’s pretty good, though) There are lots of great European beers, but those aren’t them.

  11. Chipmaker said...

    “Semi-ironic umlauts” would be a good name for a rock band—though for fullest effect, it should have umlauts over the o and the second u.

    (Which I’m not going to figure out how to do here.)

  12. Aaron Moreno said...

    I had someone tell me that Stella Artois was the best-selling beer in Belgium. I told them Bud was the best-selling beer in the US. Both true, both completely irrelevant.

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