Ballpark Beer: The Overpriced Liquid That Binds Us
|Image courtesy of Flickr user anukul|
There’s nothing better on earth than enjoying an ice cold beer at the ballpark and watching your favourite team. Absolutely nothing.
Okay, maybe the birth of your first child rivals that feeling, but can you get drunk off it?
Baseball and beer go hand in hand like Charlie Sheen and narcotics, and it got me thinking about the beer situation for us Blue Jays fans at the Rogers Centre.
Rob Iracane at Big League Stew sifted through the best suds around the majors and came up with the 10 Best Beers at Big League Ballparks. I have to say, I was a little disenchanted about the beer selections at the Rogers Centre when reading about all these tasty microbrews.
The lineup of beers available to Blue Jays fans pales in comparison to their counterparts around the major leagues. Last time I checked, the only beers available at the Rogers Centre are your regular run of the mill domestics: Budweiser, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime, and Keith’s.
There’s an easy way to remedy the beer situation at the Rogers Centre; bring in those homegrown microbrews that not only the locals will enjoy, but that visitors from out of town can experiment with.
|Image courtesy of TheDieLine.com|
The natural decision would be to serve a pilsner such as Steam Whistle at the Rogers Centre. After all, the brewery is right across the street. Just wheel the kegs across Bremner and pass the transportation costs onto the customers. Everybody wins!
|Image courtesy of Yelp.ca|
Another option that was championed on Twitter was bringing in beer from another critically acclaimed local brewery, the Mill Street Brewery.
They’re another fine choice and unlike Steam Whistle, Mill Street has a bevvy of draught beers to choose from. Mill Street has 10 different draught beers at their disposal, and they’re also within stumbling distance of the dome.
From what I understand, there’s a pretty decent selection of bottled beer in The Roundhouse at the Rogers Centre, but as far as I’m concerned … it’s draught beer or bust when you’re at a baseball game.
My beef is not only about the lack of selection of beers at the Rogers Centre, but the method in which it is delivered as well.
Up until late last season, customers who purchased tall cans weren’t even allowed to drink the beer out of the cans themselves. Vendors had to pour them into plastic cups, which made getting a beer take even longer.
I’m not exactly sure what the reasoning was behind not handing over cans in the first place. Heaven forbid a game go awry and fans start trying to cut themselves with aluminum cans to reprieve themselves from the pain.
If you’ve ever been to a Home Opener or even just a weekend game, you’ll agree that the wait times at the beer stands are absolutely ridiculous. In some cases, you’re waiting in line multiple innings just to get your hands on an ice cold beer.
That’s where something like the Bottoms Up Draft Beer Dispenser would be ideal because most of time spent in line is waiting for the beer to be poured. This machine can chug out 56 pints in one minute. Two hands, no waiting.
I realize the cost to install these machines would be residual and would eventually be passed down on to the customer. However, I don’t mind paying a few bucks more if I can get a beer and be back in my seat in between innings.
The Bottoms Up Beer Dispenser has already been rolled out at Fenway Park, and most recently it made it’s entry into Canada during the Labatt Brier in London. Perhaps this will open the door for larger venues in Canada to test it out.
This may just be me trying to romanticize an experience at the Rogers Centre, but I think the key to making the food and beverage renowned around the league is to have some sort of signature item.
Food is a different story altogether, but having a signature beer available at the Blue Jays games will not only will it benefit that particular brewer, but the stadium as well. It gives the Rogers Centre more of a personality rather than it’s reputation which is synonymous with the cold, concrete exterior of the building.
Bottom line, if I’m going to be paying 11 dollars for a tall can of beer at a Blue Jays game, I think there should be a better selection at our disposal than just the usual domestics. And please let me have it in a timely fashion so I can get back to the game.
Is that too much to ask?