I may be channeling Mets Police a bit here, but there has been a depressing change at Citi Field this year that I want to take note of.
The Mets, at the four specialty food stands in center field, no longer serve Brooklyn Brewery beers on tap. When I mused earlier last week that the Citi Field may have one of the best beer selections in the majors, it was off the premise that those four beers were on par with any other beer anywhere else. Without them, The Mets aren’t even in the conversation.
After much discussion and inquiry on Twitter this weekend with other beer and Mets fans, the folks at Brooklyn Brewery clarified:
@Ceetar The Mets asked for more than we could afford to remain in play at D. Meyer’s stands. Previously the rates were very fair. 2good2BTru”
The last bit hits it on the head. Two good to be true. The Mets, as a business, realized that they had a hot commodity and raised the prices beyond what a small business like Brooklyn Brewery could afford. It makes sense; Those stands are in high demand, and are you really going to wait on another line for beer when you’ve got a tap right there? Craft beer is making great strides, but most people still aren’t that particular and don’t really care if there’s a specialty crafted beer that matches the cusine they just bought.
note: Good Food Stories found the same thing. Here’s their write up of Citi Field’s food this year, complete with pictures.
There is still a demand for good beer at Citi Field. This isn’t a knock on what’s available at Beer Island, or the couple of good taps they have around the stadium. Goose Island Summer is on tap, which is good. Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat is not bad. Blue Point, at Catch of the Day, has their toasted lager available and is a brewery local to Long Island. You can still get Brooklyn Lager in cans.
Nevermind about the pairing of the beers with the food at Danny Meyer’s stands; Plenty of Mets fans would be content with just being able to buy the beer at a separate stand, even buried in the Promenade somewhere. I often lamented that if I wanted to get a Shackmeister Ale I had to wait on the long line, even if I didn’t want food.
Other stadiums do this. Citizen’s Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia has a great amount of local varieties of beer available. I don’t think they’re any bigger than Brooklyn Brewery, although I’m sure the overhead and rent in Brooklyn is significantly higher. I haven’t been there yet this year, but the Phillies served at least these seven local beers in past years.
– Flying Fish Pale Ale Draft
– Sly Fox Pikeland Pilsner Draft
– Troegs Sunshine Pilsner Draft
– Yards Tavern Ale Draft
– Pennsylvania Lager BTL
– Victory Hop Devil Ale BTL
– Victory Hop Devil Ale Draft & Victory Prima Pilsner Draft
I’ve maintained that while it’s more expensive, I don’t think Citi Field has priced out it’s fans just yet. There are still affordable ways to get to the games, even with families, even if they’re harder. However, I’m wondering if we’re going the way of creating a place that only corporations can afford at the expense of the local flair that we all know and love. I miss the days of the National League team flags on the walls instead of advertisements. I understand the necessity of it, but it saddens me that we can’t also find a way to accomodate the local venders that make New York so great. We’ve got a rotunda honoring a great baseball player and historical figure, but the beer representing the pennant he won isn’t, to my knowledge, sold in the ballpark.