All-Star Wine, but no All-Star Beer?

There is a 2013 MLB All-Star Wine available from Purlieu Wines.  This is fine, I’m all for specialized products celebrating the 2013 game at Citi Field. Of course, this product was put together with about as little effort as one could manage. The URL for the site still reads 2012, and it’s just a simple bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon with the game logo on the label. The description doesn’t even mention the Mets, or New York. Additionally, it’s from Napa Valley. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, there are a ton of nice wineries on Long Island that are local and would probably love to sell one of their wines for this event.


And there is no beer. You can specifically tailor a beer to the event and it takes much less time to brew for production than wine. There are dozens of appropriate breweries in New York that could provide something fun. Even Ommegang, the brewery located in the same town as the Hall of Fame, would be a great choice. They brew a special beer for Game of Thrones, I imagine they could spare a couple of barrels for the Midsummer Classic. Think about how neat it would be for the baseball Hall of Fame to feature a collection of bottles from each game?


Regardless, there seems to be no All-Star Beer. Citi Field’s beer selection isn’t horrible, but it has about as many All-Stars as the Mets do. It’s disappointing that the event seems so corporate sometimes it’s hard to get some of this personalization. Never mind that Budweiser is a huge MLB sponsor and would probably do their best to nix any non-Budweiser beer being celebrated anyway.

Citi Field Beer Idea

This weekend I got a chance to visit the new Queens brewery, Singlecut Beersmiths.

Photo by Ceetar

You can click on that link for my review, but the gist of it is that it was good stuff. Queens hasn’t really had any breweries at all until recently, and Singlecut fits right in. You should all know where I’m going with this now. The Mets should support a local business, and get (at least) a tap of their beer into Citi Field. They did a great job with the craft beer dugouts last season, and adding Singlecut to the selection would not be that difficult.


It’d be a great way to expand the beer selection to include a larger variety of local beer.

Bad News For Beer and Baseball Fans

Budweiser extended it’s agreement with Major League Baseball by six years.  This isn’t a new deal, it’s more than 30 years old, but the renewal of it may represent a lack of progress towards getting craft beer recognition at ballparks.


It’s fairly obvious that the big beer brands, including Budweiser, would rather the beer drinking public of America be as they feature it on television.  Beer as mostly flavorless sustenance that is almost mandatory to have at any viewing of a sporting event.  Leaving aside arguments that this reinforces the “Get drunk and belligerent” at ballgames attitude, because those people are looking for a place to party regardless of the entertainment provided.  The ballgame is usually secondary to these people and it’s pointless to blame it on the beer and unfair to the rest of us that want to enjoy a beverage.  Which is the point; there is a growing subset of fans that want to enjoy a beer at a game that’s a well-crafted tasty drink the same way fans in new ballparks are enjoying cuisine beyond hot dogs and peanuts these days.


Even if rumors of Budweiser actively pursuing ways to shut down craft beer taps, and not just at ballparks, are mostly exaggerated, Budweiser can afford to pay the big bucks for the prime real estate at a venue.  This often means craft beer has to be almost hidden among kiosks and specialty stands in other areas.  Don’t be confused by Big Apple Brews; while there are some good beers there, they’re all distributed by Anhauser Busch/InBev.


Even with Budweiser being the big player in beer at baseball games, craft beer has been making inroads more and more.  Hopefully this continues.

Mets Beer: Darryl Strawberry Hefeweizen

As well as being a Mets blogger, I’m also a homebrewer.  My mother got me a homebrew kit for Christmas one year, and it’s grown into a fun hobby.  Recently I’ve taken my game to the next level, making beers that I feel are actually good instead of just drinkable.


Naming the beers is half the fun.  Often I like to think of a Mets related name, and sometimes even labels to go with it.  I first did this with a toasted coconut brown ale that I dubbed Oliver Perez is Coco-Nutz.  Most recently I created a Hefeweizen with strawberries that is really more of a Berliner Weisse, but who needs precise labels anyway?


I decided to call it Darryl Strawberry Hefeweizen.

Homebrewed by MAD Brewery.

Citizen Bank Ballpark’s Beer Selection

Clearly the Phillies only do one thing right, and that’s beer.  Philadelphia has a great beer scene, and Citizen’s Bank Ballpark is no different.  This list was compiled by the producers of & listing all (well, besides the obvious macro brews) the beers available, and it’s broken down by section.  (Something I probably should do next year with the Citi Field Beer List.


So while I like what the Mets have improved upon in the beer department, they’ve got a long way to go.


Let’s take a quick peek.


Locals: They’ve got Flying Fish, Victory, Prism, Weyerbacher, Yards, Yuengling, Sly Fox, Troegs, and Philadelphia Brewing Company.  I may be missing a few off the list, but that’s quite a bit.


Styles:  If you’ve been paying attention, I’ve been suggesting the Mets need a dark beer.  (They don’t even have Guinness)  CBP isn’t much better.  They’ve got Guinness though, and also 21st Amendment’s Back in Black which is a delicious black IPA but not quite the same as a rich, malty porter.  Baseball is a summer sport, but you can get chilly days early and late if your team hopes to make the playoffs.  Even some summer nights are chilly and could use a darker beer.  The rest of the selection is pretty broad across many styles. IPAs, a couple of Belgians, wheats, summers, even Sam Oktoberfest which is still way too early for but I think should be a staple of September and October baseball, Pilsners, Lagers, Pale Ales, Blondes, and ciders.


Location: I haven’t been to Citizen’s Bank Ballpark since 2007, and the beer was plentiful then, but it looks like now there are craft beers pretty much anywhere you look.  95% of Citi Field’s beer selection is located in 5 spots, but at CBP it looks like you never have to go more than a section or two, or perhaps one level down, to find a craft beer.  That’s refreshingly awesome.

Your Questions, My Answers

I’m out of the country starting last night through September 30th, so I requested some Twitter questions to make a quick and easy post.  This is that post, submitted for your enjoyment while I tour Amsterdam, Munich for Oktoberfest, and Prague.



That’s an easy one.  I learned from the best.  If you don’t know, Ted routinely does a Friday Twitter Q&A at Tedquarters.  I wonder if Metsopotamia is big enough for TWO Q&A posts this Friday.  To truly make this ridiculous, I’m going to schedule a tweet to this post for Ted on Friday in hopes of getting the Internet stuck in a recursion error.


Amusingly, I had responded to a question by Emily Ragle on this earlier in the week.

She asked: “#craftbeer fans: Do any of you actually have a favorite beer? I can’t ever choose, and it’s the most common question I’m asked.”

So my response will be the same one I gave her: It depends on my mood and the season.  Right now for example I recently had a Founders Cerise, which is a delicious Michigan cherry fermented ale, and it’s the first thing to come to mind.  I’ll be in Oktoberfest in eight days though, and Oktoberfest/fall is still my favorite beer season, so that would get a nod if someone asking was looking for recommendations.  Visiting Hawaii two years ago I discovered a Toasted Coconut Ale at Kona Brewing Company that I absolutely fell in love with.  If you’d asked me before visiting the isles, I would’ve told you I didn’t like coconut, and now I love it.  I actually created a similar homebrew recipe for it, and it’s recently become available on the mainland in bottles and called Kona Koko Brown.

But this question is misleading.  Paul asks for my favorite beer of all time, and I haven’t yet experienced all of time yet.  I’ve been drinking craft beer for less than 10 years, and there are some really amazing beers that just haven’t been thought of yet.  So unless I stumble upon a TARDIS, I’m going to reserve final judgement.


More beer questions?  I thought I wrote a Mets blog?  Fittingly enough, Eno Sarris was talking about IPAs on Twitter recently so I had this answer readily available as well.  It’s Sixpoint Resin.  “Whatever flames upon the night. Man’s own resinous heart has fed.”  The beer is 9.1% alcohol and a whopping 103 IBU.  (International bittering units.  103 is extremely high) It comes in a nifty narrow green nanokeg (can) that I once heard someone describe as fitting perfectly among shampoo bottles in the shower.   IPAs can be a sore point for people that want to like more beer but find it daunting.  The bittering often turns people off, and is definitely an acquired taste.  A good IPA that I like to recommend is Flying Fish Hopfish; I find the malt in it balances the bitterness extremely well and makes for a delicious beer that’s not too harsh.

At least ‘ballpark’ is a baseball word, from the Banner Day winner.  This is a tough one.  At Oktoberfest beer is only served in liter-sized steins, called Maß and pronounced ‘mas.  These go for nearly 10 Euros, which as of this writing goes for about $12.8 since the Euro is doing it’s best 2007 Mets imitation and collapsing.  Plenty of beer in New York City is $5 for a pint, plus a dollar tip, so the prices doesn’t even seem bad.  Still, drinking liters of beer in one sitting in one tent is probably a poor way to see Oktoberfest, Munich, or Europe in general.


We will be there for 15 days, not including the plane travel days.  Three days in Amsterdam, Nine in Germany, and four in Prague.  Three of these will feature long train rides, and four of them with some extended family of my wife’s, which will probably raise the average amount I drink if what I’m being told about my German in-laws is true.  So let’s measure pints, because we’re American and it’s a decent enough beer measurement.  Given all the great beer and beer halls and the like around Europe, I suspect I’ll be drinking every day and mostly beer.  I’m going to guess three pints a day on average, with the travel days and jet-lag days dragging the average down.  So I’ll figure 45 pints of beer.  Feel free to weigh in over or under in the comments.  Assigning a, probably low, 200 calorie value to a beer, that’s 9000 calories which I’ll need to run ~50 miles on treadmill when I get back to burn off.


Yay, Mets questions!  When I started planning this trip early in the year, before the season even started, I knew there was a possibility I could be missing some big baseball games.  Clearly that’s not the case, and the way the Mets are playing right now is frustrating.  7:10 starts are 1:10 am starts in Germany however, so I imagine I’ll check in in the morning while checking email.  I’m sad there are only three games left, the final series in Miami, that I can watch though, and will probably click open a boxscore to see if David Wright has collected the hits needed to pass Kranepool for most in franchise history, if R.A. Dickey collected a win, or just to see who had a good game.

Greatest team ever, obviously.  Baseball is the greatest sport ever, with the possible exception of Calvinball, so the best team ever would have to be a baseball team.  New York is the greatest city in the world, so clearly the best team would be located in that city right?  The designated hitter is an abomination, eliminating the transplants from Baltimore, the Yankees.  The Giants and Dodgers have now played more games in California than New York.  The Mets, born of New Yorkers’ thirst for National League baseball, are clearly the greatest. Q.E.D.



Everything I’ve read about Oktoberfest suggests I’ll have lots of stories.  I suspect I’ll even tell some of them, probably at the non-Mets blog Garden Variety New Yorker, where I tend to post stuff I think should probably stay off a Mets blog.   I’m sure if I have WiFi here and there I’ll be tweeting the occasional European observation and picture.  I bet Jeff would appreciate a picture of the traditional Bavarian beer maid carrying way too many Maß of beer as well.  I’ve heard great things about Prague, and clearly it’s Beltran’s fault I’ll eventually have to leave there.


Thanks for the questions everybody.  I’m scheduling this for Friday morning, and by then It’ll be afternoon in Amsterdam and I’ll have just arrived.  I’m probably sitting on a rooftop bar at the hotel looking out over the city right now.

Citi Field Needs a Beer

Whether or not you believe the season is over or if the Mets can come back from this recent slump, I think we can all agree that we need another beer to watch right?


I was at the game Friday night where it rained half the night and was breezy and pretty chilly.  I walked up to the Craft Beer Dugout and the first thing I thought was “A nice porter would really hit the spot right now.”  The Mets do not sell any dark beers, not even Guinness.  The closest option is probably the Leffe Brown, and that’s an import.


There are plenty of other cool summer evenings, and there are cold games in April, September, and maybe even in October some years.  A nice roasty porter or stout would really be a great option for those games.  Brooklyn Brewery makes a dry Irish Stout that’s very tasty, and you could even re-brand it the Daniel Murphy Stout.


The lack of a broad variety is park of what keeps the competitive Citi Field Beer from being a true champion. I suggest Sixpoint Diesel.

More on Citi Field’s Uninspiring Beer List

Citi Field is a first-class venue.  It’s got amazing food, and much of it is local.  The Citi Field beer list is extensive, but it’s also uninspiring.  Beer and baseball go together so well yet most of the beers available, particularly to the general public, at Citi Field are only the typical expanded list of beers available via Anheuser Busch distribution. Some of these beers are pretty good, but it lacks that local flair and originality.  I’m not knocking the Redhook beers; but it seems sloppy to get them through Anheuser Busch when the brewery itself is only a handful of miles away. Even though they’re all over the place now, the Danny Meyer stands are New York creations.  Cascarino’s is a New York pizza place.  Pastrami on rye is a very New York food, and Keith’s burgers are especially homey.  Even McFaddens was first a New York staple.


So why was Brooklyn Brewery priced out?  Why aren’t there more Sixpoint beers around the stadium, especially now that they serve the beer in cans? What about some of the other local breweries?  Chelsea? What about Schmaltz Brewing Company which makes the Coney Island Freak line of beer. Interestingly, the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets rookie team, plays in Coney Island.  Maybe the Mets could serve Albino Python when the Diamonbacks are in town, or the Mermaid Pilsener to mock the Marlin’s cheerleaders.  What about Harlem Brewing Company’s Sugar Hill Golden Ale?  Harlem is where the Mets first placed, and where the Giants played before them.  Blue Point Brewery is probably the only real local beer outside of the Delta Club.  Their Blue Point Toasted Lager is available at Catch of the Day, but they’ve got other beers as well.


This all says nothing of the possibility of finding a partner to brew Mets themed beers.   Brooklyn Brewery has an expanded brewery now, and when they provided beer to Box Frites, it was their own beer called Blanche De Brooklyn that they renamed Blanche we Queens.  Why stop there?  What about a Home Run Apple Lager?  A World’s Fair Oktoberfest?  A Darryl Strawberry Blonde? The possibilities are endless. Maybe Schmaltz would be intrigued by the opportunity to create a Brooklyn Cyclones Ale for MCU Park and Citi Field.


I think the Mets, and Aramark, may underestimate just how many Mets fans are huge beer fans as well.  It’s not just the hardcore fan either.  There are plenty of casual baseball fans out there that could be drawn off the fence and into the park if they were tempted to try a unique beer.


Stay tuned, later this week I’m going to talk about what some of the other stadiums around baseball are doing with beer.

New York Mets Oktoberfest

The Mets are having their annual Oktoberfest on September 23rd. It looks like decent fun, although I’d pass on the lederhosen.  If you pay attention at all, I’m almost as big a beer fan as I am a Mets fan, so things like this are right up my alley.


The Mets Oktoberfest is pretty good.  The food menu features Wiener Scnitzel, Beer Braised Bratwurst & Onions, German Style Fried Potatoes, German Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Soft Pretzels and a delicious Cookie Platter for dessert.  Of course, it doesn’t list the beer menu.   It’d be a shame if it was just the normal stuff off the Citi Field Beer List.  There needs to be at least a couple of Oktoberfests there, and a local variety like Brooklyn Brewery’s would be a great place to start.  Unfortunately, I’m busy next Friday and will be unable to go.  If someone is going and doesn’t mind reporting back to me, send me an email at


The price for the Oktoberfest party at Citi Field is $54 to sit in the Big Apple Reserved and get a free ticket lanyard.  I’m not going to quibble too much about something that includes free beer, but that’s $12 more than the Big Apple Reserved seating is for Premium games.   Normally, group sales get a discount on pricing.  The Social Media night the Mets held was $41 for the same seats, and including $18 of food and beverage credit.


I think the Mets could make more of this event.  This is New York, and as Sandy Alderson said about our farm systemeverything should be top of the line, not middle of the pack.   One example to follow might be the Houston Astros Oktoberfest.  The Astros event is two hours prior to the game, whereas the Mets event starts an hour early and goes until the 7th inning and conflicts with the game.   It’s a full-fledged party with polka music, folk dancers, and your own Astros beer stein!  Included are 12 2oz pours of 12 different beers available; many of them Oktoberfests and pumpkin ales.


The Astros event is separate from the game, so they allow you to buy a ticket to any section.  Obviously tickets in Houston are much much cheaper than tickets in New York, but they even discount them for you by about 40%.  They do tack on another $20 for the Oktoberfest package, but that’s still a great deal considering it’s an admission to a two hour party and you get at least a pint and a half of beer, and your own stein.  You could get all this, AND a baseball game, for as little as $27.


I’d love if the Mets followed the Astros example in 2012.  I know the Bullpen Plaza isn’t big enough for a full on party, but there are other options.  They could close off the Caesar’s Club for one day before the game, or block off a suitably sized section of the parking lot.   Another option would be to have a Mets Oktoberfest away game viewing party.  Have the event when the Mets are on the road.  The Caesar’s Club certainly has enough televisions to  tune to SNY.   I already own a Mets beer stein purchased the conventional way, but if a 2012 design was created, I’d certainly buy another one.

The Citi Field Beer List

This is late in coming, but just in time for the latest and longest homestand of the year.    Here is a list of every beer available in Citi Field. I count 60 distinct beers right now, although I suspect I may have a mistake or two that you can certainly help me out with.   Snap a picture or let me know if you see a beer somewhere that I have not properly cataloged here.


Obviously It’s sad that the Brooklyn Brewery drafts are no longer available at Citi Field, but recently Sixpoint brewery started canning their beers, and I can only hope those beers find their way to Citi Field in the near future.

The Citi Field Beer List