The Beer I Saw At Citi Field in 2019

I went in through the center field gate, as I had been at Mikkeller, and headed out to center field. Big Apple Brews, the Anheuser-Busch/Inbev owned kiosk out in center field and behind home plate on the Promenade, has been going downhill for years.

Before we get to the good stuff, I actually went back and checked 2009, and perhaps saying it’s only gone downhill is overstating it a bit. Big Apple Brews was probably never good, just good as it compared to Shea Stadium. A giant island of coolers in the middle of the outfield is a pretty cool concept, and a nice addition to a stadium, but the actual beer inside appears to always have been a little lacking, even by 2009 standards, but hey, a dark beer!

Big Apple Brews in 2009

This is still just a broad listing of ABI, or ABI distributed, beers, complete with typos. Calling it Harbin Larger does seem prescient to 2019 where there are a lot of larger container beers. This picture was from April 16th, which was the third game of the opening series, not including the exhibition games against the Red Sox, so perhaps they got some editing later in the season.

Larger beers. That seems to be the theme here. Some token ABI craft, the Blue Point Mosaic IPA is not bad, and then a lot of 25oz offering. Obviously, beer geeks like myself are not the prime audience for this. For the rest of the population, being able to drink Blue Point Toasted Lager, or Kona Longboard, or Goose Island Urban Wheat is actually pretty nice.

Remember, just because you can order two 25oz Bud Light Lemon Teas at once, pound them, and come back, doesn’t mean you should.

Hang on a moment, Bud Light Lemon Tea? Do I even want to ask what that is? Moving on..I walked down to the Empire State Craft stand, in it’s usual spot. That’s the center field side of the left field corner. There’s also one just to the third base side of the Promenade plaza (or ‘Piazza’?) behind home plate.

These are the real options. These are the beers you’re going to gravitate to if you’re not just taking the best you can find within a bathroom break of your section. Baseball stadiums have really gotten on the New England Juicy IPA trend. I know Long Island City Beer Company’s Higher Burnin’ has been available in previous years, and it’s pretty good. This one’s fruity and nicely balanced. Interboro’s Premiere is an excellent beer, trending a little danker. Mikkeller’s Henry Hops is a happy baseball beer, and a real reliable IPA that you can get and drink all over the ballpark.

The new one to me was Five Boroughs Tiny Juicy IPA. I hadn’t heard much about them, but I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It’s juicy, it’s got good mouthfeel, but also good flavor and enough bitterness to really round it out. It’s pretty much the definition of crushable at 4.2%. A great beer to just drink all day at the ballpark, provided you don’t mind paying nearly $12 for a small beer over and over again anyway.

There are some other tidbits around the park, there are actually a few taps if you search for them, but we’ll stop here. Get out to Citi Field and enjoy a beer or two. Overall there are some nice beers. There are some high-quality beers. There’s not a ton of variety though. Simple lagers, juicy IPAs, with maybe some slight variation here and there.

Where have the other craft beer cans at Citi Field gone?

Long Hammer IPA at Citi FieldIf you pay attention to these things you may have noticed that the Craft Beer Dugouts at Citi Field no longer have Blue Point, Sierra Nevada, or Magic Hat cans. This is a big blow that the addition of Brooklyn East India Pale Ale or Sixpoint Bengali Tiger cannot erase.


A discussion on craft beer broke out on Twitter, which let to this revelation by BluePointShane who works for Blue Point Brewery.

I sorta get it; Having to deal with different size cans and hence the option for different size cups can be a layer of complexity Aramark and the Mets want to avoid in a ballpark where speed of sale is important. However, due to green initiatives you’re just handed the can of beer anyway and only get a cup if you ask. The Mets haven’t even raised the prices on the 16oz cans, charging the same as the 12oz bottles in Big Apple Brews. This year though they’ve raised the price on the Craft Beer Dugout taps to $12. I’m sure you’re getting at least 16oz of beer with these, and maybe a little more, but that’s a decent hike.


When Citi Field first opening there were four unique beers at the four food stands out in center field that created a base level of awesome beer. Since they’ve allowed Big Beer to price those options out of Citi Field, we’ve been stuck with these half measures. They’re nice measures for sure, but it’s an opening move that needs to be followed up by creative and innovative options for the Mets to get even to a league average beer selection.


For one, there are no dark beers. While dark beers are often less desirable in the summer, there’s still a demand for some bocks, brown ales, or even stouts and porters.  You get cold nights in April and even some September nights can be chilly. Some darker styles would get enjoyed by many Mets fans even in the summer.


There is only one truly craft tap; Blue Point Toasted Lager at Catch of the Day. You can get a couple of others if you can get to the Excelsior level, and even more in the Delta Club, but there are so many good local breweries that would fit in great from Brooklyn, Sixpoint and Blue Point to more Ommegang.  Singlecut, a new Queens brewery, would be a great fit as well. If the Mets need a way to offload the unused beer at the end of the year, perhaps they can work out something with McFaddens.


The Mets and Aramark are making progress in that they seem to at least recognize the desire for good craft beer at Citi Field, but they have a long way to go before there is a real selection of said beer.





Craft Beer At Citi Field: New Additions

I’ve updated the Citi Field Beer List to reflect the changes I noticed on Opening Day.


Craft Additions: Sixpoint Bengali Tiger, Kona Big Wave Golden Ale.

Craft Subtractions: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Magic Hat #9, Blue Point Cans.


Macro Additions: Redd Apple Ale. Third Shift Amber Lager, Budweiser Black Crown, Beck’s Sapphire.


This is a step back. The Bengali Ale is really nice, but the pushing of the more macro crafty imitations is poor when it seems to have come at the expense of some real beer. Still no dark beer to be seen.


I was very focused on baseball yesterday and haven’t gotten to do a full sweep of Citi Field or found my way into any of the clubs to see if there’s a hidden nugget. There are probably a couple of new additions I’ve missed, somewhere, and I’ll be back to find them.


Citi Field Beer Write Up

Let's Go Mets!I sent along a full write up of the Citi Field Beer selection over to John Kleinchester of Beertography, so you should go check it out.


If I was going to grade the selection available I’d give it a “meaningful games in September” grade and just missing the playoffs.


This is still a big step forward off a down year last year however.  The selection is still reeling from the loss of the Brooklyn specialty beers at Taste of the City stands in center field.  In fact, if you poke around on Beertography you can catch hints of similar stories about what seems to be “Big Beer” pushing out the little guys.  Particularly in the review for Yankee Stadium and the Prudential Center in Newark.


My hope is that Citi Field continues to add new local beers, and expands beyond what they have now.  At the very least, adding more Sixpoint cans including the newly released summer ale Apollo, would be excellent news.

What’s New At Citi Field? Keith’s Grill and More!

Unfortunately, the worst part of Opening Day was the play on the field.  Hopefully that doesn’t continue.   There are a handful of changes at Citi Field to note.


The bad first.  There are no longer Brooklyn Beers on tap at the Taste of NY center field concourse.  No Shackmeister Ale, no Blanche de Brooklyn, no Blue Smoke Ale and no Sabroso Ale.  Not even a Brooklyn Summer Ale.  You can still get the Brooklyn Lager around the park, but the loss of these specialty brews is disappointing.  I haven’t even seen Brooklyn’s Pennant Ale anywhere, which you think would be a given for a ballpark, never mind a team with Brooklyn roots.  I’m going to try to keep a full list of the Mets beer selections at Citi Field, and hopefully one day will add the stuff that’s hidden behind club doors this season.  If you know a blogger and beer lover that roots for a different team, I’d love to talk with him or her about creating a beer list for other stadiums.


The highlight of the changes to me was a new concession stand on the field level in the left fielder corner called Keith’s Grill.  It features a Gold Glove burger which is described as having been created by Keith Hernandez.

“Exactly how Keith eats his burger; A 6 oz. Brooklyn Burger on a toasted sesame bun, w/ cheddar cheese, topped w/ lettuce, tomato, two dill pickles, raw onions mayo & extra ketchup on top, mustard spread on the bottom bun.  Burger served with house made kettle chips & Keith’s favorite candy; a Tootsie Roll Pop”

I didn’t try it; the line was too long and I figured I’d go back on a less crowded occasion, but it sounds yummy.  I heard that their was a new Pastrami on Rye sandwich somewhere, but I think I remember seeing that at the Kosher cart last year.


There was two new beers from Hometown Brewery.  A New York Lager and a light.  the NY Lager wasn’t bad, but didn’t seem like anything special.  They were available from a couple of different carts around the park. It seems like it might be contract-brewed by the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Which is where the Yankees AAA team plays and is in Pennsylvania, so don’t be too excited by the NY name.


Two new menu items at Blue Smoke.  Chipotle wings are back after a 2010 absence (I learned in 2009 that eating wings in cold weather when your hands are chapped is a bad idea) and also a fried chicken sandwich.


There’s an organic dark chocolate frozen yogurt bar at the Burgers and Fries concession from Stonyfield, and also a chipwich at the same place.


Box Frites has a sauce, rosemary ranch, which I think is a new choice.


There appears to be knishes available at more locations this year.


There are probably a couple of other changes that I missed, so be on the lookout!


As usual, plenty of advertising  turnover.