Dueling Brews: Another Beer Idea For Citi Field

Terrapin Brewery TapBrooklyn Brewery TapThis is an idea I’ve been bouncing around for a while, and then The Crazy Mets Fan made a comment on Twitter to Matt Cerrone that he should get a pub in Citi Field called Cerrone’s with some nice IPAs.  I chimed in (and you can follow me on Twitter here) that they should do dueling brews.

 

This started as a thought about a variable beer menu at Citi Field.  The best beer bars are not the ones with a good selection, but the ones with a rotating selection of seasonal and small release beers.  The idea was solidified while following the Giants Super Bowl run this year.   Brooklyn Brewery in New York and Anchor Steam in San Francisco made a wager on the NFC Championship game that the team’s brewery that lost would serve the beers of the other brewery.  Brooklyn beers flowed in San Francisco, and it was wonderful.

 

So why not do the same thing at Citi Field?  We know which teams are coming in for each homestand.  Why not have two rotating taps, one serving beers local to New York (minus the Bronx) and one serving beers from the city of the away team.  These two taps would ‘duel’ until one was empty, becoming the winner.  I’m not quite sure what the beer would win besides an announcement that it’d won, but it’d be a fun way to introduce Mets fans to the brews of their enemy and provide the beer-loving masses, who’s size is underestimated, with some nice beer to drink while watching baseball.

 

The first homestand features the Braves and the Nationals.  I don’t know what the availability and distribution rules are for acquiring beer from far away places, but Terrapin is an Atlanta brewery that you can find in New York, so it’d be a good choice.  Washington DC is a little tougher, and perhaps the toughest baseball city.  Baltimore has some options, but that’s a different team.  Shenandoah Brewing bills itself as Washington DC’s only brewery, but as far as I know they don’t distribute to New York.   Flying Dog is nearby, but it’s based in Maryland and equidistant to Baltimore.  On the other hand, AL is junior league baseball and it doesn’t really count.

 

I think this would be a cool idea.  Citi Field needs more distinctive beers outside of the Anheuser Busch distribution agreement and why not tie it to what’s going on on the field?  That’s why we all go there after all.

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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.

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Eating With Bloggers: A Citi Field Food Tour

Monday night I, and many of your other favorite bloggers, was invited out to Citi Field for a Mets game, and a pre-game tour of Mets concessions and clubs with Scott Kleckner, Resident District Manager, Sports & Entertainment for Aramark.  It did not disappoint.  We ate.  A lot.

 

Obviously the Keith’s Burger that I wrote about earlier in the season was included.  We learned that it’s doing very well, and will likely become a permanent fixture in the future much like the Pastrami sandwich (which we also sampled) was tested last year.   I love that the Mets and Aramark are trying out new things and never satisfied with the status quo.  At Shea the most exciting change you could look forward to was if they changed burger suppliers.

 

Here’s a shot of the bloggers enjoying a slice of Margherita style pizza at Cascarino’s.

Cascarino’s was chosen in part because it’s local.  It’s right there on College Point Blvd and so local that if you could get pizza delivered to Citi Field, Cascarino’s is close enough to do so.

 

Speaking of local fare, I brought up the departed Brooklyn Brewery beers.  Without getting anything explicitly confirmed, it was made pretty clear that Budweiser can exert a ton of pressure financially over what beers are available.  It was also suggested that Brooklyn Brewery may not be gone forever. (besides the cans of lager that remain) Right now the only true local beer available to the masses is Blue Point Toasted Lager at Catch of the Day.  There’s also a tap of Sixpoint Sweet Action (and some Ommegang. Honestly, given it’s Cooperstown affiliation, EVERY ballpark should have some of it) in the Delta Sky Club, but that’s obviously a limited access area.

 

Perhaps the best thing we ate all night: An eggplant parmigiana sandwich.  It was delicious: perfectly breaded with tasty sauce and excellent bread.  I highly recommend it if you have a chance to be in the Delta Sky Club, or if they end up offering it elsewhere.

 

We also sampled the new fried chicken sandwich from Blue Smoke, which was my second favorite taste of the day.  I’m not a big seafood eater, so I passed on the Po’Boy and Flounder at Catch of the Day, but everyone else liked it.  I did have a handful of popcorn shrimp, which were definitely tasty but I’ll second Rob Castellano of Amazin’ Avenue in wishing there was some dipping sauces with them.  The final thing we tasted was a new appetizer in the Delta Sky Club.  It was some hot dog bites, basically a small hot dog dipped in panko breading.  It was good, but nothing to really write home about.

 

Check out some of these other write ups while you’re at it, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

http://www.ontheblack.com/2011/05/17/video-diary-citi-field-food-beverage-operations/

http://www.amazinavenue.com/2011/5/17/2174894/citi-field-food-mets-eat

http://www.kranepoolsociety.com/2011/05/17/a-great-night-of-food-tasting-at-citi-field-and-a-seat-in-the-press-box-for-desert/

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