Follow @Ceetar today while I share my observations and pictures from Opening Day.
Quick bullet point type list of things I”ll be scoping out today because I procrastinated this post and now it’s late.
Trackman thingy. I found this article very interesting, and am going to see if I can find the panel.
New Beer. Is there any new beer, and what is it?
New food. Most of the new food has been previewed some, but I’ll still be checking it out and getting a feel for what’s new.
There’s always new signs and kiosks and advertising. Subtle changes in the way Citi Field operates. I’m always interested in those things, the way the escalators run, how the security is behaving. That sort of thing.
Tailgate and Mets fan friends. Checking in with all the fun fans and bloggers that I rarely see anywhere but at Citi Field. It’s a new season, let’s have some fun!
And of course, most importantly, a Mets win! Let’s go Jon Niese!
This weekend I got a chance to visit the new Queens brewery, Singlecut Beersmiths.
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.
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.
I ended a Citi Field drought Saturday by making it out to the park for Mike Piazza bobblehead day. You can check him out in my new header image.
I was finally able to have the Steak Sandwich from Pat LaFrieda. It was delicious, as confirmed by a billion other people at this point. Also confirmed by others, but worth posting here for completeness’ sake, the beer selection. No new beers available, despite rumors/hopes that other Sixpoint nano-kegs would be present, but you do get Sixpoint Sweet Action, Brooklyn 16oz cans, and three pints of the mass produced variety.
The Mets won, which was nice to see. They even scored three runs! The crowd, understandably, was dead. There was no Lets Go Mets chant until the 9th inning, and the scoreboard barely prompted us to cheer. There was an annoying bunch beyond us that wanted to scream for long periods of times when Dickey struck someone out..mercifully R.A. Dickey only struck out two.
Realizing my chances were running low, I got a Carvel Sunday in an ice cream helmet, so I could add the 50th anniversary helmet cap to my collection. The ice cream hit the spot too.
Tejada made a really neat jump and fake on a throw to third from Scott Hairston. It kept Greene from taking an extra base on the throw, and although it’s a play that should probably be made on most chances, it’s still nice to see the Mets putting in the right effort and execution on the fundamentals.
There will be one more Seatcrew.com ticket giveaway in early September.
I’ll be out of the country for the second half of September. Likely without much internet or time. I’m probably going to schedule a bunch of baseball and beer related posts, so keep an eye out for that.
Thanks to CoreyNYC for pointing me to this tweet
— Union Beer Dist. (@greatbrewersnyc) July 25, 2012
Now, as you can see by the picture, Sixpoint Sweet Action is already served at Citi Field at any of the three Craft Beer Dugouts. These are located near the foul poles on the field level and just to the first base side of the Big Apple Brews stand in the Promenade Food Court area behind home plate.
The section 139 mentioned in the tweet is the last section of the left field reserved section on the field level, on the left field side of the apple. There is already one of those beer of the world stand there that looks similar to the Craft Beer Dugout and has four taps. So perhaps all this tweet means is an additional Dugout. This is a poor place for it, as it’s basically on the Shake Shack line when it gets really long, but maybe getting a beer prior to getting on the Shake Shack line (even if you can no longer get Shackmeister Ale) is the perfect spot.
What I would love for it to be, and I doubt it would be given the location and proximity to the Big Apple Brews (distributed by Anheuser-Busch), is a stand devoted to carrying excellent local craft beer cans, starting with the half dozen or so nano-kegs (cans) that Sixpoint carries. If they included Diesel this would match my request for a darker beer at Citi Field.
Unrelated to the tweet, Blue Point was supposed to have their White IPA available in cans at Citi Field, but I have had yet to see them. I’ve seen tweets from Blue Point folk that the cans have been released recently, so hopefully they’ll start showing up at Citi Field. The beer itself might be a little more palatable for the casual fan, as it’s not as super bitter as many associate with IPAs. It’s a little more floraly and has some Belgian wheat beer feel to it.
You guys will dig this quote from Josh Lewin. He was talking about Chris Schwinden getting strikeouts in Wednesday’s game. Specifically he was referencing Jordan Schafer’s league leading 31st strike out.
“When you’re having more than one, (Jordan) Schafer’s the guy to pitch to.”
This amused me at least. Schaefer, for those of you into the history of Mets sponsors, was a Mets sponsor (before my time) years ago and one if their tag lines was “Schaefer is the one beer to have when you‘re having more than one”.
In memory of the Mets sponsor (now owned by Pabst) the Crane Pool Forum awards the Schaefer Player of the Game (and month) awards to the most deserving Met, based on member voting after each game. You’re welcome to join in the discussion.
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.
Blue Point Brewing Company has a new beer. It’s a White India Pale Ale and it’s available at Citi Field starting on Opening Day. It’ll also be available via cans in the summer. (So will Blue Point Toasted Lager and Blue Point Summer)
Here’s the description of the beer via Blue Point:
European-style white ale that finishes like a fresh American IPA. Malted and unmalted wheat, west coast hops, and Belgian yeast give it a perfectly balanced character with less bitterness than traditional IPAs. 40 IBU, 6%
Last night was a preview event for the new food options at Citi Field for the 2012. I’ll get to some of that in a different post, (Or you can check some of the other obvious places, such as the confluence of all Mets and Sandwich news, Tedquarters. Spoiler alert: We both agree on what was the best new food option.) First off, the beer changes!
The Citi Field Beer List lists Blue Point Lager and Blue Point Toasted. Those are actually the same beers as far as I know. It’s Blue Point Toasted Lager. One has a star and one does not, so I think this means it’ll be available at both the craft beer stands and at some normal places. (Catch of the Day is where it’s been) Another weird one is Goose Island Sum Blonde Ale. I don’t think Goose Island makes a blonde. They make Goose Island Summertime, which was occasionally available last year at Big Apple Brews due to it’s Anheuser-Busch/InBev distribution.
Yes, craft beer stands. Located near sections 105 (That’s by the World’s Fare Market), section 127 (Near the other foul pole) and in section 413 (That’s the Promenade food court area) of the Promenade Level meaning we don’t have to go downstairs from the cheap seats to get good beer.
Real craft beers that weren’t on the list last year, or were only available in the Delta Sky 360 Club (The Ommegang may still only be there) include Blue Point Summer, Blue Point White India Pale Ale (This one’s a new one, premiered March 29th, 2012), Ommegang Abbey Ale, Redhook Pilsner, Six Point Sweet Action, Sierra Nevada, Magic Hat #9, and Widmer Drifter Pale Ale. Also new is the expanded line of Shock Top ales, the Lemon Shandy, the Raspberry Wheat, and the Wheat India Pale Ale.
I’m still going to do a full analysis of Citi Field on Opening Day to take in the options and confirm this list. Having a craft beer stand is an excellent idea, and having three of them even better. I’m happy with this expansion, but I also hope this is a first step and not a final idea. The list has 12 stars on it representing the beers available at the craft beer stands in either cans or drafts. I imagine some of the more seasonal ones will rotate out, like Blue Point Summer, but the others include Shock Top, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy and Blue Moon, which are macro brews. Also included are Anheuser-Busch/InBev distributed Goose Island IPA, Kona Longboard Lager, and Widmer Drifter Pale Ale. The real expansion is the Blue Point brews, and that’s great. It’ll also be nice to be able to have Magic Hat #9, Sixpoint Sweet Action and Sierra Nevada outside the club areas. Sixpoint has a large line of cans available these days, so hopefully more of those start showing up.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are adding four craft beers from two different local breweries this season. This is nice to see, especially that the manager of premium services at Angels Stadium says it was his number request last year.
I’ve been harping on the Mets for their lack of publicly available local craft beer. Last year they cut out the local Brooklyn Brewery beers present in previous years. Now one of the only beer not distributed byAnheuser Busch is Blue Point’s Toasted Lager at Catch of the Day.
The Mets and Aramark have been pretty good at adding new food and drink at Citi Field, and there’s a preview event tonight featuring at least the new foods, so I’m going to reserve further judgement on the Mets beer situation until Opening Day. Still, it’s nice to see the craft beer revolution catching on in baseball stadiums, even ones in California.