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5 Ballparks with Great Craft Beer
Baseball may be America's favorite pastime, but for many beer fans, being taken out to the ballgame has often meant being faced with a limited draft pick, flavor-wise. Luckily, growing popularity and interest in small-production beer has inspired stadiums to begin covering their bases when it comes to beer options. Here's just a few of the best ballparks in the country to get your craft beer on while you root, root, root for the home team.
Petco Park, San Diego
Naturally, a stadium situated in one of America's most prolific craft beer production regions has stepped up when it comes to craft beer selection. Hometown heroes like Stone, Green Flash, and AleSmith can be found at designated craft beer kiosks, as well as other California favorites like Sierra Nevada and Firestone Walker.
And if that weren't proof positive of the Padres' home field advantage in the craft beer arena, they've gone and opened a Ballast Point Brewing Company Beer Garden for the 2013 season. Because watching your batter swing away is always better with fresh Sculpin IPA in hand.
Comerica Park; Detroit Tigers
A strong focus on local breweries is evident in the park's craft beer outpost. Fans can consistently find attendants pouring a whopping 26 different beers from Michigan-based breweries. Numerous brews from Bell's Brewing, New Holland, Founder's, Atwater, and Arcadia are available in a range of styles. While many parks seem to focus on pilsners, wheat beers, and IPAs as a standard, this stadium dives headfirst into everything from Bell's Kalamazoo Stout to Founders Scotch Ale and New Holland Monkey King Saison, making craft beer fans feel right at home.
Coors Field; Colorado Rockies
The namesake is definitely not the only option on the beer menu at Coors Field. Colorado is home to a plethora of craft breweries, and the likes of New Belgium, Breckenridge, Odells, and Oskar Blues have all found a home at the Rockies' home field.
The Sandlot brewpub is also onsite; this could be considered a kind of Blue Moon "test kitchen" where the original Coors-owned Belgian Wit is brewed and served, but you can also sample some interesting variations and one-off offerings that you won't find anywhere else.
AT&T Park; San Francisco Giants
AT&T Park is situated right on the water, treating fans to a stunning view of the San Francisco Bay. While they take in the sights, they can also find a slew of craft suds including local favorites like Anchor Brewing, Drake's, and 21st Amendment.
Like San Diego, the San Franciscan ballpark has also recently designated one of their city's most renowned breweries their very own beer garden. The Anchor Taproom & Plaza opened for the 2012 season giving fans access to their flagship Steam Beer as well as seasonal specialties and even some spirits from the Anchor Distillery.
Citi Field; New York Mets
The New York ball clubs have settled into new stadiums over the last few seasons, but it is the Mets that have really brought their A game in the craft beer category.
Brooklyn's Sixpoint Brewery is represented with options like Sweet Action and Bengali Tiger IPA, along with fellow New York breweries like Long Island's Blue Point, Brooklyn Brewery, and Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown. And if you're looking for a little something beyond the ubiquitous ballpark hot dog to pair with your beer, you can wash down a Shackburger from Shake Shack or a pulled pork sandwich from Manhattan's famed Blue Smoke, both of which have outposts in the new Citi Field.
How's the beer selection at your home stadium? Tell us about it in the comments below.
About the Author: Stef Ferrari is a Brooklyn-based Certified Cicerone, food writer/photographer, and author of a forthcoming beer industry guidebook with Wiley & Sons Publishing. In addition to her passion for craft beer, cocktails, and fine food, she considers ice cream to be life's greatest pleasure and spends most spare moments in pursuit of the Mr. Softee truck. Find her on the web and on Twitter at @stef_ferrari.
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