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As craft beer booms around the country, why isn’t it thriving at the ballpark?


On the second level at the Oakland Coliseum, behind home plate, sits Shibe Tavern — a food pavilion of sorts that used to house a full bar, two of the park’s better food options and a craft beer bar in the back. All that’s open these days is the traditional bar. Across the field, a branded third-deck area called the Tree House used to have a cooler full of local craft cans. That’s gone, too.

Over in San Francisco, the spot behind the plate at Oracle Park that used to sell local craft cans (and bombers of Russian River’s Pliny the Elder) alongside crab sandwiches still has the sandwiches but has replaced the local cans with selections from breweries owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest beer brewer. A few of the club-level local craft can stands are no longer there. It’s mostly Sierra Nevada around the park these days, unless you’re at the Public House, an attached bar out front.

And these two are among the parks that try to have a craft beer presence. Then you have seminal parks like Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium that seem like they never tried in the first place. Good luck finding local beer at those parks.

It’s a bad time for craft beer at many of our favorite stadiums, even as sales are strong in stores and bars. Is that just because of the pandemic? Or is there something larger at play that is holding back good beer at the ballpark?

That craft beer you’re drinking at the ballpark is actually some sort of miracle, isn’t it? It had to overcome obstacles that were financial, logistical and even structural in nature. A lot of people had to work hard to get it to you. The reality is that ballparks aren’t exactly perfect venues for selling and distributing such a specialized product.



Read More:As craft beer booms around the country, why isn’t it thriving at the ballpark?

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