Archive for April, 2009

Word Review – Citi Field

Posted in Bar or Beer Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2009 by thebrewyorker

citi-field-logo1

Okay, so it’s not so much of a BAR, but what is more American than a ballgame and a beer (Mom and Apple Pie excluded)? Besides, with all the press this place is getting about its beer selection and various other accoutrements, I was expecting something between the mead halls of Asgard and a Bavarian beer garden with a baseball game thrown in to boot. What was it like? Read below!

citi-field-infield

THE STADIUM ITSELF

It would be supremely unjust to compare Citi Field to Shea Stadium. It would be unfair to the older ballpark, as it was built in an era of multi-use stadiums and, to its final day, remained the best and most unique of those concrete cereal bowls. And it would be unfair to Citi Field, too, which should be judged on its own merits and not simply because it has gobs more amenities than Shea.

So, objectively, Citi Field is a very nice place to catch a game. Overpriced? Yes. A bit kooky? Sure. But the seating is intimate, crowd traffic is lessened (even during big games), and the concourse FEELS like a ballpark. I’ve been to my share of ballparks, and though Citi Field isn’t in the same league as Citizens Bank or PNC Park, it is still a VERY quality place to watch a game, particularly if you shell out for the expensive seats.

This is readily apparent when it comes to food choice. Except for the lower level outfield sections, the fare is pretty standard; dogs, pretzels, burgers, fries, etc. The Big Boys in town – Shake Shack, Box Frites, and Catch of the Day – were all located behind Left-Centerfield. Nathan’s and a few other, smaller stands were set up elsewhere, but if you want more than just what you could get at Shea, you’ll have to make the trip to beyond the Big Apple.

This can be a hassle if you sit in the upper decks (like me). These levels are a bit starker than the rest, but still allow you to watch the game from the concourse when you’re out of your seat. The ability to walk around the entire stadium (save for the various “clubs” and Excelsior level, that is) is also nice; though I bought an $11 dollar ticket to get in (Sections 524-5 are the best of the cheap seats, by FAR), I moved around a lot and took in the game from both the rails and different seats. The ushers religiously guard lower level seats, but are much more lax in the upper sections. I slipped one guy a five at the sixth inning and he allowed me to sit in $60 seats in the Promenade Box for the rest of the game.

But this site is about beer, so let’s get to it.

BEER

I have to admit that I was disappointed by the beer selection at Citi. It’s better than it was at Shea (and a comparison to the New Yankees Stadium would put a mockery to that Bronx Behemoth), but from everything I had heard, I couldn’t get any better selection of beer at a ballgame. Not so.

Budweiser and Bud Light are available at almost every stand in the park for between $6.25 (12 oz.) and $7.50 (16 oz.). Better prices than Shea, but come on; for thirst-slaking purposes, there’s nothing better than American lager, but I was promised rivers of strange and exotic brew!

In addition, there were almost a dozen “Bottled Beer” stalls scattered around the park that sold canned beers of Miller Light, Heineken, Brooklyn Lager, Stella, and a few other choice beers (a little different per each stand, but similar in style) for $7.50. The one notable exception was Shake Shack, which sold a large Bud/Bud Light for $6.25. Of course, you have to wait in a half-hour line to get it.

Also in the outfield was a place called “Big Apple Brews”, a rectangular hut that sold 27 different beers from the bottle, a selection better than a lot of bars. THIS is what I’m talking about! However, 8 of those brews (Bud, Bud Light, Bud Select Bud Light Lime, Bud American Ale, Rolling Rock, O’Douls, and Michelob Ultra) are all very similar beers brewed by Anheuser-Busch, while most of the others aren’t exactly anything to write home about either. And at $7.50 for a bottle, they’re not a steal either. If you’re desperate for high-quality brew, though, it DOES serve Hoegaarden, two Goose Island beers, Widmer Brothers, and Kona.

big-apple-brews

A few other places sold different beer. “Catch of the Day” sells Blue Point Toasted Lager (see our review) for $7.50 on draft. Box Frites sells Brooklyn’s Blanche de Queens for the same price. This beer is known elsewhere as Blanche de Brooklyn, and is quite a treat (even if the fries from the same stall were rather disappointing…). I won’t go into a full review, save that it was definitely the best beer available at the park, by far. A creamy Belgian ale with clover notes that will wash down the taste of Mets’ failure with the best of ‘em (those lovable rascals lost 4-3 on my visit when they couldn’t handle the Marlins’ “spectacular” lineup, the salary of which doesn’t come close to touching that of the Mets’ starting pitcher of the day, Johan Santana).

I keep hearing that a few other places in the park sell different brews, but I was unable to verify that claim. Not saying that it’s not true, but after the fiftieth Nathan’s stand that I passed selling nothing but Bud and Bud Light, I stopped looking.

VERDICT

Citi Field – B+
A quality park with great seats, some good food, and a lot to offer. It isn’t the best in the bigs, but Mets fans should take comfort in the fact that it is twice the ballpark in which their cross-town rivals play (for half the price). Not as good as Citizens Bank, better than Nationals Park.

Beer Selection/Pricing – C+
Big Apple Brews and Blanche de Queens are the main reason that this score is so high. Considering that Camden Yards has been selling microbrews for over 17 years and that there are several local and near-local breweries that could have been utilized, it seems just wrong that they’re charging $7.50 for a pint of Bud or a can of Miller.

QUICK TIP 1
Game Day Ticket Sales are on the left side of the park. A number of seller booths were hidden directly behind pillars, keeping them out of sight. The lines for these booths (most notably, number eight) were usually only 1-2 people deep, even up to game time, as opposed to a dozen people deep otherwise. In a hurry? Search them out!

QUICK TIP 2
Sitting in the upper decks? Try to sit as close to the infield as possible. The further out you get, the less of your outfield you can see! Also, remember that the main scoreboard is in right field. Those desperate for distractions and stats (and games and what have you) should sit along the third baseline.

-Steele

Citi Field Logo and Big Apple Brews Photo used under Fair Use. Other photo used under license by Creative Commons (by Metsfan84 of Wikipedia).

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Beer Review: Sugar Hill Golden Ale

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2009 by thebrewyorker

Here’s another beer review from “The Brew Yorker.” This week it’s Sugar Hill Golden Ale.

Youtube link here.

Thank You, Alcohol – Matt’s Twisted Night

Posted in Fun... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2009 by thebrewyorker

Matt has a trip through the dark underbelly of North Carolina college life. It is a tale of greed, envy, murder, lust, and finally, poop. Enjoy!

YouTube link here.

Homebrew Corner – Priming

Posted in Beer Culture... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by thebrewyorker

When you homebrew, bottling is the way to go for the economically minded brewer. But what to do about overcarbonation?

YouTube link here.

Bar Review – Shoolbred’s

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by thebrewyorker

Jake and Lexie head off to 2nd Ave and 12th Street in the East Village to check out the Scottish Pub, Shoolbred’s! It has a large liquor and beer menu, and the deals aren’t bad either: 2 for 1 happy hours!

YouTube link here.

Thank You, Alcohol – Jake

Posted in Fun... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by thebrewyorker

Jake has a problem while helping out the Brew Yorker, but his ol’ buddy Alcohol is there to help him!

YouTube link here.

Twitter!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2009 by thebrewyorker

The Brew Yorker is now on Twitter! Check out our sidebar for details! Make sure to join our Facebook group if you haven’t already!