You know, I leave Portfolio and the beer coverage gets...well, you decide. Sports columnist Franz Lidz has a piece in his "The Windup" column today called Buy Me Some Peanuts and Flat Bland Beer, about "a beer-tasting tour of selected ballparks." The ballparks included Shea, Citizens, Camden Yards (do people really call it "Oriole Park"?), Wrigley, and Fenway, with a short mention of Dodger Stadium.
Now...as most of you probably know, Citizens has one of the best beer selections in MLB, and, thanks to our illustrious Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell, one of the fairest pours. We can get a great selection of local brews, fresh and solid from the tap. Which is why I was baffled to read this:
Nearer to home in Philadelphia, I cajole my oldest daughter, Gogo, into joining an expedition to Citizens Bank Park. She agrees to go if I promise to buy her a soft pretzel.The pretzel is soft and salty and soggy, like it's been soaked in a bathtub overnight. At McNally's tavern at the end of Ashburn Alley in the outfield concourse I get a Rolling Rock, which is a formidable color Gogo calls "hot yellow." I wonder for a moment what they do with the bathwater after they've soaked the pretzels. We return to our seats, where I follow up with a Coors Light, a name I've always considered a redundancy.
Buddy, buddy, buddy...it's like you planned to fail. If you're going to go to America's Best Beer-Drinking City™, what the hell are you doing ordering up the same damned beer you can get at every other park in the league? Not even Ying-a-ling? What are you doing ordering Coors Light if you look down your nose at it? If you want to get beer like that, stay home and suffer through the Mets!
I've been to Citizens a number of times and I've always been able to find a solid craft beer pretty easily. You aren't going to get them from walk-by vendors, but the guy's obviously willing to go out of his way if he braved McNally's. So how come he comes to our town and gets Coors Light? Rolling Rock? Shoulda dug deeper into the story...which would have taken all of five minutes to walk to a Brewerytown stand, order a HopDevil, and take one friggin' hop-laced sip... Ah, me.
If Lidz wants to complain about the folks who go to the ballpark and get soused on expensive, mainstream beer, okay. He does a little of that at the beginning of the piece. If he wants to look into the constant rumor that beer at ballparks is watered down, okay: again, he does look into that (and finds that it's bullshit, what a surprise), but briefly. But if he was seriously looking at finding beer choice, variety, or character at ballparks...why didn't he look further than the end of his nose?