Big Apple Brews in center field is one of the few spots left in Citi Field where anything resembling craft beer remains.
It wasn’t long ago - last season, to be precise - when Citi Field had the upper-hand when it came to beer selection at New York’s ballparks. And while the selection is still better at Citi than Yankee Stadium this season, good beer got harder to find thanks to some strong-arming by the Mets.
For the first two years, Citi Field offered four beers from Brooklyn Brewery on tap. All of them were found in the center field food court: Sabroso Ale at El Verano Taqueria, Blue Smoke Ale at Blue Smoke, Shackmeister Ale at Shake Shack, and Blanche de Queens at Box Frites.
Those beers are no more. Rather than embrace the trend of the rapidly-expanding craft beer market, Citi Field has chosen to replace those beers with Anheuser-Busch/InBev-owned beers, and Brooklyn’s Twitter stream says they were “kicked to the curb” because the Mets were simply asking too much money to keep them in Danny Meyer’s center field concession stands.
And yes, this is how absurd the beer industry is. Rather than the Mets paying for beer that their fans might actually enjoy, these small breweries have to bargain their way into a ballpark that is dominated by Anheuser-Busch products in nearly every corner. And now, at both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, they’re almost entirely pushed out. You’ll notice that the faux-craft beer stand in center field at Citi Field - Big Apple Brews - sells almost exclusively Anheuser-Busch/InBev-owned domestics and imports, including Hoegaarden, Beck’s, Shock Top, and Goose Island.
Luckily, there are a few bright spots left at Citi Field. Brooklyn Lager is still available in cans in select spots in left field and in the Promenade Level, and Blue Point Toasted Lager is available at the Catch of the Day stand in right field. In the more exclusive areas, most bars in the Acela, Caesars, and Promenade Clubs offer some more craft offerings in bottles, including Brooklyn Pennant Ale and Hennepin from Brewery Ommegang.
But now, even though there are four breweries in New York City - the city that the Mets and Yankees call home - no beer from New York City is available on tap at either of their ballparks. And that’s a disgrace.
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