Update 5/22/13: A year later, and we have... more Goose Island IPA and an actual craft beer (albeit hidden away). If you're okay with supporting a company owned by Anhueiser-Busch InBev, then the good news is that the number of draught lines pouring 20oz Goose Island IPAs (for $12.00 each) has increased. Last season I had to hunt down the few sections actually offering it. Clearly it's sold well if they've expanded it as much as they have.
The better news here is that an actual independent, craft brewery has representation at Yankee Stadium: The Bronx Brewery Pale Ale is on draught and in cans. BUT! And ths is a huge but, it's only offered within the Hard Rock that's inside the stadium. And the biggest disappointment of all is that they won't let you get it in a plastic cup and bring it back into the stadium. You have to stay there and watch the game on TVs. So essentially it's just a bar, you'd barely even know you were at the stadium.
The other head-scratcher about the Bronx beer is that inside the Hard Rock, 16oz draughts are $9.00. If you want to go out onto the small patio area of the Hard Rock, there's another stand selling 16oz cans of Bronx Pale Ale for $11.00 each. Figure that one out. I can't.
Hopefully despite the caveats, getting Bronx Brewery represented in the stadium is just the beginning of the doors opening to more craft beer. Especially for one you can actually enjoy at your seat.
BEER CHEAT SHEET (AS OF 4/14/12)
InsideSections 134, 206, 232B, 237, "Beers of the World" Section 310, "Malibu Rooftop Deck" - Goose Island IPA
Section 110, "Beers Cocktails" - Goose Island IPA, McSorley's Irish Pale Ale (16 oz., $12.00 each), Magic Hat #9, Goose Island Honker's Ale, Widmer Hefeweizen, Leffe (bottles, $9.00 each)
Yankee Tavern - Brooklyn Brown, Goose Island IPA ($8.00 each)
The Dugout - Sam Adams Summer Ale
Continuing our series on Live Sports & Craft Beer, I paid a trip to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx this past weekend, hoping against hope that their beer selection had improved from previous seasons. The short, disappointing answer is no but there still remain (very) few options for the craft beer drinker that's willing to walk a bit to get a decent brew. Saturday's visit, while a beautiful day to catch a ball game, saw the Yankees play abysmally falling behind by seven runs in the fifth inning. The bright side of this being that there was plenty of time to walk around the entire stadium in search of a good beer. But first, let's start with outside the stadium walls.
Outside Yankee Stadium
Every sports fan likes to enjoy a beer before going in to the game. Unfortunately the situation outside the stadium mirrors the inside: 97% macros, 3% decent stuff. Yankee Tavern (72 East 161st Street) was offering draught pours of Goose Island IPA and Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale for $8 each and The Dugout (880 River Avenue) merely had Sam Adams Summer Ale on tap. I didn't visit more than these two bars, but I was happy to find something halfway decent at each. Yes, Goose Island is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev but hey, at least it's an IPA.
Inside Yankee Stadium
As you stroll around Yankee Stadium, you occasionally see a sign that inflicts a glimmer of hope in your craft beer-loving heart: "Beers of the World". As you can see from the photo above, it's not quite an accurate sign. It's mostly macros and cheap imports, but the best part is the "Imported Beers" menu. Among those listed is Amstel Light, Blue Moon, Bud Light Lime, Bud Light Platinum, Corona, Heineken, Heineken Light and Yuengling. I'm curious as to where exactly the Yankees are importing these from, since quite a few our domestic. Either way, your best bet here is Yuengling unless you're a Blue Moon fan.
On the upper level behind Section 310 is what's known as the Malibu Rooftop Deck. This is an outdoor area which unlike most of the rest of the stadium, brings you away from being able to see the field (one of the redeeming qualities of the new stadium is being able to see the field from virtually anywhere you're standing). This section has Goose Island IPA as a draught offering but little else.
If you're visiting Yankee Stadium and love craft beer, this area behind Section 110 on the First Base side of the lower level is the go-to spot. Your options here are a 16 oz. pour of Goose Island IPA or McSorley's Irish Pale Ale for $12 each. Also available are bottles of Magic Hat #9, Goose Island Honker's Ale, Widmer Hefeweizen (also part-owned by AB InBev) and Leffe for $9 a pop.
If the line is too long at the Cocktails/Beer section, directly to its left is this small stand that also carries the Goose Island IPA.
That about wraps it up. It's unfortunate that the Yankees took so much time revamping their stadium menus to have a wide array of upscale food but left the beer selection as an afterthought. If there was ever a case to be made that beer is still not as respected as it should be, well here you go.
Also, I should note that while I covered a vast majority of the stadium, I didn't go into any of the additional bars/clubs they have there. Some people have told me that they'd seen Brooklyn Lager available but I did not find it anywhere on Saturday. If anyone has any info from inside the Hard Rock, Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, etc., please email me email@example.com and I will update this post.