I will never forget the beer vendor in “new Comiskey” (I refuse to keep up with new names) at a rando evening game back when I was in grad school at Northwestern in May 1998… he would come around every now and then and simply ask:
“Whoooooo’s ready?… (looooong pause)… for THE TASTE?”
Man, oh, man, I have never heard a better pitch for a beer — or anything — at a game. I don’t know what swill I was drinking that night (as my mate, who was from Baltimore, kept calling Sidney Ponson something like “tea-kettle ass”) but I know I enjoyed “the taste” all night.
And since then my palate has developed a bit more and now I am an unapologetic beer snob. So, for my money, I christen Seattle, Philly and Minny the kings of beer. And not because they serve the King of Beers, but because they offer so much more. When I’m visiting a new town, I want to sample local microbrews. ACTUAL microbrews, so SIT DOWN, Goose Island — sadly I don’t mean you anymore. Seattle takes the belt here for one reason. This.
Fans can go there and see what beers are being sold where and for how much. WHY IS THIS NOT ON EVERY TEAM’S SITE? This attention to detail, this display of caring for fans’ wallets and time, this is so rare as to be noteworthy. As for Minny and Philly, I’ve found their offerings to be a-plenty as well, with a focus on the local.
The worst? Miller Park in Milwaukee. Why? Re-peep the name of the park and take a wild guess. (🚨 IMPORTANT UPDATE! 🚨 IT IS NO LONGER MILLER PARK BUT … AMERICAN … FAMILY … FIELD. Whatever that is. So maybe their beer selection will expand now. Dare to dream. It is Milwaukee. Please give me something good with which to wash down that tasty brat, thanks)
As for food, San Diego with its fish tacos and tri-tip nachos, and Minny with its eclectic fare rank high for me. Having Indian food at a ballpark, as I did at Target Field, and not being disgusted but actually pleased was a big moment. As was getting a salad in Houston. Houston! And it wasn’t even deep fried! But honestly, there is so much variety out there now it is inspiring. You cannot go wrong in any park anymore. Unlike the old days, there is something more than peanuts and Cracker Jacks up for grabs. Explore and enjoy it all. I would say make sure you try the X at Y ballpark, but given it’s been a minute since we’ve had live baseball, menus change seasonally anyway, and I don’t want to wind up in a Schmitter situation here. Oh, Schmitter, how I miss you.