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The Yankees’ “craft beer” stand is anything but

Apr 4, 2013, 9:45 AM EST

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Amanda Rykoff went to the Yankees home opener and discovered that they have a stand called “Craft Beer Destination.”  And what sorts of good craft beer do they sell there? Maybe Six Point? Maybe Brooklyn? Maybe something from Ommegang upstate? There is a lot of good beer in New York! What is it?

These so-called “Craft Beers” — (from left to right) Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Crispin Cider, and Batch 19 lager — are all products of MillerCoors. Miller and Coors aren’t exactly niche products.

Not just not “niche products,” not craft beer by any interpretation of the term.  I’m not exactly a beer snob, but this seems misleading given that the definition of “craft beer” by the American Brewers Association which coined the term is beer from “small, independent and traditional” brewers with small defined as an “annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less”, independent defined as at least 75% owned or controlled by a craft brewer, and traditional defined as at least 50% of its volume being all malt beer.

C’mon, Yankees. You gotta do better than this.

  1. romosmicrodongs - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I can’t believe the peasants even realized they were being served swill and demanded a ‘craft beer’ stand. oh well, least they get acceptable beer now, for double the cost

  2. jarathen - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    It’s really crazy how many beers sit next to real microbrews but are anything but at this point.

  3. zzalapski - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Haven’t had Batch 19, but I do enjoy the others. But, yeah, not one “craft beer” among them. Not having anything from the Brooklyn Brewery is unconscionable.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      I wonder if it’s because Brooklyn is featured at Citi Field. They’ve got a number of the Brooklyn varieties there, and try to match one to each of the food stands, so you have a different beer served at the (delicious) Taco stand than you do at the pizza stand, for example.

      • thebeerbaron - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        They actually took that away two seasons ago at Citi. There’s still Lager kicking around, but the custom beers at the food stands got removed because MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch were willing to “pay-to-play” and Brooklyn wasn’t.

        Luckily, Citi does have cans of Sixpoint all over the ballpark this season.

    • beanocook - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      Crispin Cider is the Dogfish of cider. Shows you how much you really know.

    • beanocook - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      Beer snobs are getting annoying. Especially those that worry about the banking before the beer. Nearly every craft beer in America rides to the store on the back of a Bud or MillerCoors beer truck. If it wasn’t for this infrastructure paid for by big beer, most craft brewers wouldn’t be able to make a profit and they would die.

      Watching a baseball game during the summer is just behind cutting the grass, both of which demand a refreshing beer, which almost always is a pale American lager.

      Don’t be so insecure about this.

  4. proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Just call it semi-crafty beer. It is loved by Don Draper followers.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Mmmmmm, Don Draper.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Whoever thumbed down my Don Draper is a no-good weasely Pete Campbell.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    The Yankee Empire: Now so big that MillerCoors is a puny, small, business.

    /s

  6. wonderpeanut - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Wait a month or two. All of the good, expensive craft beers are on the DL.

  7. KR - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Crispin was “craft” up until fairly recently when MillerCoors bought them out. I don’t know if they’ve made any changes since then or not.

    I guess I care more about how the beer tastes than the details of who makes it: Blue Moon sucks because it’s shitty beer, not because the brewery is owned by MillerCoors. As it happens, almost all beer by the large guys does suck, but I don’t think that’s inherent in being owned by a larger corporation.

    • kopy - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Same with Leinenkugel’s. So a “craft” beer instantly loses its “craft” label when a large company acquires it? It sounds like snobbery at its finest. Unless the recipe changed, I don’t care. It’s disingenuous for microbreweries to attempt using the word “craft” as a synonym for “local” in the first place.

      • Ben - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        But that’s the whole point. Craft beer (and you can argue that it’s a misnomer, that’s fine) was fundamentally an anti-corporate movement, and the big companies have been desperate to co-opt the breweries and the beer.
        It’s not snobbery, it’s political.
        The best example I can think of is Boston Brewing (Sam Adams) selling their hops at cost to other breweries during the hop shortage a couple years ago. Craft beer is about sustaining a healthy beer market, and that means cooperation. Something anathema to corporate America.

      • hasbeen5 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        That Summer Shandy was one of 2 beers in my life I’ve poured out before I could finish it. Tasted like somebody pissed in lemonade. The other I poured out was a pepper beer.

      • paperlions - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        In addition, the type of quality control and pride that craft brewers have simply goes right out the window as soon as the operation is taken over by a corporation (who always figure that marketing or traditional markets can overcome any shortcoming in quality).

        Craft beer breweries = make best possible beer and be profitable

        Corporate breweries = make as much beer as cheaply as possible and maximize profits.

      • kopy - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        So I see that, like politics, we can just lump all breweries into one of two categories and make assumptions about both?

        Craft beer is a misnomer. If people want small-batch or local beers, they have the education to find that. Otherwise, they should just drink whatever they enjoy the most. There are plenty of good and bad beers out there with rich and less-rich owners. I enjoy Leinie’s (among others) and I can sleep at night knowing that they had a foreign infusion of cash that allowed them to reach more customers.

      • Ben - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        I think I’m good not drinking a beer produced by a corporation that funds the John Birch Society, and founded the Heritage Foundation. Although, given how extreme the right has become, the John Birch Society looks pretty friendly in comparison these days.

  8. Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Having spent the evening, as I often do, at the world famous Luna Star Cafe in North Macondo, being served craft pasta (spinach-cilantro sauce over quinoa rigatoni) by the lissome Brie and having over 100 real craft bears to choose from, I piss on the Borg’s faux craft beer stand from a great height (though I grant you it doesn’t necessarily require a craft beer to stimulate the bladder at my age).

    And anyway, beer people have become almost as obnoxious as wine people, haven’t they? Ah yes, this Schwartzhundt Stout has a rich fester of bucolic roadkill, with nice backsniggets of diesel and poisonwood sap….

    • seitz26 - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Most beer geeks are pretty nice in person, but the beer reviews they write on sites like Beeradvocate are more pretentious than music reviews on Pitchfork. I say that as someone who pretty much only stocks my fridge with local craft beers (good market in Chicago), but will absolutely drink whatever swill you put in front of me without complaint. Maybe wine snobs are like that too, but I don’t know a lot of wine snobs.

      • kopy - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        Couldn’t have said it better myself. Leave it to the snobs with something to prove to take something as great as beer and turn it into a cultural barrier…

      • huffdaddyco - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        I know a wine snob. He is also a music snob. And a Yankees fan. Hmmm.

  9. drkincaid - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Yesterday Florio asked ProFootballTalk readers if they want to get rid of comments. If that happened here, what the heck would Gator do with his time?

    • kopy - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Those PFT comments are a lost cause. Nothing but replies that aren’t nested. So somebody 20 comments down tries to call someone out by name, or paste the whole comment again before replying after a line break. The initial comment is usually also deleted. They could have a well-thought article about Clay Matthews negotiating a contract, and BigBenVI69 takes up space with: “Whatevs. Da Pack blowz. GO STILLERS!”

    • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      I was wondering what happened to Florio after he left politics. Football is perfect for him.

      But in answer to your question: finish my book on Scrooge McLoria and the sordid heestory of the Feesh in Macondo. I’m just wrapping up the Slobbering Ozzie chapter now.

      • umrguy42 - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        OG, how can you finish now? They’re just getting to the “good” times, there’ll be so much more to write about! ;p

      • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        I’m waiting on some defining moment this season to wrap. I’m working now on the chapter about how Scrooge McLoria exploited Charles Schultz and Vincent Price in his climb through the vent ducts of the world of fine art collection and sales. Really. This chapter will also include a review of his books on art collecting and on Peanuts. So I have stuff with which to kill some time.

        I’ve also considered intercalating contemporaneous reports – the folles bizarre of 2013 – with flashbacks to Scrooge’s origins in the primal slime of boomer hip capitalism, such as there ever really was such a thing aside from Ben and Jerry’s. I have options. The whole thing is written in a kind of stream-of-cognizance anyway, so I don’t want to make it all that less comprehensible than many of my posts here. I have to consider the marketplace, you know? If I count on selling enough copies to Feesh fans, I’ll be in Chapter 7 by Buddha’s birthday.

      • beanocook - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:40 AM

        Florio has thin skin, that’s why he wants comments removed. VERY thin skin,.

    • Uncle Charlie - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      First fox news now PFT. Man, WSJ comment section is going to blow up.

  10. dondada10 - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    DOOM!1!1

    • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Even the beer spells doom. Wow.

  11. hushbrother - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    That’s Repo Man Beer in the photo.

    • dondada10 - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Craig uses that photo of beer all the time. I’ve always guessed that it would give me hiccups.

  12. cavghtlooking - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    we are talking about the same organization that tried to change from cracker jacks to fiddle faddle, why are we still surprised?

  13. whitdog23 - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Poor, poor Amanda. Today she is discoving that McDonald’s sells only Coke and not Pepsi.
    And tomorrow she’ll find out she has no common sense

  14. migoli - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I’ve been to leinkugels brewery, just because they have a large parent company doesn’t mean they aren’t craft, it’s a very small operation, maybe some research should be done before the story is released

    • kopy - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      I’m okay with not letting other people know how awesome Leinie’s Country is.

    • jarathen - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      I can’t say Leinenkugel’s has ever impressed me. I don’t consider myself to have a sophisticated palate; I don’t like IPA’s like most hardcore beer snobs do, for example. But Leinie’s never impressed me. Anchor Steam, Millstream, Rogue, and Sam Adams do me all right.

  15. sportsdrenched - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    The mainstream beer market has been pretty flat. However, the Craft Beer market has been growing steadily…even though it’s still a fraction of the normal swill. The InBev’s & Miller Coors know this have introduced several new products into the market desguised as “craft beer”. (Shocktop, and those mentioned above) Most of the time you can’t even tell the difference in taste between them and the flagship brands of those brewers. In the meantime, they’re also buying up craft/regional breweries, and or harassing them with baseless patent violation lawsuits. And that is why I will continue to boycott Inbev & MillerCoors.

    • dluxxx - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Just watch “Beer Wars” sometime. You’ll learn more than you ever wanted about Inbev, Miller/Coors, and what they do to stifle the craft beer market.

  16. thon - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    stuff white people complain about

  17. Kevin S. - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Seriously Yankees, it’s not that hard to have an awesome beer selection. Citizen’s Bank Ballpark and Camden Yards both rock it the fuck out, and Nationals Park isn’t too far behind them. Turner and Citi are both alright, too. Why are you lagging so far behind? You went high-end with everything else, but you can’t serve real beer? The hell is wrong with you?

    • mybrunoblog - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Ok I’m gonna get all old man you kids get off my lawn for a moment.
      Listen, we go to the ballpark to watch baseball. All the other bells n whistles are ancillary feel good things that I don’t need. Sure I love a beer sometimes while watching a game but don’t piss n whine about what brand they serve. Have a Bud, Miller Light, Coors or whatever. If you want 75 different choices of beer there’s 100 bars in midtown that would love your business.
      Thanks. Ill get off my pedestal now.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        Why should I have to endure shit beer to enjoy a baseball game? There’s absolutely no reason one can’t have both. Bud, Miller and Coors are undrinkable swill.

      • bravojawja - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        You’re absolutely right! Why should I enjoy what I’m eating and drinking? I should simply thank the Baseball Gods that the owners have allowed me into their ballpark my tax dollars paid for and pay $8 for a beer — any beer — and another $8 for a hot dog made from whatever pucks are leftover from the urinals.

        It’s not like there are other entertainment options in town.

  18. unclemosesgreen - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    The stand is crafty like ice is cold.

  19. spudchukar - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Good beer in New York, maybe? But if you truly want the best beer in America you have to come to the Northwest. Blows all the competition away.

    • dluxxx - Apr 4, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Doubt it. There are certainly some good beers up there, but Stone (CA), Dogfish Head (MD), Surly (MN) and Tallgrass (KS) are better than most I’ve tried from the NW, but I’m sure there’s plenty that I haven’t tried yet too.

      Minneapolis is undergoing a huge craft beer explosion right now and I’m having trouble keeping up. As of now, Harriet Island, Indeed Brewing, Flat Earth, Surly (mentioned above but worth two mentions), and Fulton all have great beers. Plus there’s a bunch more that I haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying or the memory to list. Plus Summit (not sure I’d call them a craft brewery anymore) and Schells, Grainbelt and plenty others that are larger yet still have descent beer or swill if you like it (GB Premium).

      It probably doesn’t matter where you’re at. You probably have some great local brews popping up. I’ll just go ahead and say that the Midwest has the best beer.

      • kopy - Apr 4, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        I’m proud to say I went to this: http://www.mncraftbrew.org/festivals/winterfest/participating-breweries

        If people knock the microbrewing in Minnesota, they’re just not trying. Needless to say, I agree with you, but I’m biased.

      • spudchukar - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        A) I grew up in St. Louis, lived there for 30 years. B) Of course there are good beers everywhere. C) That said, the northwest has been brewing “craft beer” at a superior level for a far longer time. D) Were this just my opinion, then we would just be arguing opinions, but if you check out old Atlantic Magazine issues, and check out the article by Michael Jackson, one of the premier connoisseurs of alcohol in the world. I paraphrase, but his basic conclusion was that the NW is light years ahead of anywhere else in America. Check it out, it is an interesting enlightening article.

  20. ddjesus - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Leinenkugel’s is not a big brewery; I lived in Chippewa Falls for a year, and have toured the brewery many times as my parents retired there. A must visit for western Wisconsin tourists. I definitely recommend going 50/50 Summer Shandy with Berry Weiss, aka the pink lemonade.

    • migoli - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      They make a beer like that now, I think it’s called summer berry shandy, pretty darn good id say!

  21. seitz26 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    It’s getting harder to define what is and isn’t craft beer. Goose Island, for example, is a bit of both. Since they were bought by AB-Inbev, they’ve given up control of most of the regular brews like 312 and Honkers, and I probably wouldn’t consider those craft brews anymore. But they still do a lot of specialty stuff in Chicago that’s definitely craft beer, and out of this world good. Their Bourbon County Stout is probably the best barrel aged beer on the planet, and their Belgians and sours are very good as well, and still made locally in smallish batches. So people may no longer consider Goose a craft brewery, but they still make a lot of craft beer.

  22. nolanwiffle - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Budweiser and a hot dog. Done.

  23. mattdaddy7 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    They would’ve had more craft brews but none of the brewmasters would comply to the Yankees’ facial hair policy…

  24. bigharold - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Craft beer my big Irish can.

    There seem to be more beers out there that are driven to be unique just for the sake of being unique rather than just being better. Unique and different doies not equate to better.

    Beer is real simple, .. making 65 different varieties is more about vanity than anything else. Whether it’s a larger or an ale as long as one likes it that’s the end of it. Taste is such a subjective thing it seems beer drinkers are over thinking the process.

    Real simple; Bud, Coors or Heineken. If I can get it on tap always Guinness first. All the “Honey Wheat Winter Ale Raspberry Mint Orange Peal …. over thinking the situation. And, most importantly, light beer is for girls OR to clean the brake dust off your rims cause it’s not really beer.

    • Charles Gates - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      bigharold, you’re all over the place, man. Your ideas are a puzzle of self contradiction with the exception of your misogyny. Beer preferences, just like all preferences, are a personal thing. And with all of the different types of people in the world (women are people too, bigharold) methinks that a high level of variety is quite a good change from the big dollar marketing driven tastes you seem to champion. But all is well, and I’ll toast to beer and toast to baseball and toast to the intersection of the pair.

      • bigharold - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:12 PM

        “Beer preferences, just like all preferences, are a personal thing.”

        True, but my point is that endless varieties doesn’t mean better. It just means endless variety. The best ones will be destined to be more appreciated and at some point being sold more thus stop being “craft”. Micro brews certainly aren’t better because there is less of it.

        Also, don’t confuse my disdain for “lite beer” which is in fact only beer in the strictest sense, with misogyny. In fact, statistically speaking, woman consume FAR more lite beer than men, .. hence it’s “girl beer” reference. Or, rim solvent, whatever works best for you. Lite beer in general sucks and I can honestly say that I’ve never had one that I’d prefer to “real beer” let alone a pint of Guinness.

        “.. and I’ll toast to beer and toast to baseball and toast to the intersection of the pair.”

        OK, I’m 100% with you there.

        “..methinks that a high level of variety is quite a good change ..’

        While I will continue to think that variety for the sake of variety is over thinking the situation. After all, we’re talking about beer.

    • nolanwiffle - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Big Harold is right. After all, Budweiser was once a “craft beer”. Then, people found it to be delicious and A-B began brewing more barrels of it. All hail the King of Beers!

      • thebeerbaron - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        Sure, it was a craft beer… until they discovered they could replace some of their malt with rice and corn and make a lot of it on the cheap.

      • beanocook - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:46 AM

        Actually, rice and corn allow you to brew the beer to be more clear without losing much mouthfeel…it makes it more drinkable.

  25. ramblingalb - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Much like how music critics often change their review of an unknown band if they become popular, beer snobs no longer like a niche brand when they grow up and get bought by, eww, capitalists, who grow the brand.

    That’s pretty much the definition of snobbery.

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