After a chillingly-cold winter in Philadelphia, nothing sounds better than warm weather, Phillies baseball and ice cold brews. Which particular beer? Where is it located? Fear not, Phillies/beer fans, we got you covered. Welcome to our 4th Annual CBP Phillies beer locator!
We hit the Phillies preseason exhibition series for an advanced look at this year’s ballpark beers. Here are the biggest things that caught our eye for this 2015 season: MORE CANS … and a few perplexing omissions.
As last year/season proved, whether it’s craft beer or domestic, it seems like can beer is all the rage. Similar to last season, you’re going to see mega cans everywhere and anywhere in 2015, and not just the standard domestic stuff either. Anheuser-Busch’s premium brands (especially Goose Island) once again dominate this year in can form. New additions to the large can family at CBP: Dos Equis, Goose Island IPA, Sam Adams Summer Ale and Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, the refreshing, Hefeweizen-meets-grapefruit-juice brew.
There are some head-scratching omissions from the craft beer offerings, including Allagash, Brooklyn, Lagunitas and 21st Amendment. All appear to be gone, and beer vendors confirmed so much. If these return later, we’ll be sure to let you know, as we update our Locator throughout the season. Changes to CBP’s beer lineup throughout the season are quite common, although it is unusual to see so many omissions this early on.
What does this all mean for you, the loyal Phillies/beer fan? Well, at first glance, due to the addition of even more mega cans, there appears to be even less 12 ounce bottles and thus fewer local beers at Brewerytown locations. Secondly, rest assured, most ALL of the mainstay local breweries are still represented in draft form throughout the ballpark, including some new additions. For example, we’re super excited to see local Conshohocken Brewery and Pittsburgh’s Penn Brewery, available for the first time at CBP. Third, after further “examination” (drinking), it looks like there is less variety of local craft beer at most standard kiosks/stands. Last year they expanded upon this — with Victory HopDevil, Summer Love and/or Headwaters Pale Ale available in 12 ounce bottles at most general concession stands. If the On Deck Series is any indication, it looks like we’re back to the standard from years past, where we’ll have to race to certain Brewerytown locations and specialty kiosks to find more of a variety of beers.
Since we started this CBP beer spreadsheet four seasons ago, the question I get asked the most is: What is your favorite beer at the ballpark? My answer: it depends. I like darker/stronger beers in the cooler months, and I prefer crisper/lighter beers during the hot summer games. Here are a few recommends/random beer thoughts:
- As noted above, local Conshohocken Brewery and Pittsburgh’s Penn Brewery are at CBP for the first time, offering Conshy’s Puddlers Row ESB and Penn’s Penn Gold (a Munich Helles) on draft and Penn’s Penn Weizen (Bavarian-style wheat beer) in 12-ounce bottles.
- When it’s really hot out, a cold can of Schöfferhofer Grapefruit will be wonderfully refreshing. It’s worth noting that it’s 2.5% ABV. So it’s a great session beer on those hot, humid, summer days.
- Troegs is still representing the craft can beer movement at CBP with the most powerful punch. Troegs Trogenator weighs in with an aggressive 8.2% ABV. While I’m not usually a big doppelbock drinker, I really enjoyed sipping these 16 ounce cans a lot during cooler games last season.
- Bring your Phillies beer can koozie to keep the very cool Sly Fox 360 IPA can ice cold. Yes, indeed, this is the can with the 360 Lid, in which the entire lid comes off, enhancing your can-drinking experience.
- In my opinion, a Corona isn’t a Corona without a lime. Hint, Hint: there are limes, oranges, etc. at the few random Full Bar locations throughout the ballpark. If you want a little citrus in your Corona, Blue Moon or Summer Shandy, you do the math. “Lightbulb.”
- In the cold, these are some of my favorites: Conshohocken Puddlers Row ESB, Dogfigh Head 60 Minute IPA (bottle), Goose Island IPA, Ommegang Rare Vos (bottle), Sly Fox 360 IPA (can), Troegs Troegenator (can), Victory HopDevil and Yards Brawler.
- In the hot summer months, I gravitate towards these brews: PBC Walt Wit, Penn Gold, Penn Weizen, Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, Sly Fox Royal Weisse, Troegs DreamWeaver, Victory Summer Love and Yards Philly Pale Ale.
In the end, beer is a personal choice. Our annual CBP Beer Locator hopes to facilitate your baseball-beverage enjoyment. We hope you enjoy our hard work and enjoy whatever beer is your personal favorite. We’ll be updating all season long. Here’s to a great 2015 Phillies season! High Hopes!
Cheers! Go Phillies!
– Lee Porter