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Nats Park Beer Options

Your Opening Night local beer lineup.

What beers will be available at Nationals Park? Having asked this question about 4,000 times--"you've got a one-track mind," Stan Kasten told me this afternoon--I finally got the answer today, during the free-food tour of Nats concessionaires. No, there were no beer samples.

Domestic drafts ($7.50): Miller Lite, MGD, Budweiser, Bud Light.

High-end drafts ($7.50, smaller pour): Guinness, Bass, Stella Artois, Blue Moon, Sunset Wheat, Home Run Ale (Leinenkugel), Pilsner Urquell, Peroni, Yuengling.

Domestic bottles ($7.50, 16 oz. bottle): Miller Lite, MGD, Miller Chill, Bud, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Smirnoff Ice. (Can't promise this list is 100 percent accurate; some might belong below.)

High-end bottles ($6.50, 12 oz. bottle): Amstel Light, Beck's, Corona, Heineken, Pete's Wicked, Red Stripe, Sierra Nevada Pale, Yuengling, Sam Adams, Sam Adams Seasonals, Tecate, Dos Equis, and eventually several Asian beers at the Asian food cart. (Again, some of the names on the list possibly belong above.)

Local bottles: Hook & Ladder Lighter.

Ok, I know, it's not the local selection we were hoping for. Take a moment. But Centerplate is still in talks with other locals and hopes to bring in Capitol City and/or Foggy Bottom before the end of the spring, possibly on tap. Definitely not happening for Opening Night, though. I can tell you that Belga Cafe on the Hill is running Opening Day promotions, so you can get good fermentables there.

[Geez, I didn't realize Foggy Bottom was gone. I guess Centerplate didn't realize either. Our bad.]

There are also mixed drinks, for $8 and $12, and wine, and a Vodka bar with more than 15 flavor varieties in club seats.

Alcohol thoughts? Am I the only one that would like to see a much, much, much larger selection of Mid-Atlantic brews?

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 27, 2008; 3:53 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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They've got Yuengling. Even have it on draft. Nothin else needed.

Posted by: andy | March 27, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to see a comparison of beer selection at all MLB parks.

That Opening Day lineup mirrors the lineup on the field. Not bad, but there's some obvious week spots, and I expect roster moves as the season progresses.

But you're right, there's definitely room for some local product. Heck, even throw in the local Bud product, Dominion.

Posted by: Kim | March 27, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

while not a mid atlantic brew I would love to see some Hopslam the "slam" gives it a sufficient baseball feel.

Posted by: Tom | March 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I thought Foggy Bottom was defunct. In any case I prefer to bring my own.

Posted by: PowerBoater | March 27, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

why is yuengling not part of the cheaper beers? It's always part of that group, and it's always the choice I go with.

Posted by: smperk | March 27, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

If they were to carry Dogfish Head Ale, my favorite mid-atlantic beer, the stadium's VORP (Value Over Replacement Parks) would increase dramatically. I'd love to see a stand operated by Rock Bottom or one of the other microbrewers in the area.

Posted by: Charlie - The Nationals Review | March 27, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Sincerely, I think it would be charming to have mid-Atlantic brews there. It's our park, it's a local park, why not go local with the beer? If we're going to really have fish tacos when San Diego comes to play, let us keep our local beer!

Posted by: Nancy | March 27, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and may I be the first to thank you for the sacrifices of time and effort you made to attend the "free-food tour." Deeply appreciated. If you ever need help in such assignment, just let me know.

Kasten's not dumb. Food is what keeps the media happy. Must have been hard as a "heathen vegetarian," but that still includes cotton candy, right?

Posted by: Nancy | March 27, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Other than Dogfish Head and Clipper City (which aren't necessarily from this area), this really isn't that good a region for micro-brews anyway.

I can sit in the sun and enjoy a Bud Light. I know white people aren't supposed to say that anymore, but I'm OK with it. I'll have a Pilsner every now and then at the Park, especially on draft.

Posted by: Kev | March 27, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice for more local, or semi-local, beers to be available. However, as long as getting in with whiskey or rum isn't too hard, things should be fine.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | March 27, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

8 bucks for the rail drinks and 12 for decent small pours of booze. It's only 7 for a rail at the V Center.

I am really suprised there isn't any Dominion product since they're owned by Bud. They could also go for some Fredrick Brewing Company stuff since they're just up the road.

Posted by: EricS | March 27, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Amazing as it is to say, Verizon Center is pretty cost effective for beer. Big 22oz beer for $8 - which is kind of close to getting 2 $4 beers at a bar. That's, at least, how I justify it to myself.

Posted by: Kev | March 27, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I also vote for Dogfish Head draft (Sixty Minute). However, I regret not seeing Red Hook on the list. That was the only feature of RFK that I really liked.

Posted by: Edgemoor | March 27, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

the High Life guy should come to the stadium and revoke their license for selling the product.

7.50 for a high life?

tsk tsk.

Posted by: theraph | March 27, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

the lack of a single local or regional beer (besides blue moon which doesn't really qualify anymore) is pretty darn pathetic.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Pretty Dan Snyderish on the prices there.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Bud Select!

Posted by: Jay Z | March 27, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

How do these stadium clean the taps? I worked at FEDEX for a whole season. The tap system was never flushed. Beer was fresh in August, rancid in december!

Posted by: RobGreg | March 27, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Really, all fans wish there was more of a local flavor at their home stadiums. Even in a place like New Orleans, with three different local beers and seemingly dozens of mix-drink companies, it's national companies like Bacardi and Bud Light that are omnipresent.

Posted by: Illegal Immigrant | March 27, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

No Coors Light? It was the only one of the squirrelpiss lagers at RFK that actually had a taste...

Posted by: Juan-John | March 27, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Stinky Dink - "One Track Mind"

Thank you for pursuing this topic doggedly, Dan. We Nats fans need to be able to plan.

Posted by: Lindemann | March 27, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Over/under on money spent on $7.50 Yuenglings this season: $859,048.

Posted by: DBKAlum | March 27, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

If they're really having fish tacos when the Padres play, can we get some Yuengling when the Nats come to town? Please? Please?

Posted by: Mike in SD | March 27, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

in the pockets

Posted by: Airline bottles | March 27, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

As long as there's yuengling I'm happy.

Posted by: Beer | March 27, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Seriously everyone-this is a helluva selection for a stadium. If all else fails-grab an Amstel Light-'ol trusty.

Posted by: Be Grateful | March 28, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

"Over/under on money spent on $7.50 Yuenglings this season: $859,048."

I'll take the over.

Posted by: Lindemann | March 28, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Yuengling is key, as many have already indicated. But what about some IPAs up in there? Guess I'll have to settle for a Sierra tomorrow night...

Posted by: Scroot | March 28, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The important issues.

For anyone that cares for the first United game at RFK a week ago, the draft selection was, to put it kindly, sucky.

Posted by: Kelly in the Big Blind | March 28, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Grateful is insane. This is much worse than what RFK delivered. Anyone who drinks "premium" beer like the 3 majors and Yuengling would be MUCH better off drinking Dominion Lager at the same price. No IPAs on tap anywhere? If they can get Ben's, they can get Dominion or Cap City. Hell, get Belga to have a booth, I can imagine beer geeks going to games just to drink some Trappist ales. Baltimore and Philly make our list look like a frat party with one keg. Even Potomac Nationals games give you Sierra Nevada on tap.

Posted by: Bellylard | March 28, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Can a Maj get damn Dogfish?

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | March 28, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

This is excellent journalism. I, too, am quite underwhelmed by the offerings. There are so many great micro-brews here there is no reason to not include them.

I like some of the choices, but really... let's showcase the local beers like what's happening with the food.

Miller, Bud, Coors.... that's not beer. Overpriced water.

Posted by: Gustafsson | March 28, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

As an experienced beer drinker, I understand that there is a time and a place for every kind of beer (pretty much). I'm about as much of a hop-head as you'll find, and the time/place for good IPAs really isn't at a baseball game. It's at home, or at a bar, or in a restaurant.

Baseball has blue-collar roots, and right or wrong, a baseball game is the right time for bud, bud light, miller lite, etc. Even Yeungling. Pair that with a half-smoke from Ben's, sit in your seats on a hot summer evening and watch the home team play.

Other important beer thoughts from this thread:

1. Whenever people talk about local breweries they NEVER mention Franklin's on Rt. 1 in Hyattsville. Their Anarchy Ale, IPA, and Sierra knock-off are all very very good. I can't recommend that place enough.

2. Red Hook -- kill me. That stuff is awful. Try to drink two of those without getting a headache. I dare you. I think they got bought by Budweiser and promptly used that power to kick Sierra off the taps at a bunch of places downtown over the past 2 years.

3. Dogfish -- 60 minute is very good, but not the nectar of the Gods. Raison D'Etre is the worst beer in the history of beer and also the biggest case of false advertising since The Neverending Story.

Posted by: Markus V. | March 28, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I've been limited to Red Bridge (Anheuser Busch-produced) since being forced to go on a gluten-free diet last year. It would be great if vendors could make Red Bridge available.

Posted by: Barry | March 28, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Only one comment is necessary: this is a step DOWN from the selection at RFK. And that's sad. Here's hoping they fix it soon.

Posted by: Eric | March 28, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

This is BUUUUUDDDDWeeiiisseeerr!!!

That's all that's needed.

Posted by: BubbRubb | March 28, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This is a travesty that there aren't any local micros on this list. We should be doing everything in our power to support our local Delmarva economies, instead we're sending our money to St. Louis, Colorado, and to foreign countries. Ridiculous. Camden Yards carries Clipper City, Wild Goose, and some other locals, there's no reason why they can't carry them at the Nationals' stadium either. We have plenty to choose from, many of which have already been mentioned. And throw in some National Bohemian while you're at it.

Scott Ehlers
Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws

Posted by: Scott | March 28, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Sad list of (one) local beer.

Hope they work something out with some others soon.

Posted by: Rob | March 28, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see them add St. George IPA. It's reasonably local (brewed in Hampton) and it's great stuff. The Shebeen in Charlottesville has it on tap and it's all I ever need beer-wise, but here in the DC area I settle for bottles (although "settle for" isn't really the right term).

Posted by: Rich | March 28, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Dominion is a good product even if it is a Bud product. It mystifies me that it's not on the list.

That said, I became something of a Sierra snob when I worked in California a decade ago. It's not local, but I can certainly live with it.

Posted by: Hendo | March 28, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

What a disappointing and hopelessly overpriced line up! No local brews?!? This isn't "major league" in my book.

Posted by: Jake | March 28, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

$7.50 by the way...

Posted by: Ted Brogan | March 28, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Be Grateful, my friend, I suspect you and I would have different definitions for "helluva" in that sentence. For me, it's pretty poor.

Someone asked what's a good or a typical selection? Well, at Safeco Field in Seattle they have over 50 different beers available, with an emphasis on local craft brews and brewpub beers.

I've heard from (hey, this is a Washington Post site after all) reliable sources that the local Capitol City Brewing Co. brewpub chain had come to a verbal agreement to build a biergarten in the outfield food court and were ready to sign the papers, until they were told they couldn't put up any signage other than a generic "microbrews". I mean, can you imagine how the folks at Ben's Chili Bowl would have responded if they'd been told they could only put up a sign saying "hot dogs"?

It is a surprise they don't have anything from the area breweries partially owned by Anheuser-Busch; that would be Dominion, Fordham and Starr Hill. I've gotten the impression from some things I've heard that Miller Brewing has a lot to say, maybe even up to a veto, on what beers are available.

If somebody from Centerplate reads this, or if I get a chance to tell them this weekend, I will be complaining about the poor beer selection.

--- --- --- ---

Seriously everyone-this is a helluva selection for a stadium. If all else fails-grab an Amstel Light-'ol trusty.

Posted by: Be Grateful | March 28, 2008 01:27 AM

--- --- --- --- ---

Posted by: Section 222 | March 28, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

No Harp??

Good thing I'm a Dodgers fan...

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 31, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Some people seem to be excited about the idea of Cap City selling its beers at the park, but I have my doubts. I went to the Union Station location last month and got the sampler to catch up on their offerings, and all of the beers were dreadful. Maybe they'll brew something respectable for the stadium.

The current Nats beer lineup may not be terrible, but I agree that they should be able to do much better, i.e. by offering Dominion, Redhook, and/or Fordham beers(Dogfish would be great, but that doesn't seem likely). Redhook IPA was one of the few pleasures of RFK.

Finally, although he has bizarre views on the consumption of IPAs, I have to agree with Markus V. about Franklin's in Hyattsville. Almost all of their beers are very good, the food is decent, and it's a fun place.

Posted by: KMG | March 31, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

No beer = no drunk driving! Beer is bad. Water is good.

Posted by: M.A.D.D. | March 31, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

M.A.D.D., there's nowhere to park at the new stadium anyway. No beer = no freedom.
Water is good. Beer is better.

Now as for what: I'd like to see some local stuff, and I could never be upset with a good IPA like 90 or 60 minute Dogfish Head, but I'm more interested in having some more affordable options. $7.50 is a lot for one beer. Yuengling is generally pretty affordable - barely more than Bud and Miller - so I'm not really happy with it being in the high end category.

Posted by: DHI | March 31, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see where the Guinness Draft is served? I found it in cans @ "Taste of the Majors" but did not see a handle for it anywhere. In other news, the $11.00 "gourmet" hamburger at The Red Porch was worse than those hockey pucks they made at RFK.

Posted by: Hiker55 | March 31, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

And no people = no murder.

So no Harp? Ugh. One of the few things I could drink at RFK.

Posted by: ReallyMad | April 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone figured out if they actually have Guinness on tap? I didn't even see the cans at the >20 beer stands I looked at. It seems like they stock their beer from the 7-11 up on S Capitol.

Posted by: dave | April 30, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

@Barry and the ask for gluten-free beers: I don't know what brand they sell, but Noah's Pretzels sells gluten-free beer (as well as gluten-free pretzels).

Posted by: Aaron | April 30, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

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