A Call to the Beer Pen

Emilie Cole

Friday evening I enjoyed a lovely happy hour on 8th Street (a delightful corridor for pre-game mingles) before enjoying the 15-minute stroll to the Stade. I will take a slight tangent here and say that I really did enjoy that stroll. It's not redeveloped to the nines yet and you get a fascinating glimpse into that old military brickyard architecture. I'll be sad when it's just an overpriced loft farm.

In any case, my Grounds Crew mission for the evening was to learn more about the MillerLite Beer Pen, which was alluded to by commentator "Section 419+1" in my last posting. (Thank you, Section 419+1, for your actually helpful comments). My seats being along the first base line, I never really had any reason to walk that other section coming from the Red Porch, which is why I had little prior exposure to the MillerLite Beer Pen.

I was delighted to see those terraced, standing-height tables looking down on left field and thought it would be the perfect place to perch before heading to 321, but, alas, it was indeed closed off for what is an every-Friday MillerLite promotional event.

The very enthusiastic team of mini-skirt-clad MillerLite girls explained to me in great detail how it works: You sign up to be on a special e-mail list, in which you are made privvy to a set of Miller Lite events at local watering holes that week. If you go to an event, you have the chance to win raffles prizes, including tickets to the game and free beer. The winners get in to the special Beer Pen and enjoy their very own Miller Time for the entire game.

While I will say with pride that Miller Lite is my favorite of the "big three" light beers, usually a couple of free ones wouldn't necessarily impress me as much of a corporate promotional event. But then when you realize their $7.50-a-pop status at the park, I will definitely go ahead and give Miller Brewing a pat on the back for its generosity.

By Emilie Cole  |  May 5, 2008; 10:46 AM ET  | Category:  Emilie Cole
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Comments

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So...you only want sychophants to comment? No disagreement or contrarian views allowed with Emilie!

Posted by: The View from 222 | May 5, 2008 11:31 AM

By the way, the carrot offer still stands. I will keep my eyes open for you on Friday night.

Posted by: The View from 222 | May 5, 2008 11:32 AM

So the Beer Pen is actually closed off only on Friday nights?

Went to the game yesterday (why only 30K there with the great weather and the locals playing well? Story for another day) Anywho, waited a half inning in a Senators Sausage line on the lower level, down the left field line, near the foul pole, for a grilled foot-long dog. Upon reaching the cashier/order taker, I was told, "No hot dogs, hot dogs over there," as he pointed to a Nats Dogs post.

OK, maybe a sign expressing the dearth of dogs or some duck tape to put over the "Foot Long Hot Dogs" menu item? Would that be tooooo much to ask?

Another half-inning wasted in a Nats Park concession line and another 15 minutes out of my life that I'll never get back.

Posted by: Annandale Annie | May 5, 2008 11:36 AM

Nope -- I enjoy a hearty exchange of actual relevant points. Duh.
I just can't say the nonsensical personal attacks added anything to the conversation. And thanks, but I'm all set with the carrots.

Yes, Annandale Annie, the Beer Pen is only closed off for the ML stuff on Fridays. Otherwise it's free for the taking -- I recommend checking it out (although I would also recommend getting a flavorful brew from Red Porch...so delighted they've got Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat!)

Posted by: Cole | May 5, 2008 12:15 PM

I was wondering about the Beer Pen. I had enjoyed a beer from that area at the exhibition game before the season started and was disappointed that it was closed off for Opening Night. I'm very glad to hear that it's only closed on Fridays! Thanks for letting us know.

Posted by: Sherry | May 5, 2008 4:11 PM

Anyone know if people who get access to the Beer Pen on Fridays have assigned seats elsewhere in the stadium? Or do they stay there the entire game?

Posted by: Brian | May 5, 2008 5:47 PM

If I remember correctly, the winners get tickets to the game and access to the Beer Pen. The tickets are for the section directly to the left of the Beer Pen when you're looking down on the field. So I'm pretty sure you can stand there watching or eventually go back to the seats you've won (the Beer Pen being a mostly-pregame promotion).

Posted by: Cole | May 6, 2008 9:24 AM

Annandale Annie - remember, you are at a game. A game built on the idea of rushing *nothing*. In 2006, Alex Cora took 18 pitches in one at-bat. When the Rockies played an April game in 2hrs, 5 minutes, you know there were some 1-2-3 innings. You could have spent a whole inning in line.

Chill out, relax and chat with the person next to you in line. You both have something in common, after all.

Haven't made it there yet this year but I've been up at Camden Yards - do the Nats have tvs broadcasting sound/picture at the concession lines?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2008 11:54 AM

At the Sunday night Cubs game, we went over to the "beer pen". I don't know what else to call it... anyway, Miller Lite had moved their promotional night to Sunday instead of Friday.

We went there in the 5th inning and NO ONE was there, yet they wouldn't let us into the beer pen until after beer couldn't be served.

I think the idea of extended accommodations for people that want to meet at the Red Loft or near the Red Loft is great, but I don't think it should be sold off and made exclusive like that (particularly if no one shows up). If Miller Lite wants to give away free beer in the beer pen, then they should give out wristbands but let every body use the beer pen area.

Posted by: Phil | May 7, 2008 1:30 PM

That's interesting about the Sunday night close-off. Feel free to investigate further, and I'll do just that next time I can as well!

Posted by: Cole | May 8, 2008 9:24 AM

I think the Nationals need to decide if the Beer Pen is going to be an amenity for all fans or a private party space.

Fans who expect to be able to use it feel ripped off when they can't, and I don't think it's just on Friday nights.

Posted by: Meridian | May 12, 2008 6:13 PM

ok..so the standing area is CLOSED to us regular ticket holders..and NOWHERE are we told HOW to sign up for this Perk!

all in all (Since I am a paying regular at the park..) it sorta SUCKS

Posted by: Tom | May 21, 2008 3:14 PM

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