What's more baseball than freshly cut grass, the roar of the crowd, the crack of the bat, and the seventh inning stretch? The sound of someone yelling "cold beer here." Baseball and beer have had a tight-knit marriage since the early days of the American brewery boom. Historically, breweries had some of the first sponsorships in the sport. Baseball teams were onced owned by breweries, like the St. Louis Cardinals and Anheuser-Busch and the Toronto Blue Jays and Labatt Blue. The Milwaukee Brewers were named to honor the city's huge beer industry. Even baseball stadiums like Coors Field and Busch Stadium have been named after big breweries.
In the 1950's and 1960's, we saw beer sponsorships peak. The Minnesota Twins had Hamm, the Boston Redsox had Narragansett, the Cleveland Indians had Carling, the Detriot Tigers had Stroh, the Kansas City Royals had Schlitz, the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants had Falstaff, the Pittsburgh Pirates had Iron City, the Cincinnati Reds had Hudepohl, the New York Mets had Rheingold, the New York Yankees had Ballantine, the Brooklyn Dodgers had Schaefer, the Baltimore Orioles had Gunther, and the Milwaukee Brewers had Miller High life. It was evident that breweries went all in with their baseball sponsorships.
Today, not much has really changed. Baseball and beer still go hand in hand. As the beer industry evolved, baseball adopted to satisfy the needs of their fans. For example, the craft beer boom changed the consumer's palate and pushed for higher quality beer. As a result, every stadium now has a craft beer selection and some host brew festivals during the summer season. Breweries like Samuel Adams and Harpoon can be tipped back at Fenway. Anchor Steam is the beer of choice at San Francisco Giants games. The Minnesota Twins have a local partnership with Summit Brewery and Leinenkugel flows freely from the taps around their park. Brooklyn Brewery can be proudly consumed when watching Mr Met dance around at citi field. Boulevard Brewery has made a major investment in the Kansas City Royals and brewed a beer for the team to serve at the stadium. Perhaps the most noteable investment, Terrapin Brewing just opened a taproom and brewery inside the Atlanta Braves stadium, giving fans the ultimate craft brew experience.
So, what did we learn from this history lesson? Baseball and beer will always be partners in the ever changing world we live in today. Now, head to the ballpark (maybe Joe Bruno Stadium) and enjoy an ice cold beer!
Conor O'Brien has been in the beer business for 10 years and has been an on-premise salesman for all 10. He loves the bar atmosphere and the fun it brings. When it comes to beer, Conor loves them all, but he’s starting to have a special place in his heart for sour beers. He is a big time sports fan who loves the New York Yankees and the Buffalo Bills. When he has some free time, Conor likes to hang out with his family and friends, and enjoy some of the newest craft beers in the market.