With Opening Day just hours away now, my mind is already in a baseball stadium somewhere even if my body can’t be there. I know I’m not the only one, because Kevin Kaduk gathered data from Untappd, a beer-tracking app, to find out what is the most “checked-in” beer at each baseball stadium.
The data, of course, is from 2019, but there are some great options out there. Best design probably goes to I.C. Light from Pittsburgh Brewing or Crawford Bock from Karbach Brewing, the Eddie Murray beer in Baltimore is one of the coolest player tie-ins I’ve seen, and the Swingin’ Friar Ale makes me want to go to San Diego like yesterday. Then there’s the Cleveland baseball team, whose fans checked in more Miller Lite than any other beer.
Cleveland has some incredible local breweries and many of their beers are available within the park. Heck, Great Lakes has its own stand in the park.
As the book guy on this site, I probably already have a reputation as a snob, and lecturing about beer isn’t going to help, but I firmly believe everyone who enjoys a beer responsibly should be drinking something better than Miller Lite. We all have different tastes, but I’ve got a few recommendations for you all because you can almost certainly find something tasty that doesn’t come from a billion-dollar corporation.
My personal favorite is Great Lakes’ Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, a malty dark beer with a hint of chocolate to it that is great for colder games. But if dark beers aren’t your thing, Great Lakes’ Eliot Ness Lager is about as smooth as beers come and always a good option. If you’re looking for other Cleveland beers, I’ve not had the pleasure of sampling Market Garden, but their Citramax is a well-regarded brew with citrus and hop flavors and the Prosperity Wheat is a great example of a German-style wheat beer, complete with clove and banana notes.
Other solid options from local breweries include IPAs from Fat Head’s, both Head Hunter and Hop JuJu are very highly rated, dark beers from Willoughby Brewing, or more experimental pale ales from Brew Kettle.
If you’re fortunate enough to be attending a game at Progressive Field this year, I ask you kindly do me a couple of favors. First, please stay safe and mask up, whether you’re vaccinated or not, and keep a safe social distance. Second, please enjoy something with real flavor and clap heartily for our boys on the field.