Monday, April 28, 2008

Nationals MAY invite craft beer for a try-out

A glimmer of good news! .. As posted by Mid-Atlantic Brewing News photographer and journalist Gregg Wiggins on Sunday evening to DC Beer:

Greg Kitsock is working on a piece for the next Mid-Atlantic Brewing News about the beers served at Washington Nationals games. To help him out I spent this afternoon wandering around their new ballyard taking pictures.

While I was doing that, I spent a few minutes talking with the Nationals Park general manager of Centerplate, the company running the concessions. He told me the current beer lineup is not the final lineup, and additional local craft beer selections are probably going to be added. Old Dominion and Clipper City were specifically mentioned. Another concept that may appear later in the season is a craft beer selection from the home town of the visiting team. "So when the San Diego Padres, say, come to town you'll bring in beers from Stone?" I asked. "Uh huh," he replied, "something like that."

But the main reason I'm sending this out is because I thought you would like to know that Centerplate has been getting comments about the beer selection and has been paying attention to what they're being told. And the man ultimately in charge of the beer selection would like the people who care most about what beers they have to tell him what beers they want to drink. That doesn't mean you'll get Belgian tripels or Imperial IPAs at every beer stand because he still has to market to a larger audience, but he does want to know what beers, especially locally brewed beers, you'd like to see at Nationals Park. I was asked if I could suggest any beers that would make "micro drinkers" (he's probably too polite to say "beer geeks") go, "Wow, they have THAT!?!"

He told me that what he's heard from fans already has been valuable and is influencing the beer selections he's making. He wants more feedback from fans to whom beer selection is important; basically, he's hoping they'll take the time to tell him what beers they want to drink at the ballpark. There's an e-mail form for comments on the Washington Nationals website and comments about concessions are forwarded to Centerplate. (Click on "Help/Contact Us" on the bottom of the homepage and select "other" or just e-mail "")

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