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Watching baseball without beer is like leaving Whole Foods without a recycled shopping bag full of kale: it’s essential to the experience. And because baseball and beer go hand in hand, I thought it was only appropriate to pair seven baseball teams with seven exceptional beers made in each team’s city. The beers were selected to perfectly reflect that baseball team, its fans, or the city in general.
If you’ve read this far and you hate baseball, these beers are still worth seeking out! And don’t worry, baseball hater: there are only 100 or so more days until football season kicks off. In the meantime, here are seven beers to drink while watching seven baseball teams from seven top-notch beer cities. (Say that 10 times fast.)
Ratio Beerworks Continuous Thunder
This brewery has a few things in common with the Rockies: lots of youth and talent, a ton of potential, and the ability to make Denverites very happy. Considering how often the ball flies out of Coors Field (what with the thin air and all), we thought Continuous Thunder was a fitting brew to be paired with a team that plays in a hitter’s park. The beer itself is a slugger: an 8.8% DIPA that’s been double dry-hopped with Simcoe and Mosaic hops. Batter up!
Boston Red Sox
Let’s talk about Kung Fu Panda. No, not the one from the movies: the one on the Red Sox named Pablo Sandoval, who -- despite barely playing due to injury -- pulled in a cool $19 million last year. He’s an incredibly solid ballplayer that the Sox need to perform if they’re going to go past the first round in the postseason this year. And because he’s lost a ton of weight in the offseason, the Sox’s perfect beer is Mettle, in honor of the training regimen that got him to this point. Of course, if he were to drink Trillium’s 8.4%, dry-hopped DIPA every day, he’d gain that weight back pretty quickly. But you? You can drink as much of it as you want!
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New York Mets
SingleCut Does Anybody Remember Laughter IPA?
Okay, full disclosure: I’m a Phillies fan, and I hope the Mets lose every single game from here until the end of eternity. That aside, diehard Mets fans had reason to be depressed at the end of last year, when their team -- playing surprisingly well throughout the season -- lost in the Wild Card round to San Francisco. It was enough to make any Mets fan exclaim, “Does anybody remember laughter?”, which also happens to be a solid beer choice. This super hoppy (100 IBUs!) concoction features pineapple notes and “herbal, dank resin galore,” according to the Queens-based brewery. That might also explain the trippy ‘60s vibe of the label art. Since the NL East should be way more competitive this year than the last, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, Mets fans.
San Diego Padres
Societe The Widow
Look, we’re just going to have to come out and say this: San Diego had a pretty bad baseball team last year. Like, “second worst record in the league” bad. This year isn’t supposed to be much better, though the team does have some good prospects. That’s why Padres fans should drink a beer strong enough to make them forget they’re even watching baseball. And one beer that’ll help them in that quest is the 9% ABV Belgian-style strong dark ale called The Widow. While drinking this, expect toffee and caramel notes. Also expect not to care whether the Padres lose by one or one hundred runs.
Great Lakes Rally Drum Red Ale
Oh, how close Cleveland came to winning a World Series! But no one felt sorry for their fans because their city had just won an NBA championship. Still, the Indians are a fun team to watch, and with a solid starting pitching staff, it’s likely we’ll be seeing them in the playoffs again in 2017. This Great Lakes beer was made for the Indians. Literally: it was brewed to honor Tribe fan John Adams, who sits in the bleachers and beats a loud drum during nearly every Indians home game. The OG Cleveland brewery created this red ale with what they say is a “double header of bitter hop and roasted malt flavors.” How apropos.
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Postdoc Blackberry Going Going Gose
I mean, with a beer name like that, did we even have a choice? This 4.6% ABV brew is a collab with Bellevue, WA’s Resonate brewpub, and has all of the refreshing fruit flavors one could wish for in a summer beer. Even better, it’s a gose, which means you’ll get a hint of sea salt to balance out all that sweetness. The name of the beer sounds like a baseball radio announcer’s old-timey home run call, and it fits with the Mariners because the team hit the third most dingers in the league in 2016. If they can keep this level of hitting productivity in the 2017 season, there’s a chance they might actually make the playoffs this year -- or even win the championship.
Goose Island Four Star Pils
The Cubs haven’t been this good since they started that kid pitcher in Rookie of the Year. In case you’ve been sleeping under a bridge with no TV or internet service, the Cubbies won the World Series last year, and many people think they’ll do it again in 2017. That’s a “four star” team if I’ve ever heard of one -- which is why they pair so nicely with Goose's Four Star pils. At 5.1% ABV and 44 IBUs (thanks to German and American hops), it’s a lovely beer to drink on a warm summer’s day...while you’re inside an air conditioned room watching baseball on TV.
In fact, that last notion is true of any of the beers in this rundown. So be sure to crack one open before you settle in for seven more months of America’s national pastime.
Note: Goose Island is a member of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.