BEER! At Nationals Park!

Obviously I’m excited !!!one!one!! I’m totally ripping off the DC Sports Bog here, as it just listed the selection of beers for Nats games, but this is probably the most exciting Nats news I’ve heard since the Dunn signing. Or the Martis/Zimmermann spring training performances at least. At first I was so excited that I was just going to basically reproduce what Dan wrote on the Bog. But you can click the link to see that. Instead, since I have become somewhat of a beer snob*, I’ll give you my thoughts, if you’re interested in exploring some in the wonderful world of beer.

Some of these I haven’t tried. For those, I will give you a description according to experts, but I intend to try them, and give you an update to the assessments throughout the year. I’ve italicized the ones I haven’t tasted. I figured – you may get out to the park only once a season, you want to make the right beer choice, hopefully this will help…

Bottles

Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Lite, Coors Light – I’m not going to badmouth them, you know what you’re getting here. Even if you like it, I’m guessing you’ve had it a million times, so try something else.

Bell’s Oberon American Wheat Ale -A fruity/citrusy wheat beer, for the beer novices, Blue Moon is a pretty close example. Oberon, like Blue Moon, has a fruity/citrusy taste to itif you like Blue Moon, you’ll probably like this. It is very refreshing on a ho, t day, and is smooth enough for more than one.

Harpoon Summer Ale – Harpoon makes a good beer, and I’ve never heard of the Summer Ale. But there is a Summer Beer that is a very good Kolsch style beer. That’s kind of a more intense lager – it’s got more of a hops flavor but not as bitter as a real German Pilsner. Anyway, I’ve had the Summer Beer and it’s pretty damn good. Light, crisp, and dry – it will be great to sit in the sun and drink.

Draft

Peroni – Is it the Italian PBR? Well Peroni Nastro Azzura means Peroni Blue Ribbon, so maybe. It’s a good light lager with actual flavor. More taste the the American bottle choices, refreshing and easy to drink.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA – I LOVE the Dogfish Head’sdogfish-head-90-minute-ipa (out of Delaware) 60 Minute IPA and I wish they had that at the park, too. Having tried several beers from this Delaware brewery, I hadn’t sampled the 90 minutes. UNTIL TODAY! DUN DUN DUN! Yeah, I’m drinking a bottle of it as I’m writing this, thank god I have extra arms. It is very good, but its got some power. It starts out a little sweet, almost caramel flavored, and finished very very hoppy. Or hopsy. Or whatever it’s called when you taste lots of hops. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is surprisingly smooth, probably because it’s aged. Highly recommend it.

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout – Never had this one because I’m not a huge stout fan (although Guiness -  my goodness). Usually I find them with too many weird un-beery flavors. But I’ll try it.

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale - I’ve been meaning to try this one, but I have never got around to it. Maybe it was the intimidating name, or the frightening picture of  the demon on the bottle. Or not. Anyway, before I try it myself, the preview says it’s got alot of alcohol in it, so that alone should appeal to some. It’s quite malty with some sweetness, a dark red/brown ale, and I’ve seen it described as a “hop bomb.”

Southampton Triple Abby Style AleMaybe the Arrogant Bastard should be humbled, because this brew has even MORE alcohol, at 8%. I haven’t tried it (yet) either, but it’s a more golden color than the Arrogant Bastard. The “Tripel” style is relatively new style of strong golden ales. It’s supposed to have a fruity/citrusy taste also with some tartness as well.

Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen – If you’re not familiar with Hefeweizen, it’s a German style wheat beer. So it’s similar to the Oberon, and, of course, a Blue Moon. Personally, I think this is further from a Blue Moon than the Oberon, I think UFO is more lemony and the others are closer to orange. Maybe it’s a little less sweet. Either way, it’s very good, although I think I like the Oberon a bit better.

Williamsburg Tavern Brown Ale – I believe this is Williamsburg AleWerks Tavern Ale, a relatively local brew. This is described as a dark beer, with a malty, almost chocolately, faintly sweet taste and it’s got a bitter finish.

Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager – Oh yeah, I like Flying Dog quite a bit. They are local, and while I think they used to have some production in Colorado, they’ve moved all of their bottling to Wild Goose’s facilities in Frederick, MD. As the name suggests, this one is a reddish/amber ale. I like this one because it’s not too sweet up front, and some hops flavor that isn’t overwhelming. I like this beer as one that isn’t too intimidating for someone trying to spread out from the typical Millers and Buds, without going crazy. Don’t take that to mean it isn’t very good, it’s just less adventurous than some of the others. I’m afraid some of the other ones would be too harsh for a hot summer day, but this should be great anytime.

Looks like I have some work to do. Whether or not you like all the choices, kudos to the Nats for getting these. I don’t care if this was in the works a few months ago, I’m adding this to the list of things formerly neglected under that Bowden regime that are now being addressed with fervor.

* My beer snob credentials comes from home brewing about 15 beers with a couple of friends  – we did pretty well, finished 3rd place in the contest that inspired us to start. I’d say 13 of them were at least good, 1 was terrible, and 1 was waaaaaaay overflavored. And finding the room to brew while living in NYC – let’s just say I’m glad we didn’t use my studio apartment. After that, I was on a month long consulting project where I was examining Microbreweries every single day at work for 10 hours a day. Researching the breweries, what their signature beers were, where they distributed – it fired up serious beer cravings inside me and FORCED me to drink a beer or two every night at home.

One Response to BEER! At Nationals Park!

  1. BarryR says:

    You left out another specialty beer. A diagnosis of celiac disease took away enjoyment of most beers for me, except for gluten-free beer like A-B’s Red Bridge. Try it out, it’s pretty good, but you can only get it at Noah’s Pretzels (at $6.50, it’s cheaper than the others too). It’s good to enjoy a beer at the ballpark.

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