Imagine having Lagunitas IPA or Sierra Nevada IPA within a section or two of your seat at a baseball stadium. Imagine that if you walked a bit further, you could have one of the better beers of any style that you desired.
Imagine AT&T park in San Francisco.
This isn't to say that AT&T Park doesn't have its quirks. If you aren't an IPA hound, you may have to walk a bit. If you don't love West Coast beers, well, uh-oh. If you want a nitro Ballast Point Sculpin in your hands without moving a muscle... you're a lazy biotch and maybe ballparks aren't your thing.
Still, there's the following map. And there's an asterisk, which isn't a popular thing in San Francisco, but it needs to be put on there.
So that's a damn fine heat map. Most parts of the ballpark have, at most, five sections to walk to get to a premium beer stand. Here are the beers that we labeled "premium" for your benefit:
- Speakeasy Prohibition Amber Ale
- Lagunitas IPA
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- Guinness Draught
- Hoegaarden Witbier
- Anchor Steam
- Anchor Steam Porter
- Anchor Steam California Lager
- Anchor Steam Liberty Ale
- Widmer Alchemy IPA
- Widmer Hefeweizen
- Redhook Longhammer IPA
- Redhook Hefeweizen
- Redhook ESB
- Bear Repulbic Racer 5 IPA
- Gordon Biersch Marzen
- Gordon Biersch Pils
- Kona Longboard Pale Ale
- Shiner Bock
If Lagunitas IPA and Racer 5 are a step above the rest -- and they are for me -- then memorize these sections: 110, 126, 143, 211, 218, 22o, 327. Throw Sierra in, and you can add 103, 133, and 315. You've got a legit California pale ale within a non-exhausting walk of any section in the ballpark.
So, what's the asterisk? Contrary to Bondsian expectations, it's a good one: The Public House. A full-on craft beer bar, attached to the park. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BRING YOUR CRAFT BEER INTO THE BALLPARK. Sorry, that was maybe worth shouting. Because below you'll find the tap list for yesterday's game.
It's not their best tap list. It's not the best tap list in the world. But I, in the course of a game, and without sweaty exertion, enjoyed an Upright Saison, a Cafe Racer 15 Double IPA from Bear Republic, and a Nitro Ballast Point Sextant Stout. I don't think another ballpark can boast that sort of tap list, and there have been better days at the Public House.
All asterisks have their other side. The Public House is located next to the main gate. If you want to return to the bar during the game, you have to basically retrace your steps to the corner of King and Third. It takes a bit of time. Judging from the crowds there in the fifth inning, not many people return. It's kind of a pre-game thing.
Say you started your Giants game at six, with a cask bitter. You transitioned to a saison, or maybe you tried a nitrous stout. If you're a lighter drinker, you get a great lager from an upstanding West Coast brewer. You make your way to your seat, finish your beer... and then you enjoy A FRIGGING LAGUNITAS IPA NEXT.
So, yeah. With a high baseline, destination beer within reach, and worst-case scenarios that make many craft/baseball fans drool, AT&T Park is among the giants of the game when it comes to beer offerings.
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California: 96/100
Top Beers: Russian River Blind Pig IPA* (8.01), Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (6.37) Lagunitas IPA (4.94), Hoegaarden Witbier (3.52), Allagash White* (4.67)
Excellent Stands: 25