Are These Baseball Park Cost Per Beer Ounce Numbers Right?

Eno Sarris, August 30, 2013 -   

First off, thanks to Team Marketing Report for gathering the numbers and producing this excellent graph of the average cost of beer at each baseball stadium.

But that San Diego Padres number gave me pause. I love the beer in San Diego. I've paid more for a beer in PetCo than I have ever paid for a beer at a baseball stadium. We'll do the ballpark beer review and associated map for PetCo soon, but the research is in place: behind home plate, there's a great beer stand that has the best micro brews of San Diego. AleSmith, Green Flash, Societe, Ballast Point, St. Archer -- all of these great breweries supply the park with bombers. At least some of those 22 ounce beers cost $15.50, which is what I paid for my AleSmith X. That's a great beer, and I willingly paid the price.

That's also 70.5 cents per ounce. Almost twice the reported the average cost for a beer in PetCo. And then if you get a 20 ounce Ballast Point Sculpin, it'll run you $10.75. Also a great beer, also a price I'd pay, also 53.8 cents per ounce.

Obviously, quantity could trump the small sample sleuthing at work here. If the Miller Lites sell well and have more coverage around the park, their cheap prices could drown the more expensive crafts. Simple math.

But that doesn't reflect the reality on the ground in PetCo. The only beer line in the park is behind home plate, for the craft bombers. Ballast Point has so much coverage around the park that you can get a Sculpin every four or five sections. San Diegans know beer, and if you walk around, it's those beer stands doing the briskest business.

I've asked stadiums for the list of beers they offer. They've had prices attached to them. And those lists are incomplete. Because you're getting a list from the main food provider at the park, often an Aramark type company. Take a look at the one I got from the Dodgers, which didn't include most of the beers I found at the high-end cafes around the park.  You might notice that the average price per ounce on this list, and this list alone, already does not jive with the numbers in the marketing report above. And it's missing all the craft beers I found around the park (after serious hunting).

So the lists you get from ballpark food services include all the Miller Lites that the hot dog stands sell. But it doesn't often include the one-off craft beer huts, or the high-end cafes that sometimes are run by seperate entities. The 20-ounce Ballast Point beer is poured at the Ballast Point Beer Garden. The craft hut only serves craft beers. Who runs those outlets? Ballast Point perhaps? Were those beers even on the list that Team Marketing Report used for their research?

I don't know the answer. And since I don't know the answer, it's unfair for me to call into question the integrity of the report. I'll just say: I wouldn't mind knowing more about the provenance of their numbers.

Thanks to craftbrewingbusiness.com for the header picture.

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