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Nationals Park Ballpark Beer Review

Richard Hefter, April 30, 2014 -   

To say the Washington Nationals 2013 season was a disappointment would be an understatement. Picked by many baseball writers to win the World Series, they fell flat on their face and missed the playoffs entirely.

One of the few positive changes during the 2013 season was the introduction of a local craft beer stand in Section 139 of Nationals Park with offerings from local breweries Port City, 3 Stars, Mad Fox, and DC Brau. Due to the success of that stand, in 2014 the Nationals expanded their craft offerings, opening four local-only stands called District Drafts, with at least one on each level of the stadium. There are two District Drafts locations on field level -- one in Right Field near section 138, and another on the left side of the infield by section 118 -- and another two in the upper levels near sections 225 and 308. Atlas Brew Works was also added to the roster of local breweries.

Before District Drafts existed, the ballpark’s only craft beer destination had been the Red Porch in center field. The Red Porch is still, by far, the best spot to grab a craft beer, with its great selection from local and national breweries. Currently, they carry beers by Foothills from North Carolina, Allagash from Maine, Terrapin from Georgia, New Belgium from Colorado, Dogfish Head from Delaware, and Flying Dog from Maryland. One great thing about the Red Porch is that it’s open to anyone in the stadium. Ask for an outside table and watch the game from center field while a waiter brings you cold beer from the best selection in the ballpark.

Current Draft Selection at the Red Porch:

After Red Porch and District Drafts, Nats Park’s quality and selection start to slip. There is a Samuel Adams Brewhouse located in Section 111 that carries their Boston Lager, the current seasonal (Summer at the time of writing), Rebel IPA, and Angry Orchard Cider. Base Line Brews, with their mixture of craft and macro beers, is also a solid option to grab a quick beer. Base Line Brews are located throughout the ballpark and most have local beers like DC Brau’s The Public on draft as well as craft bottles such as Flying Dog Raging Bitch.

Typical Selection at Base Line Brews:

Overall, the beer selection at Nationals Park gets a B.

The stadium has upped its game over the past two years with the development of District Drafts, its work with local breweries to develop beer for the stadium (Atlas Brew Works The 1500 is an example), and the mobile beer vendors that now bring Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA right to your seat. Just like our neighbors up north at Camden Yards, the Nationals have also started Firkin Fridays. This past weekend Port City brought a firkin of their Porter conditioned with ginger and citrus peel. Nationals Stadium offers good choices throughout the ballpark, but lacks the top-tier selection most beer nerds crave.

 

Nationals Park Craft Beer BAR
Guinness Draught 10.19
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA 7.14
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 5.44
Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale 4.70
Sam Adams Boston Lager 3.69
Flying Dog Raging Bitch 3.18
Port City Optimal Wit 2.91
DC Brau The Public 2.41
Goose Island IPA 2.39
Foothills Torch Pilsner 2.25
Samuel Adams Summer Ale 2.09
Foothills People's Porter 2.00
Allagash Saison 1.91
Terrapin Rye Pale Ale 1.70
Angry Orchard Cider 1.61
New Belgium Snaphot 1.43
Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale 1.30
Atlas Brew Works Rowdy Rye 0.89
Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA 0.87
3 Stars Brewing Movement APA 0.56
Atlas District Common 0.52
DC Brau The Tradition 0.12
Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale -0.14
Sam Adams Rebel IPA -0.26
Atlas Brew Works The 1500 Not Rated
Mad Fox Irish Dry Stout Not Rated

 

Nationals Park: 86/100

Top Beers: Dogfish Head 60 Minute (7.14), Guinness Draught (10.19), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (5.44)
Excellent Stands: Five
Price: Above Average

Follow me on twitter @rhefter and on untappd: rhefter

Thanks to Matt Murphy for contributing to this report.

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