Prime 9: Our Baseball Beer Highlight Reel
Being huge fans of America’s Pastime, we try to come up with some kind of baseball + beer related content every April to coincide with the start of the season. We weren’t sure what to do this year, and decided on highlighting baseball beers that we have enjoyed over the years.
What constitutes a “baseball beer” exactly? The first thing is of course baseball-themed branding. After that, we look at pairing factors such as sessionability, and drinkable styles for quenching thirst during the dog days of summer.
Keeping in the spirit of the baseball, this roundup features 9 beers. Play ball!
These baseball beers are perennial All-Stars. The best of the best.
- The Pine Tar Incident – El Segundo Brewing Co.
El Segundo earns bonus points for naming this beer after the infamous “Pine Tar Incident” between George Brett and the New York Yankees that took place in 1983. We wish this Black IPA was released to coincide with the season, but you can find it in bombers during the month of December. Just like a hitter’s pine tar rag, it offers evergreen aromas, and sticky, resiny pine flavors paired with robust dark malt.
- San Diego Pale Ale .394 – AleSmith Brewing Company
394 is the GOAT of baseball beers. Even if the recipe was not created with the help of one of the greatest hitters to ever step foot in a batter’s box — Tony Gwynn, aka Mr. Padre, this would still be one of our favorites in town. On the palate, 394’s a triple play of floral, piney, and grapefruit citrus goodness packed into a crisp pale ale body. Now in cans just in time for the season, or on draft (finally) inside Petco Park.
Hall of Fame
These beers have been retired (no longer produced), and elected to our baseball beer Hall of Fame for their greatness.
- Orange Splash Lager – Anchor Brewing
Orange Splash Lager was canned in replica home uniforms for distribution within the San Francisco Giants market area last season. This full bodied lager made a refreshing, zesty splash of orange citrus thanks to Mandarin orange juice in the brew kettle, and orange peel at three different stages of the brewing process. Unfortunately Orange Splash was forced into retirement, but Anchor’s on-going partnership with the Giants has called a new rookie up for the 2017 season.
You can see a picture below, and read more about Los Gigantes Mexican Style Lager on the Anchor Brewing blog.
- Sweet Spot – Mother Earth Brew Co.
Another baseball branded beer that appeared before the start of the 2016 season. Well balanced, and on the floral side, Sweet Spot offered a grassiness like freshly cut turf on a baseball field, with a peachy Galaxy brushback. We never saw a bad scouting report on this beer, but for whatever reason Mother Earth decided to give Sweet Spot its unconditional release and stopped producing it.
These are out of market beers that have piqued our interest, and we’d definitely like to try them.
- KC Pils – Boulevard Brewing Co.
Boulevard Brewing is now the official craft beer of the Kansas City Royals, and with that new partnership came a re-branding of their KC Pils. A very appealing retro logo was recently revealed, with “KC” overlayed onto a diamond shape in the hometown Royals colors. Boulevard’s Unfiltered Wheat label is also branded with 2 different baseball player silhouettes, but this Pils sounds like a more crisp and refreshing choice for a summer game.
- Summer Love – Victory Brewing Company
This beer sounds quite similar to Victory’s Winter Cheers we had over the holidays, only in warmer months a bright and crisp wheat ale sounds even more appealing. With a baseball, jersey-style block letters, and a player swinging a bat on the can, what’s not to like? Whole flower Tettnang, Simcoe and Citra hops don’t hurt this one’s chances for a win either.
Die Hard Fans
Reliable staple beers — both old and new — that pair wonderfully with a ballgame.
- Pale Ale – Sierra Nevada
An American classic, just like the game of baseball! It’s hard not to pick up a few six packs of this ageless Pale Ale during the season, making this beer our reliable pinch hitter off the bench. Those Cascade hops pair perfectly with the pop of the catcher’s mitt, and the crack of the bat.
- California Craft Lager – Mission Brewery
New beer alert, and just in time for the season to start! Whether you are enjoying a few at home, or tailgating down at Mission Brewery before a Padres home game, California Craft Lager has quickly proven itself as a great baseball beer. Crushable and refreshing, this traditional lager offers up red apple flavors with a bite of spicy hops in the finish. Its 4.2% goes right by you, like a 95+ MPH fastball.
- Ponto SIPA – Pizza Port Brewing Company
Another low ABV crusher that we always seem to find ourselves drinking from April to October. Ponto hits the spot with its pleasing blend of American and NZ hops, lending just enough bitterness to tropical fruit flavors. Highly sessionable so you can get several of these down over 9 innings, especially in a sunny seat at Petco Park!