The Seattle Mariners are off to a surprising start this year and the home opener is tomorrow (Tuesday, April 8). Here is our annual report on beer at the ballpark. Below I list the craft beers available on tap at Safeco Field, including where you can expect to find the good stuff. Bookmark this post on your phone and use it as a guide when you’re at the stadium.
Historically, the guide to finding good beer at the ballpark has been one of our most popular and important posts of the year. This year there is even more craft beer at Safeco Field and it’s become even easier to find. I’ve been told that 70 percent of all draft handles at the ballpark are now dedicated to craft beer.
The list is below, but here is some other beer-related information of interest to beer enthusiasts.
The Seattle Experience
The craft beer program at Safeco Field is part of a larger commitment. The goal of the Mariners and Centerplate (the company managing food and beverages at Safeco Field) is to create something at the ballpark that resembles the rest of Seattle’s esteemed food and drinks scene. That’s why they teamed up with local celeb chef and restaurateur Ethan Stowell to enhance to culinary side of things. (See the Seattle Times review of food at the ballpark. See the Eater review of food at the ballpark.)
The other day, I spoke with Steve Dominguez. He is the General Manager with Centerplate at Safeco Field. First off, I learned that he is proud of the ballpark’s craft beer reputation. He is very well aware that national publications have declared Safeco Field to be the best ballpark in the big leagues when it comes to beer. He wants to keep it that way.
Respect the Beer and the Fans
One concern raised by both consumers and breweries involves the draft lines at the ballpark. People wonder how often they clean the draft systems at Safeco Field. The other day, I had an opportunity to ask a person who knows.
When I asked about draft line sanitation, which is always a sensitive subject, I expected Steve Dominguez to refer me to another source and avoid the conversation. He didn’t. Instead, he told me that he thinks of craft beer as an investment and believes it would be foolish to jeopardize that investment by serving it poorly. He explained that an outside agency previously performed the service at the stadium, but not anymore. Centerplate purchased its own draft line cleaning equipment, trained-up some of its own staff, and now manages the program itself.
Centerplate cleans each draft beer station five or six times during the course of the six-month season, depending on usage. Remember, the Mariners are only home half of the time, and some beer stations don’t get used regularly. Others are not even activated until the ballpark is full or nearly full.
Cask-Conditioned Beer at the Ballpark
A couple weeks ago I posted a story about cask-conditioned beer at the ballpark. The decision to bring cask-conditioned beer into the program was not reached without careful consideration.
Dominguez told me that he fully understands the fragility of cask-conditioned beer. He knows that in the ballpark environment, proper care of the beer will be a challenge, but he’s determined to make it work. He explained to me, in some detail, exactly how they will manage the casks: stored at proper temperature, delivered early so they have time to properly settle, and so on.
You’ll find a specially equipped beer station with two beer engines serving cask beer on the main concourse behind home plate. A third beer engine will be installed at the NW Beer Bar. See our previous post for more information about cask beer at the ballpark.
The rotation of cask-conditioned beer will change with each home stand. That is, two beers will be available on cask throughout each home stand. Next home stand, different beers.
For those wondering about the price, I was told that the cask-conditioned beer will sell for the same price as the other craft beers.
For those complaining about the price of beer at the ballpark in general, there’s nothing we can do about that. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. Buy it or don’t buy it, but complaining about it is futile and childish. Hot dogs and peanuts are also expensive at the ballpark.
Each Friday during a home stand, prior to the game, there will be a special Firkin Friday event at the Long Bar in The ‘Pen (center field). The event will feature a firkin on the bar top and someone from the brewery to talk about the beer. The firkin will be tap an hour before first pitch. (See our follow-up story about Firkin Fridays.)
Craft Beer Delivered to Your Seat
In addition to great beer on tap around the stadium, this year the beer vendors wandering the stadium will be hawking cans of craft beer. The lineup will include Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen, 7 Seas Rude Parrot IPA, and more.
Also, there are some draft options available at your seats in the Terrace Club that I do not mention below. If you’re sitting in that section, you’ll see the menu and don’t need me to tell you about it.
The Beer List
Laurelwood Workhorse IPA: The ‘Pen cocktail bar, Edgar’s Home Run Porch, 136 NW Beer Bar, 134 cart
Bale Breaker Field 41 Pale Ale: 129 cart, and both 136 and 185 NW Beer Bars.
Silver City Ridgetop Red: 248 Patio Bar, 319 and 330 Good Hops stands, 121 cart.
No-Li Empire 8 ISA: Both 136 NW Beer Bar, 185 NW Beer Bar.
7 Seas Cutt’s NW Amber Ale: 248 Patio Bar, 136 NW Beer Bar, 185 NW Beer Bar, 134 cart.
Diamond Knot IPA: 319 Good Hops, 330 Good Hops, 185 NW Beer Bar, The ‘Pen cocktail bar, Edgar’s Cantina.
Elysian Hombre: Edgar’s Tortas, Edgar’s Cantina, Edgar’s Home Run Porch, Edgar’s Tacos.
Elysian Immortal IPA: Hamburg in the Pen, 349 Lookout Landing Bar, 195 cart, 327 cart, 341 cart.
Fremont Summer Ale: The ‘Pen cocktail bar, 248 Patio bar, 136 NW Beer Bar, 185 NW Beer Bar, 319 Good Hops, 187 cart.
Schooner Exact West Point Pale Ale: 121 cart, 319 Good Hops stand, 136 NW Beer Bar.
Goodlife Sweet As Pacific Ale: 129 cart, 136 NW Beer Bar, 185 NW Beer Bar.
Skagit River Scullers IPA: 187 cart, 136 NW Beer Bar, 248 Patio bar, Edgar’s Tacos
Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale: Long Bar (The Pen), Edgar’s Tortas, Edgar’s Cantina, Edgars’s Porch, 212 High Cheese Pizza, 218 Hot Corner Grill, 241 Pizza, 249 Sound Seafood, 109 Rolling Roof / High Cheese, 319 Good Hops, 349 Lookout Landing, 115 cart, 131 cart, 140 cart, 147 cart.
Mac & Jack African Amber: Long Bar (The Pen), 223 1st Base Bar, 242 3rd Base Bar, 119 Throwing Smoke BBQ, 219 Good Hops, 349 Lookout Landing.
Pyramid Hefeweizen: Edgar’s Tortas, Edgar’s Cantina, Edgar’s Porch, 105 Throwing Smoke BBQ, 106 Big League Burger, 132 Rolling Roof High Cheese, 149 Kidd Valley, 312 Hight Cheese, 319 Good Hops, 330 Good Hops, 340 Safeco Chicken/Sausage, 349 Lookout Landing.
Pyramid Thunderhead IPA: 319 Good Hops, 125 cart, 141 cart.
Pyramid Curveball: Apizza Stand, 222 Rolling Roof Hot Dog, 244 Rolling Roof Hot Dog, 329 Rolling Roof High Cheese, 349 Lookout Landing, 125 cart.
Pyramid IPL: 105 Bombers, 115 cart.
Pyramid Weiss Cream: 114 cart, 141 cart.
Our friends over at NW Beer Guide have created their own ballpark beer guide. It includes a list of all beers available at the ballpark, including the bottled stuff. Check it out.