Earlier this year, Citizen’s Bank Park (the home of the Philadelphia Phillies) began selling several different brands of beer in 24-ounce tallboy cans. Canned beer (like boxed wine) has been on a resurgence in recent years, thanks to improvements in technology and some open-minded brewers. Harpoon Brewery started canning some summer beers a couple of years ago, but now they are spending more than a million dollars to add canning machinery to their main brewery in Boston.
Canned beer at a ballpark, however, is a good idea in almost every single sense I can think of:
- Since the beers don't have to be poured, there's no spillage and no foam to pour off, which means essentially zero waste.
- They get cold faster than bottles.
- The non-beer weight of these cans is far less than that of kegs and carbonation systems, which means less wasted delivery cost.
- Lines will be shorter since all the person behind the counter has to do is pull a can out of the fridge and open it (and they did tests -- opened cans don't fly as far as opened plastic bottles). They'll also be shorter since the cans are bigger than cups -- people won't head back for more as often.
- Aluminum is just about the most efficient thing to recycle: only about 5% of the energy required for non-recycled aluminum
- You don't have to potentially toss any extra (like you have to do with kegs). This means that the park could carry a wider variety of beers and not have to worry about what to do with the unsold cans of the less popular brands.
And there’s just something about drinking a cold beer out of a can that says “summer” more than a bottle or a cup.
Here’s a list of what beer is available where in the park. Most everywhere has cans of Stella Artois and Yuengling, two very good lagers. I’m not sure if the Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada brands are in the tallboys or if they’re only available in normal 12-ounce cans. I will investigate when I’m at the game against the Red Sox this coming Saturday, and report back.
Update, 21 May: The 24-ounce cans are pretty much only available in Yuengling Lager, and we only found them on the lower level. Most of the other types of beer are in more-typical 16-ounce cans (500mL in the case of Stella Artois). Still: great selection, decent price, all the above points about convenience still stand.