Cans of beer at Citizen's Bank Park

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.

Mass Brewers Fest

The following is a full list of all of the beers I tried at the second annual Mass Brewers Fest last night:

  1. 6:20 PM - Blue Hills Black Hops - ★★★★
  2. 6:24 PM - Cape Cod Beach Blonde - ★★★
  3. 6:29 PM - Haverhill Leatherlips - ★★★★
  4. 6:42 PM - Watch City Monkey Monk - ★★ - Probably the worst beer of the night. Too bad, since I like Watch City.
  5. 6:48 PM - Amherst Raspberry Wedding White - ★★★★ - Cask conditioned but really foamy. I wish I had gone back to give it another try later. It was very tart, not sweet at all.
  6. 6:52 PM - Rapscallion Blessing - ★★★★
  7. 6:58 PM - Gardner Summer's End - ★★★
  8. 7:09 PM - Clown Shoes Black Ale - ★★★★★
  9. 7:18 PM - Ipswitch Oatmeal Stout - ★★★★
  10. 7:33 PM - Harpoon UFO Pumpkin - ★★★★
  11. 8:03 PM - Notch Pils - ★★ - Both this and the Notch Saison were very mediocre beers. Wish they hadn't run out of their Session before we got there.
  12. 8:15 PM - Northampton Magic Carpet Rye - ★★★
  13. 8:23 PM - Jack's Abbey Smoke & Dagger - ★★★
  14. 8:35 PM - Samuel Adams Sample A - ★★★★
  15. 8:37 PM - Samuel Adams Sample B - ★★★ - Sam Adams was doing a contest/drawing/vote for a new flavor. Sample A was a really fantastic red: sweet, toffee-like flavor. Sample B was a black ale. Also good, but not as much personality.
  16. 8:49 PM - Blue Hills Antimatter - ★★★★
  17. 8:59 PM - Wormtown Pumpkin Ale - ★★★★★ - I had tried a taste of this earlier in the night, and was amazed. It's head and shoulders over the Harpoon UFO Pumpkin, but I'm betting I would only be able to drink about 8 ounces before I got sick of it.
  18. 9:06 PM - Frosty Knuckle Sea Spray IPA - ★★★★★ - My choice for Beer Of The Night. A very well balanced IPA. Heavy on the hops but still enough maltiness to be flavorful.
  19. 9:19 PM - Gardner Belgian Chair - ★★★
  20. 9:39 PM - Harpoon Uncle Fester - I refuse to rate this beer. Just for this event, Harpoon took a year-old keg of Oktoberfest and mixed it with a six-month-old keg of Munich Dark. The result was wild and strange and honestly tasted kinda like blue cheese.

Yes, I used Remembeer to track my beers and ratings. Also, I wore my Utica Club t-shirt to the event, and kept track of the number of comments I got. Final score: 12, about half from brewers and half from attendees.