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The Beer Circle » Beer at the Ballpark » Beer at the Ballpark: Citizens Bank Park

Beer at the Ballpark: Citizens Bank Park

In an amusing turn of events, our second entry for Beer at the Ballpark will come from the Pittsburgh sports fans arch rival: Philadelphia. When Russ said that a “vast majority” of our writers are Pittsburgh fans, he really meant “everyone except Paige.” I’m a Chicago Cubs fan, but when given the chance to go to a Sunday afternoon game, I jumped at the opportunity. We had spend the previous day bar hopping for Philly Beer Week, so I’ll admit that drinking beer wasn’t really my highest priority.

Tom and I with the Hammer of Glory. Photo by Stephen Lyford.

We decided to arrive at Citizen’s Bank Park a little early, and go to X-FINITY Live!, which is across the street.  There are five bars in here, but we headed straight to the Victory Beer Hall. We didn’t order any food, but the menu is mostly German-style food, and has a few vegetarian and/or gluten free options. They have two bars: one indoor, one out. There is a much larger tap list at the indoor one, but the outdoor bar also has some unique drafts.

Victory Hopdevil

 

Front Bar: Victory: Helios, Baltic Thunder, Summer Love, Storm King, Hop Wallop, Whirlwind Wit, Donnybrook Stout, and Mad King’s Weiss; Troegs Dreamweaver, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Yards Brawler, Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, and Blue Moon.

 

Outside Bar: Victory: Summer Love, Headwaters Pale Ale,  Hopdevil, and Prima Pils; Troegs Nugget Nectar, Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, and a selection from Stoudts, Yards, Dock, and Manayunk Brewing.

 

I picked up a Hopdevil and Tom got a Prima Pils; the two drafts were $12. Even though we were outside, they served them in glass, which I enjoyed. The outdoor area definitely has more of a party vibe than indoors- there is beer pong set up, a fire pit surrounded by adirondack chairs, and it is pretty close to the outdoor DJ they have for the whole complex.

Set-up outside Victory's Beer Hall in X-FINITY Live!

We had one round there, and headed over to Citizens Bank Park. We watched the pre-game festivities and first few innings before venturing out for food and drink. A guy named Lee Porter made this handy dandy spreadsheet, so I already knew vaguely what to expect. One thing that really struck me was the variety available at the park in terms of food. Some things seemed overly expensive ($9.50 for crab fries with cheese?!) but most seemed pretty on par.

Out at the Brewerytown in Ashburn Alley, I went for the Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale, and Tom with Prima Pils. It looked like all drafts are 20oz; run of the mill beer is $7.75, craft beer is $7.75, and “premium” beer for $8.75, though I don’t know what exactly premium beer constitutes. This started the first rainy time of the game, and we took cover. In a small break, we got some fantastic barbecue from Bull’s, which is run by a former Phillies player. The ribs were my favorite, with a combination of barbecue and horseradish sauces on them. Finger lickin’ good.  Between the rain and the hunger, I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of it. I kind of wish we hadn’t eaten such a big breakfast, because so much of the food looked so tasty.

Our View from Section 116

Post ribs, we headed back to our seats with the remainder of our beers, and got to watch the Marlins score more. The sky opened up not too much later, but we stayed in our sears (they were uncovered), and the nice men next to us joked that it was good I got darker beer, because then even with rainwater in it, it would have taste. I found the Phillies fans to be nice, but I know there are a number of horror stories. Afterwards we hit Geno’s for my first cheesesteak before heading back. I’m not yet sold on cheesesteaks.

Gino's! Pat's! Sliced! Chopped! Agh!

Overall, I had a great time. I found the food to be of good quality, and the prices reasonable. In the 100 Section, it seemed like every 20ft there was a stand with craft beer, most of it from Pennsylvania. $7.75 for 20oz is cheaper than what I have paid at Wrigley, Busch, and Petco, and per oz is apparently one of the cheapest parks in the Nation. Between that and the selection, I hope we go back!

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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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  • Kid Carboy Jr.

    A lot of people seem to be surprised to find out that cheese whiz is the traditional serving style over there.

    • http://twitter.com/pjdeckert Paige Deckert

      It is kind of strange to me, we never ate cheese wiz growing up. My issue didn’t lie with the wiz (we got a wiz wit), but rather that the meat seemed dry. Tom has decided that for my sake, we’ll go to a chopped place next time (even though he prefers slices).