The Best NFL Stadiums for Craft Beer (Slideshow)
When we’re kicking back at a football game, many of us reach for one thing: beer. Whether we enjoy a classic, All-American Sam Adams or prefer to sip on local craft beers, a cold beer goes hand-in-hand with the tailgates, hot dogs, and body paint that make up the NFL season. With the NFL season already rolling, we had to know: which stadium has the best craft beer selection?
Look for a wide range of Flying Dog beers. We give the Ravens’ home field props for making local breweries Flying Dog Brewery, based in Maryland, special to the stadium. After all, Flying Dog was a hit with the Orioles, too.
The beer selection isn’t the best atLucas Oil Stadium; you’ll find more domestic beers (think Bud and Coors) on tap than craft beers. Some that you will find, though, are the Sunlight Cream Ale, Wee Mac Scottish Ale, and Osiris Pale Ale.
Gillette Stadium previously housed the Patriot Homebrew Competition and onsite Samuel Adams Brewhouse and was the only stadium serving Samuel Adams Patriot Homebrew Smoked Porter until the beer company ended its stint at the stadium. But the stadium still has plenty of New England craft beers, including a decent selection from local breweries like Berkshire and Allagash (which has earned awards at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup).
Wisconsin is the newly crowned capitol of craft brewing, if you look at the most recent beer awards are anything to go by. So it should be no surprise thatLambeau Field makes our list, despite some caveats. Granted, there are plenty of beer varieties at Lambeau, most famously hometown favorite Leinenkugel’s. But be warned: if you hold to the true craft beer definition (whichplenty are fighting about these days), Leinenkugel’s is owned by MillerCoors. But we’ll give it some credit considering Leinenkugel’s has been in the beer business since 1867. Beyond Leinenkugel’s, you can find a few more craft beers at Curly’s Pub, which serves local favorite New Glarus Brewing Co., Samuel Adams, its own Curly’s Special Ale, and Red Bridge gluten-free beer for the celiac Cheeseheads at the game. But what we really love is that within walking distance sits new brewery Badger State Brewing; we can forgive a small craft beer selection for that amenity.
Heinz Field makes the list for two craft beer concession stands (located in multiple sections throughout the stadium) with one of the biggest craft beer selections you can find in an NFL stadium. Inside Hero’s Pub and Beverage Blitz are bottled beer selections that won’t disappoint: local favorite Church Brew Works, Harpoon, Anchor Steam, and Great Lakes Brewing, to name just a few. The draught selections are pretty standard, including Samuel Adams, but we’ll take a bottled craft beer over a Coors any day.
This ought to make some North Carolina brew-hounds very, very happy. The Carolina Panthers have made their love for craft beer known by adding several new breweries to the lineup, particularly the NoDa Brewing Company, Big Boss Brewing, New Belgium Brewing Company (a new addition to the Carolina beer scene), and the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Even more impressive: a beer garden stationed at section 101, with an even bigger beer selection, sharesCarolina Beer.
Texans fans have a lot to be grateful for at the beer concession stands: there are local favorites like Karbach Brewing Co., Shiner Bock (practically the Texas state beer), Southern Star Brewing Co., St. Arnold Brewing Company, and others on tap. For such a local craft beer list, we’ll even forgive the stadium for its recent addition of Goose Island (another brewery owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.)
We’re not too surprised that Detroit is near the top of our list of craft beers; after all, the stadium itself hosts a number of favorite Michigan breweries. Bell’s Brewery, New Holland Brewing Co., Founder’s Brewing Co., Atwater, Liberty Ales, and Short’s Brewing Co. beers can be found on tap throughout the stadium and in the Michigan Craft House, a must-visit for beer lovers.
Seattle’s Safeco Field took the cake forbest baseball stadiums for craft beer, and now the city's CenturyLink Fieldtakes the top spot for football, too. Hey, we didn’t mean to stack the odds for Seattle, but we can’t deny that the CenturyLink Field has more than 30 different beers for sale throughout the stadium. There’s the new Brougham Beer Hall, as well as the craft house, that offer enough selection to satisfy even the snobbiest craft beer and Seahawks fan. And by selling brews from even the smaller breweries of the Northwest, like famed Elysian Brewing and Two Beers Brewing, CenturyLink is dedicated to its hometown brews (and wines; the selection of Washington wines at the beer hall isn't too shabby, either). Note to self: become a fan of Seattle sports, if only to enjoy a good drink at the games.