The Best NFL Stadiums for Craft Beer (Slideshow)
August 28, 2013
For when you just can't stomach another Coors: where to find the best craft beer selection at the game
7. [TIE] Baltimore Ravens, M&T Stadium, and Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium
The beer selection isn’t the best at M&T Stadium or Lucas Oil Stadium; you’ll find more domestic beers (think Bud and Coors) on tap than craft beers. But we do give the Ravens’ and Colts’ home fields props for making local breweries Flying Dog Brewery (beers pictured), based in Maryland, and Sun King Brewery, based in Indiana, special to each stadium. (After all, Flying Dog was a hit with the Orioles, too.) Look for a wide range of Flying Dog beers at M&T, and the Sunlight Cream Ale, Wee Mac Scottish Ale, and Osiris Pale Ale at Lucas Oil. Nice to know that the home team’s playing for its local breweries.
6. Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field
Wisconsin is the newly crowned capitol of craft brewing, if you look at the most recent beer awards. So it should be no surprise that Lambeau 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 (which plenty are fighting about these days), Leinenkugel’s is owned by MillerCoors. But we’ll give it street cred 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.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field
Heinz Field makes the list for two craft beer concession stands (located in multiple sections throughout the stadium) with arguably 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, like a Samuel Adams, but we’ll take a bottled craft beer over a Coors any day.
4. Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium
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 this year, 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: the new beer garden opened at section 101, with an even bigger beer selection, shares Carolina Beer.
3. Houston Texans, Reliant Stadium
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.)
2. Detroit Lions, Ford Field
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. can be found on tap throughout the stadium and in the Michigan Craft House, just for the beer lovers. (We’re also geeking out about a new cocktail station from Detroit cocktail hot spot The Sugar House, but that’s a whole other ball game.)
1. Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field
Seattle’s Safeco Field took the cake for best baseball stadiums for craft beer, and now Seattle’s CenturyLink Field takes 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 beers throughout the stadium. There’s the new Brougham Beer Hall, as well as the craft house, that offer just enough beer to satiate the most snobby craft beer 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 bandwagon fan of Seattle sports if only to enjoy a good drink at the games.