For me, day baseball is the bee's knees, and I gratefully accepted Mark's invitation to join him and Graham for a 12:35 p.m. "getaway game" (afterwards the Reds were to fly to Los Angeles to begin a road trip). The Reds won, completing a rare home sweep of the Cardinals.
We parked in Newport on the Kentucky side, just a block away from the Hofbrauhaus. After a delicious Schwarzbier and pretzels in the Biergarten, it was a 25-minute walk across the Purple People Bridge to the stadium.
Thursday was a humidity-free afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-70s, variable cloudiness and a breeze here and there. Just glorious for baseball.
Admittedly I didn't undertake a meticulous examination of the beer selections at Great American Ball Park. Therein lies a digression.
Honestly, 15 years or more spent highlighting the myriad deficiencies of Louisville Bats management with respect to generally truncated local "craft" beer prospects has worn me to a nub. It's been at least three years since I bothered attending a Bats game for precisely this reason, and I can't be bothered to so much as complain.
Philistines then, now and forever, but look -- new for 2017!
Craft Beer Friday
New for 2017! Enjoy your choice of a variety of regional, local and national craft beers located at the Craft Beer Friday portable on the main concourse behind section 127. Each month will feature a new craft beer.
How very avant-garde of them. Next thing you know, Bats management will admit to the existence of iPhone selfies and have a special commemorative event -- or maybe it's finally time for a Mike Calise Bobblehead Night.
At the same time, periodic visits to major league parks in recent years have convinced me that in the big leagues, they're getting it. In Minneapolis in 2014 and Cleveland last year, local "craft" choices were many and varied, if predictably pricey.
On Thursday in Cincinnati, with exemplary seats down the line behind first base, there actually was an entertaining game to watch on a beautiful afternoon. At the risk of heresy, beer almost was secondary.
Still, I did some foraging.
Just behind us on the concourse was evidence of what happens when AB InBev hoovers the "craft" options and runs them through the Grand Trojan Zombie Filter. At first glance, it's a decent enough selection, but with all the profits going to the wrong shareholders.
Sorry, but AB InBev has enough money. They don't need any of mine.
Acknowledging that most of the cash spent on a $14 stadium beer is going to concessionaires and wholesalers -- in fact, I believe one of those ten commandments on display at the nearby Ark Encounter reads to this hallowed effect -- I'd rather it go for a local beer.
Blessedly, there were options. Obviously, Bud Light isn't local, though the others are.
It's called the Brewery District, located on the main concourse, situated behind home plate. The layout is logical, with Cincinnati-brewed beers on one side and national/international choices on the other.
For the record, I had only a couple of beers. Both were good, and I was satisfied.
- Listermann Brewing Company's Losantiville (or Losantaville, or Losantville) Pre-Prohibition Lager, with as many as three alternate spellings and almost no on-line information (grr), although it was tasty.
- Christian Moerlein Helles Lager, which I found exceptional and would seek again.
Next up: Cubs versus Rays in Chicago on July 5. My last time in Wrigley Field was during the Reagan Administration. Is there anything better than Old Style there now?