Friday, April 8, 2011

Craftbeer and Baseball -- PNC vs Progressive

Recently Kyle of ClevelandHops brought to our attention some pricing at the Indians games and it stirred a pretty good debate of whether or not these prices were fair.  Premium Draft Beer was priced at $7.75,  domestic 16oz beers were priced at $7.75 and domestic12oz bottles were priced at $6.75.   Craftbeer 12oz bottles were priced at $6.75.  No one really got stirred up about these prices.  What got me a little fired up was the price of the 22oz big bottles. We all know Hippie costs $5 to buy at most beverage stores, yet they are charging $19.75.   Similarly 4C's costs $4 at local stores, but the price at the stadium is $15.75.   I found these price mark-ups to be excessive to say the least.
Today I read about what is offered just an hour and a half away at PNC Park.  Here is a little summary of what was published by the Examiner.  

Beer of the Burgh
Draft (20oz) - $8.75 | Bottle (12oz) - $7.25
Church Brew Works Celestial Gold, Church Brew Works Pious Monk Dunkel, Harpoon IPA, Magic Hat #9, Penn Pilsner, Penn Allegheny Pale Ale, Sam Adams Lager, Sam Adams Nobel Pils
Hall of Fame Club
Draft (20oz) - $8.75 | Bottle (12oz) - $7.25
21st Amendment Back in Black, Brooklyn Lager , Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55, Church Brew Works Celestial Gold, Church Brew Works Pious Monk Dunkel , Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA , East End Brewing Fat Gary , Erie Mad Anthony Ale, Erie Railbender, Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale, Magic Hat #9, Penn Dark, Penn Kaiser Pils , Penn Pilsner, Sam Adams Lager, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone IPA, Troegs Hop Back, Troegs Pale Ale, Victory Hop Devil, Victory Prima Pils, Yuengling
Section 116
Bottle (12oz) -$6.75
21st Amendment Back in Black, Brooklyn Lager, Church Brew Works Celestial Gold, Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen, Harpoon IPA, Lagunitas IPA , Magic Hat #9, Yuengling
Section 125
Bottle (12oz) -$6.75
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Erie Railbender
Section 136
Bottle (12oz) -$6.75
Magic Hat #9, Yuengling

As you can see PNC park is offering an excellent selection of quality craftbeer at prices that are slightly more reasonable than what is being offered here in Cleveland.  
What do I want???  Simply put, I'd like to see the Indians offer similar quality beer at similar prices.  If they want to sell the 22oz bombers, which I'd like, then simply price them more appropriately instead of marking them up 300-400%. 
If you agree with my statement lets talk about what we can do to get our hometown team "competitive" with Pittsburgh in terms of Craftbeer!


  1. I think its great that craft beers are even available at the game, but the prices at Progressive are way too much even considering the inflated prices of, well, everything at the ballpark.
    A great lakes for $6.75 or $7.75 is do-able, but $29.75 for a Hoppin Frog Black & Tan??? Not sure how they calculated that price. How much for a Blatz?

  2. It seems like all of the craft 22oz bottles are offered at about a 400% mark-up over retail prices in our market. So, I'm not surprised the Black & Tan is/was offered at $30. If anything, it's actually rounded down! I'm not defending the pricing, but it's all marked up fairly equally.

    $3.99 4Cs becomes roughly $16
    $4.99 Hippie becomes roughly $20
    $7.99 Black&Tan becomes roughly $30

    The mark-up that's most egregious is is with domestic bottles. 12oz of Bud Light are less than $1 at our local grocers. Yet, 16oz at the ballpark will run you $7.75 (08¢/oz vs 48¢ per oz- A 600% mark-up!)

    By that calculation, craft beer is actually cheaper. :)

  3. I absolutely agree with your sentiment and also hope that we'll soon see better beers at Progressive Field. However, I don't mind them "testing the waters" before completely committing to the concept. If enough craft beer fans choose the locals instead of the macros, then hopefully we'll see expanded options in the future. If the stadium rolled out the concept with 2 dozen different craft beers and no one bought them, then we'd be complaining about old beers come September. (I want to say October, but I'm trying to be realistic here!)

    I don't know enough about the attendance at PNC or about their past experiments with craft beer to really get the full picture. If these are both pilot programs and prove to be profitable, then I'm thrilled. However, if PNC's program is too aggressive and fails, I will be glad that Cleveland was a little more conservative!

    One thing is for sure- I'll be buying this year's tickets as close to section 154 as possible!



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