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PPL Park Beverage Power Rankings (Oh, and a Big Union Game)

Jun 29, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT


Photo and hand by Enrico

The new beer stand in Ashburn Alley at Citizens Bank Park might be the city’s gold standard for sporting event beverage selection. But PPL Park is a close second, mostly because the Venn diagram comparing soccer “snobs” (like me) and beer “snobs” (also like me) has a rather large overlap.

So if you don’t have plans this afternoon, head to Chester and try my rankings on for size (only if you have a designated driver, of course).

5. Bud Light from a vendor: If you need a quick beer and only have a minute before kickoff, the vendors do a nice job of parking in the middle of the concourse. Keep your ears open around the 65th minute, as well, when the same vendors roll through the sections at lightning speed to beat the 70th minute last call. UPSIDE: Fast and easy. DOWNSIDE: It’s still Bud Light.

4. Victory HopDevil: I know there is one small kiosk near midfield on the south concourse, and I believe another on the north side. They’re set up on the opposite side of the concession stands, closer to the field. UPSIDE: HopDevil is always outstanding. DOWNSIDE: Is it greedy to request Victory Summer Love during these hot-weather games?

3.  Snake & Shield: There’s 2 of these permanent stands (one just inside the plaza on south side). Their selling point? Double-size beers. They’re selection is somewhat limited to beers available in 24-ounce bottles, but the Blue Moon or Stella Artois is better than the Bud heavy, and with no stoppages until halftime for a refill, you’ll appreciate the big cup. If you’re a season-ticket holder, add some money to your card and use it to buy beer. A $14 “premium” beer becomes $12 and change.  UPSIDE: They even have gluten-free beer, if that’s your thing. DOWNSIDE: On a hot day, you’re left with warm beer at the end of the cup (drink faster).

2. Boddington’s: There’s at least one of these stands on the south side, and I assume another on the north. The guy working the tap knows how to properly pour it, and even (politely) corrected a customer in front of me last month who INSISTED that he should tilt the cup while pouring. UPSIDE: No beer screams “I’m at a soccer game!” like Boddington’s. DOWNSIDE: The line can get a little long at halftime.

1. Parking Lot Beer: It’s cheaper, it’s colder and it’s usually accompanied by grilled meat. I’m partial to Lot A myself, but if you’re drinking beer in a parking lot with a river view on a summer day, you’re doing something right. UPSIDE: Philly’s best tailgating scene. Hands down. DOWNSIDE: Eventually, you’ll actually have to go into the stadium.


Philadelphia Union (7-5-4, 25 points) vs. FC Dallas (8-3-5, 29 points), 5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network

This will likely be the last game for Jack McInerney until August, after being called up to the U.S. National Team for the Gold Cup. The Union will miss his finishing touch, but if Sebastien Le Toux and Conor Casey keeps playing like they have been of late, the Union should be able to survive until his return. Expect McInerney to get a big send-off from the crowd today, and expect him to find the back of the net at least once.

Prediction Sure To Be Way Off:

McInerney gets at least one, and Casey gets another. Whether the Union can keep Dallas off the board will be the real question. But I think they do just enough to get stay hot heading into a tough mid-week game in Salt Lake City.

Union 2, FC Dallas 1.

  1. Mike - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    You forgot the best option. The Brauhaus Schmitz Doop! Bus. $20 for a ride to the game and all can drink during the ride and hour before the game. If you do it right, you can get by with 2 beers during the game.

  2. Matt P. - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Ah nice… I like this. Great stuff. Although my personal preferences differ from yours, it’s a nice conversation starter on a major factor at the Park, especially as the summer heats up.

    My take is, if you want to go cheap and you’re in the concourse, hit up the mini Miller Lite stand where Bev pours the big ones for $11 (northwest entrance). Of course, there are times when the convenience of the vendor can’t be beat (and the PPL beer men are really good, even if their selection is not), but I do my best to steer clear of the BMC beers unless someone else is buying.

    Boddington’s… I don’t get it. I think this was added at the request of the Sons of Ben, who especially at the time were a bit heavily influenced by English everything. Boddington’s is an average pub-style session ale with nothing special or particularly good about it (earning a 54/100 from the Beer Advocate Bros). The style and its unique delivery are more conducive to its roots, English pubs, than to drinking in the East Coast summer sun. Also has a sub-5 ABV, meaning no bang for your buck, which is important when you consider the cost of PPL beers and the infrequent stoppages of play. The stand is right by the River End, and in my experience, often not crowded at all, especially compared to the Victory stand on the north side, which gets to 20-deep in a hurry. If we’re all about Philly here, why not have the SOB beer stand be a Philly offering?

    My stand of choice is that Victory stand, which actually does have Summer Love now, I believe. It was HopDevil and Prima early in the season, but when the seasonal once again took over Philly, it grabbed the lefthand tap at the PPL Victory stand too, with HopDevil remaining on the other.

    At the full-service food stands (mostly if not all InBev taps), I look for those that have my gateway beer, Sierra Nevada. Most have Bud and/or Stella, but some have Sierra Nevada on tap, and some have the big bottles.

    There are also some decent choices in the Club opposite the River End (need a pass until after the game, when you’ll still need a STH card to enter), but they come in a smaller serving and cost $7.50 as opposed to $9 for most along the lower concourse, which are larger.

    I’d love to see more local variety, including some Yards Philly Pale Ale and Troegs Sunshine Pils, or at least just a few more Victory stands. This is a major selling point of CBP for me, and would go a long way toward improving the at-times subpar vending experience at PPL.

    As for the lot, the can revolution has been cooler- and tire-friendly, and there are more options than ever. Lancaster Kolsch is a favorite alongside the Sly Fox offerings, all of which are great. Tried out the new Helles full-pull top, and I gotta say, this doesn’t do it for me. We’ve had a few not fully open correctly, which becomes a pain. The beer is good enough buy it anyway and quit my whinin. Dale’s and Six Point are good options nice too, if you want to go outside the region.

    See yas in Lot A…

    Game itself? Michel gives me night terrors, so the Union had better not foul anywhere near their own box. This guy can drop it wherever he wants to on the free kicks. George John didn’t make the trip, so this marks a few straight home matches in which the opposing team doesn’t have its starting back four intact. Boded pretty well for the U against Columbus and RBNY. Could also mean Michel has to stay back more, though that won’t matter on set pieces so much as crosses in the run of play. David Ferreira’s distribution could give the Union’s back line fits, though they’ve managed fairly well against the likes of the depleted NY side and Higuain and Oduro from the Crew.

  3. Chris - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Am I out of line for being disappointed in the Union drummer wearing a Boston Red Sox hat on national television? Who are his friends? They should feel equally ashamed.

    • Mostel - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      You’re not out of line at all. The Union are on a mission to make us all FIVE FOR FIVE fans, thus meaning any and all Union fans should garb themselves only in Union / Eagles / Phillies / Sixers / Flyers gear. Somebody should have Ike Turnered that hat off of his head.

  4. frank Juiliano - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Venn Diagram ! Gawd … Holy Charlie Manuel….
    Have not heard of that or even had a thought about that since I FLUNKED calculus at Temple .. back around World War I….. when Joe Gallagher and I were lost boys in Philly !

    Campitelli… you are an amazing man … and a great writer too. Thanks for the historical jolt and beer report…. all in one. WOW ! Priceless…

    Frank in Idaho


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