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April 27, 2011

So you went to the Orioles and paid $8 for a beer

A couple of weeks ago I posted the beer menu at Oriole Park on the blog, but not the beer's price, which I hadn't received from the concessionaire.

Well, here it is:

Domestic Draft (20 oz) 7.50 (PBR, Coors, et al)
Premium Draft (16 oz) 8.00 (Heavy Seas, Fordham, et al)
Small Domestic Draft Beer (16 oz) 6.50
Domestic Can Beer (16 oz) 7.50
Premium Can Beer (16 oz) 8.00
Domestic Can Beer (24 oz) 10.00
Domestic Bottle Beer (12 oz) 5.75
Premium Bottle Beer (12 oz) 7.00

I was at the ballpark last week for a column about its beer,  and found the selection to be varied, but still expensive, sometimes gallingly expensive. A glass of Natty Boh is $7.50, for instance. 

The Orioles won Tuesday night, but when I was there the team trailed the Twins by three runs and eventually lost the game. As Peter Schmuck writes today, it doesn't look entirely promising that they'll stray from that recent streak in the near future.

While expensive concessions are a trope of modern stadium sports, they become harder to accept when your team is faltering. The question then becomes, can Oriole Park justify six bucks for a can of Bud? Should a ballpark's prices compliment its stats?

Fat chance of that happening.

The Wall Street Journal asked that question a couple of years ago, positing that if that were the case the Washington Nationals would be giving away their food and beer.

You can at least rest assured that Oriole Park is not gouging fans with these prices.  

A small draft beer at major league baseball parks cost an average $5.79 last year, according to research firm Team Marketing Report. At the Twins' Target Field, a small beer costs $7. Yankee Stadium charges $6. The cheapest is the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park, where a small beer is $5.

At Nationals Park, the prices are slightly higher than in Baltimore. A 20-ounce glass of domestic beer is $8, 50 cents more than at Oriole Park. A small beer is also $6.50.

A spokeswoman for the ballpark offered that there are specials in place: Two and a half hours before the first pitch, there is a $5 happy hour. Granted, that only happens on "Miller Lite Party Nights" on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

"Beer prices are high at all professional sports venues," suggested liquor board chairman Stephan Fogleman. "Now, at least you can justify getting a better value when you buy an $8.25 Heavy Seas there as opposed to the $8 Miller Lite."

Natty Boh at Oriole Park

Last week, Oriole Park started offering a beer special of its own: a 20-ounce glass of Natty Boh is $5 through the second inning. The offer is only available at the Natty Boh Bar, which is located on the first base side of the lower concourse.

No doubt there will be other complaints.

Last week, Fred, a reader, saved his strongest language for a personal complaint, quoted verbatim below.

"Another issue is the LACK of Corona BEER they DONT SELL this beer any longer."

Below, Delaware North Companies Sportservice's draft, can and bottle beers, by type:

Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA – Bottle
Evolution Lot No. 3 India Pale Ale - Bottle
Flying Dog Seasonal – Bottle/Draft
Flying Dog Snake Dog – Bottle/Draft
Flying Dog Tire Bite - Bottle
Fordham Copperhead – Bottle/Draft
Heavy Seas Gold – Bottle/Draft
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon – Bottle/Draft
Heavy Seas Pale Ale – Bottle/Draft
Heavy Seas Seasonal – Bottle/Draft
National Bohemian Beer – Bottle/Draft
The Raven – Bottle/Draft
Bass - Draft
Becks - Draft/Can
Stella Artois - Draft/Can
Redbridge - Bottle
Blue Moon – Draft/Can
Bud Light – Draft/Can
Bud Light Lime – Draft/Can
Bud Select - Can
Budweiser – Draft/Can
Coors Light – Draft/Can
Landshark - Draft/Can
Magic Hat - Bottle
Michelob Ultra - Draft
Miller Lite – Draft/Can
Pabst Blue Ribbon - Can
Rolling Rock - Can
Shock Top - Draft

My column on beer, booze and drinking at Oriole Park is here. Photo: Posing with Mr. Boh during Opening Day (Richard Gorelick/Baltimore Sun)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 1:17 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


You could still tote a 6 foot sub into that place without a problem. You can't beat that, regardless of the beer prices.

The Free State Pub had many additional draft and bottle selections not listed above. You may want to check it out.

All those options and someone wants to pay 8 bucks for a Corona? Oy Vey.

Because another ball park charges a little more is not evidence that drinkers are not being gauged. There's a reason the baseball leagues had to be given an exception from the antitust laws.

I need to find out where to get the 24 oz. domestic beers for $10! I'm no math major but that works out to be $5 for a 12 oz. can. That's pretty reasonable to me at a ballgame.

I assume Flying Dog's 'Snake Bite' is actually 'Snake Dog' their IPA.

Regardless of the prices, I'm happy to see the Orioles make the effort here. Dogfish 60 may sound mundane to many out here but to many other baseball fans around the country that's a nice get if they visit Baltimore.

Throw in Snake Dog, Loose Cannon and Lot No. 3 and you have four of the best IPA's in this area that can be enjoyed at an Orioles game, something I kind of thought might never happen.

Went to the Natty Bo Pub last night and was told the $5 price only lasts until 6:30 pm, NOT the 2nd inning. Not such a great deal when you have to be inside 40 mins before game time, and can get cheaper beers across the street.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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