Apologies in advance, this post turned into a bit of a rant that didn’t really make a point in the end… Basically, they should be serving better beer at sporting events. By better beer I mean craft beer. Why? Because it’s tasty!

kegWe all know that when we go see a sport in the stadium, we’ll be subjected to some overpriced macro-brewed lager, or worse still, low to medium alcohol macro-brewed lager. What sports needs is better beer.

Here in Melbourne, Australia, a mid strength beer will set punters back $7.20 (30 cents more than it did last year, according to the Herald Sun). And this isn’t even for good beer! It’s $7.20 for a mid-strength Carlton Draught. Now, no offence to Carlton Draught (full strength) drinkers, but the mid-strength variety is a beer you can’t find anywhere else for a reason; there’s simply no redeeming qualities to a mid-strength beer.

Obviously the current beer arrangement at sports is to both maximise profits and also to prevent people from getting too drunk. But could they not throw some variety in there and still accomplish the same thing? Most spectators are going to be well behaved, even with a few full strength beers under their belts, so why deny them that?

Giving spectators the option of a decent range of tasty craft beers (or just a decent range of beer) would work well. They’re already serving wine and pre-mixed spirits at most sports games, so the higher alcohol content isn’t a problem. Being more complex and flavourful, people who choose to drink them will do so more slowly anyhow.

Anyway, there are plenty of great craft beers out there with the same amount of alcohol as their macro-lager inferiors.

As mentioned, wine and pre-mixed spirits are already being served (and really only nominally more expensive), so putting the current limits squarely on beer is just because of dated stigmas surrounding beer and its consumption. Remove that stigma by serving some respectful beers, and the problem solves itself!

Beer and sports are a fine tradition. There’s just something about knocking back a few beers with friends while cheering on your favourite team. What I’m getting at here is that this experience could be further enhanced with good beer, rather than the swill they serve at most stadiums.

The problem, however, is the extreme mark up that sporting grounds give to pretty much everything. While a pint of great craft beer at a bar is already expensive, imagine how much it would be at the football?

However, it’s always insulting when sporting grounds serve what they refer to as “premium” beer, and all it is is another mass produced lager that’s no better than the cheaper stuff. If consumers are paying more, give them something better.

As craft beer is growing so much in popularity, hopefully sporting grounds will start offering a better range of options for their beverages. Hopefully they’ll start selling, at least, main stream craft beer.

Maybe theirs no market for it yet. Maybe beer is already expensive enough at sporting grounds and good beer simply won’t sell because ground owners will insist on ridiculous mark ups.

But we can dream, can’t we?