As a child, I spent many happy afternoons and evenings watching the Chicago White Sox play at “old” Comiskey Park at 35th and Shields. Typically, our family of six sat in the left-field bleachers, and I vividly remember cheering on Harold Baines, Ron Kittle and the other “good guys in black” while drinking a cold soda and munching on peanuts and hot dogs.
Although the White Sox now play at U.S. Cellular Field and the concessions, including beverages, have gotten more sophisticated, baseball remains an all-American pastime. To capture the affinity of baseball connoisseurs, more beverage companies are showcasing their alcohol and non-alcohol brands both inside and outside of baseball stadiums across the United States.
During a recent game, I noticed concession stands and vending carts selling beer, wine, Margaritas and other cocktails. This is in sharp contrast to 25 years ago when beer, soda and coffee typically were the only available options.
Some beverage brands also have teamed up with the MLB to offer limited-edition products. For example, Cline Family Cellars released a new San Francisco Giants Pinot Gris that features the team’s logo on its 750-ml bottle.
For the second year in a row, Kansas City, Mo.-based
360 Vodka released a limited-edition commemorative bottle in honor of the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. It is the third MLB licensed vodka, the company says. The vodka also is available in signature cocktails at Kauffman Stadium and other local establishments.
Additionally, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf recently inked a multi-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels to have its fresh-brewed, hand-roasted coffee at Angels’ concession stands. Fans also can order signature coffee beverages, like The Original Ice Blended, at specialty drink carts in the stadium.
Regardless of which team you cheer for, more beverage brands likely will be embracing consumers’ love of baseball and other sports.