Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Craft Beers’ place in the stadium

May 1, 2015

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Having a beer while watching the big game is about as traditional as it gets for sports fans in the United States. But it’s another area where millennials are bringing about some change — at least in what’s on tap at stadiums.

Jason Notte at Marker Watch recently wrote on the growing popularity of craft beers at sporting events and as advertisers and sponsors for different teams. It’s easy to find craft beer at many baseball parks, even those in the minor leagues.

It makes sense for teams in the league since more than half of their viewers are under the age of 34, Notte explains. Young people aren’t drinking the big names in beer as much as other generations have.

In the 21- to 27-year-old demographic, 44 percent say they have never tried Budweiser, according to the article. Millennials are 26 percent more likely than other age groups to drink craft beer, Notte writes citing Nielsen.

It’s created a perfect match, one that millennial soccer fans certainly enjoy.

Major League Soccer teams like the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Philadelphia Union are developing relationships with local craft beer makers.

But craft beers are making their way into baseball and football stadiums as well, even showing up at certain Nascar events, Notte points out.

Since fans can expect to pay more for beer when they’re taking in a game from the stands, there’s an open market for more flavorful beers.

This summer, Major League Baseball fans — who pay close to an average of $6 for a small draft beer at the ballpark, according to Business Insider — have a number of craft beer options to choose from wherever their favorite team plays.

Seattle Mariners fans might just have the best selection of all at Safeco Field, where the beer menu is sure to please even the pickiest of connoisseurs.

Other places across the country, like Camden Yards in Baltimore, the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati and Target Field in Minneapolis, have more than a dozen craft beers for sale, sometimes at prices north of $10 a glass. Eater published the selection at all 30 major league ballparks earlier this month.

Craft beers continue to grow in popularity thanks, in part, to how much millennials enjoy them. For story ideas, check out what events local breweries are sponsoring in your area — everything from minor league sports teams to local races. There are a lot of new breweries popping up across the country, so keep an eye on their business and how well they integrate into your local community.

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