Oops! Goose Island Beer Sold as a $12 Import at Yankee Stadium

By Patrick Wall on May 23, 2013 6:23am 

Slideshow
 Chicago's Goose Island India Pale Ale is exotic enough to be sold as a $12 import at Yankee Stadium. The signs are being changed to correct the error.
Goose Island's an Import in New York.
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THE BRONX, New York — Is Goose Island a foreign country, a remote patch of land surrounded by international waters?

For the folks selling beer at Yankee Stadium, that appears to be a possibility.

The company that controls the Bronx ballpark's concessions has been selling the Chicago beer as an import and charging the premium beer price of $12 for a 24-ounce cup.

Now, after a DNAinfo.com New York reporter pointed out the gaffe, Yankee Stadium is hastily changing the names of its beer carts.

It's the second beer do-over for the Yankees in the past month.

Last month, the stadium had to rename its "Craft Beer Destination" specialty alcohol booth after a fan pointed out that several drinks sold there did not meet the definitions either of craft or of beer.

Legends Hospitality, the company that operates the stadium’s concessions, said Wednesday that the company is in the process of switching out signs at its four "import" beer carts to more accurately reflect its offerings.

Legends Hospitality spokesman Eric Gelfand said the new signs will read “Premium Beer” instead of “Import Beer,” because the carts sell Goose Island India Pale Ale, a Chicago-based Anheuser-Busch brew which, unlike some of its recently-domesticated counterparts, has never been brewed overseas.

The carts also serve Beck’s, a brew originally made in Germany, which was recently bought up by Anheuser-Busch and is now produced in the United States. Their other Anheuser-Busch offerings, Stella Artois and Hoegaarden, are both imported from Belgium.

Gelfand said the carts were intended to sell only imports, but that Goose Island IPA was a last-minute replacement for a Anheuser-Busch import that fell through. He said patrons were clamoring for a good IPA.

“It’s a situation where, quite literally, the cart came before the horse,” Gelfand said.

The flub wasn't lost on some of The Bronx's beer aficionados.

“Goose Island: It’s good beer — but it’s not an import,” said Bronx Beer Hall co-founder Anthony Ramirez. “Serious beer drinkers are serious about where their beer comes from and how it’s made.”

Yankee Stadium was also caught red-faced during its home opener on April 1, when writer Amanda Rykoff noted that all the marked-up beverages sold at an artisanal-looking stand labeled “Craft Beer Destination” were actually MillerCoors products.

The drinks — Blue Moon, Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, Batch 19 and Crispin — are all mass-produced, so they don’t fit the official Brewers’ Association definition of “craft,” a chorus of online critics charged.

In addition, Crispin, a cider, doesn't count as “beer,” they added.

“Once again, the Yankees have figured out yet another way to charge a superior price for an inferior product,” Rykoff wrote on Tumblr.

After Deadspin and other media outlets picked up on the snafu, the stadium replaced the sign in a matter of days. Now it reads, “Beer Mixology Destination.”

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