'Tis the Season to Play Ball and Pass the Beer
"Beer needs baseball, and baseball needs beer - it has always been thus."
- Peter Richmond (sportswriter)
The baseball season is upon us, and so is National Beer Day. The holiday is April 7, perfectly timed for the start of the Major League Baseball season. All teams “play ball” this week, and the Minnesota Twins play their first home game on April 13.
Twins fans love their beer at Target Field and have the home team advantage with a long list of local brews — 14 beers plus Killebrew Root Beer. Heck, we love our baseball and beer so much that self-serve beer stations were first introduced to Major League Baseball at the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field.
History of Baseball and Breweries
The history of baseball and beer is actually quite fascinating, and what a romance it has been. An academic research paper examined the relationship of America’s growing two pastimes: baseball and beer.
The story starts with the first official baseball game in the US – back in 1846. We even had the so-called “Beer and Whisky League” in 1882 when the American Association of Base Ball Clubs formed.
In the early 1900s, baseball had players downing ice cold brews to keep cool during long, hot train trips; waves of immigrants bringing their thirst to the ballparks for affordable entertainment; breweries expanding and owners sitting on brewery boards — and then came Prohibition.
Without beer at the ballpark, attendance struggled until the early 1930s, when the dry period ended. When Franklin Roosevelt signed the Volstead Act amendment that allowed for the sale of beer up to 4 percent, he declared famously, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”
Next up, the radio and television era – which helped propel the legend of beer and baseball as breweries discovered broadcasts as a great way to advertise. Many breweries were eager to connect their beers with the baseball broadcasts. And, it worked. Breweries even published baseball books for fans,
In 1941, Hyde Park Breweries published the booklet ”How to Enjoy Baseball,” written by popular radio broadcaster Charles ”Gabby” Street, in which he introduced the game’s history, rules and tactics to potential new fans.
The most recent brewery to own a team would be Anheuser-Busch, with the St. Louis Cardinals. And then there are the Milwaukee Brewers, who play in Miller Field – a ballpark sponsored by the Miller Brewing Company.
Regardless of the city, though, the connection between beer and the ballpark still flows strong. So, with the new season upon us, crack open a cold one and yell, “play ball!”
Founded in 1934, Haskell’s has championed fine wines for over 80 years. We have 13 wine stores in Minnesota, two delis and one restaurant. As one of the top wine shops in North America, Haskell’s is known for legendary service and one of the finest collections of wine, beer and spirits. Led by Chairman and CEO Jack Farrell, and the Farrell family, Haskell’s continues to be at the forefront of the wine scene throughout the world. Haskell’s also can ship wine, beer & spirits all throughout the world, the U.S. and we deliver locally.