That’s the question. Apparently there’s a big hullabaloo about it in Twins Nation (thanks to Beernews.org for bringing it to my attention). Target Field, the will-be new home of the Minnesota Twins organization will be selling cans of Surly Brewing Co. beers at games for a whopping $10 a pop. I guess the high price point (which I assume is decided upon by the Twins organization and not necessarily Surly themselves) is causing some major drama among the Surly faithful. There’s even a poll (with lengthly follow-up comments) on the Surly Facebook Fan Page. But is it too much?
You sort of have to put it into context. While I’m not familiar with Twins games, I’ve spent a fair amount of time at Fenway Park in Boston where a cup of Coors Light is $8. If I was willing to spend that much to drink crappy beer at a ballgame — I’m not — I would happily fork over an additional $2 to drink something better. However, I have to wonder how many craft beer fans really go to major league games. And of them, are there enough willing to spend $10 to make selling Surly cans worth the Twins’ while?
I do know that the Portland Sea Dogs (the AA affiliate of the Red Sox who play their home games here in Portland) feature a “microbrew tent” at every game with many of the local craft brews, including Shipyard, Gritty’s, etc. The cups of those beers go for a reasonable $6 (I believe); only a dollar more than Bud. And the line for the “Microbrew Tent” is always 20 people deep at every game. I would venture to bet that the Sea Dogs sell more $6 Shipyards at a home game (note that there are not more than 7,000ish people at every game, max. Most of whom are under 21) than the Twins will sell $10 Surly cans.
And Adam at Beernews.org raises a good point,
The problem with offering beer at a venue like a ballpark is that the venue can get away with price gouging which, in turn, can hurt the brand.
By the looks of the comments on the Facebook page, Surly fans are pretty, well, surly over the price point. What do you think? Would you pay $10 for a good (and believe me, if you haven’t had anything from Surly, it’s pretty damn good) beer at a ballgame? Worth it? And how much is too much?