Which Ballpark Beer Guy Are You?
Much like humankind is only a few genomes removed from crap-lobbing baboons, only a few things separate the types of beer we humans drink. In turn, the people who drink these brews are fundamentally similar, yet different in every way.
Nowhere is this more evident than at a ballgame, which represents a veritable cornucopia of cultures, personalities, tastes and preferences, all united by the love of sport and team.
Now, while our parents always told us to never judge a book by its cover, you can tell an AWFUL lot about a person’s character by the beer they drink, and how they behave throughout public gatherings. When you group them at a single sporting event, where testosterone often reigns supreme, it only becomes more fun to hunt down these diverse beer behaviors in the wild.
So, read through and be honest with yourself: Which ballpark beer guy are you?
[And to be clear, we are using “guy” generically, not as a male identifier. We do not want to exclude anyone from this discussion, and are confident these descriptions apply to beer-pounders of any gender.]
Ballpark Bud Light Guys
Let’s start with what might be the most popular beer in the nation. Unbeknownst to many, there are actually three different types of Ballpark Bud Light people:
- The scotch and cigar, corporate exec types who are only slumming with a domestic to be “one of the guys” … at least until they drip some on their Sperry Topsiders.
- The guys who “step up” to Bud Light, because it’s their first game in years, making it a night to celebrate. Also, the stadium doesn’t have Busch Ice on tap.
- The guys who want to drink a lot, without too much worry about flavor, aroma or general enjoyment. If you relate to this last guy, read on.
After a day of tailgating with a 30-rack of Bud Light, they go inside and buy more Bud Light. Then they buy six more before the fifth inning, and pound them until asked to leave for heckling the church group in the next section.
Because each $11 tallboy goes down smooth and comes out smoother, they spend most of the game in some type of line, completely justifying the $90 tickets and $45 parking.
They drink in quantity, before, during and after the game, to achieve a desired end result, which usually involves a Sharpie and a platonic backseat nap on the ride home.
Some other observations about Ballpark Bud Light Guys:
- Their friends often call them “Ayyyy, pallll.”
- They secretly wish their friends would call them “Chet.”
- They believe the tin bottle is perfect for keeping beer cold, while offering protection in case “shit gets real.”
- They have at least three stories that end with, “I woke up in a diner…”
- Every Fourth of July they pray Toby Keith sees his shadow, guaranteeing six more weeks of freedom.
For all their faults, Ballpark Bud Light Guys are relatively harmless, and certainly don’t come to the game doused in judgment. We can’t say the same for…
Ballpark Microbrew Guys
As stadiums become more reflective of their cities’ cultures, beer stands are featuring local breweries. And good on them; some of those hoppier, craftier selections are downright fantastic.
But this is a baseball game, not a brewpub with rotating taps and five varieties of artisan pretzels, right? Ballpark Microbrew Guys don’t give a damn. They also don’t care what type of overpriced pilsner they’re holding, just THAT they have one to hold … and that the brewery logo is clearly visible to everyone around.
Ballpark Microbrew Guys are also known for overusing the following terms:
- “Malt aging”
- “I have friends”
Stop milling around the line, comparing notes and sniffing foam. Pay your $1.75/oz. and get back to your seats. Maybe we made fun of Ballpark Bud Light Guys, but at least they’re not bragging about the quality of fermented yeast in their cups.
If you’re worried about being a Ballpark Microbrew Guy, some other telltale signs include:
- They scour condiment packets for appropriate pairings.
- They use the term “lacing” about things other than catchers’ mitts.
- They’re shocked when friends don’t brine their own olives.
- They demonstrate noticeable mood changes when Counting Crows plays over the PA between innings.
- All of their cars are referred to as “The ______.”
- None of those cars are actually at the stadium, for fear of blemishing them with domestic poverty.
Ballpark Microbrew Guys are bad. But not as bad as…
Ballpark Dos Equis Guys
You know these guys. They’re everywhere, thanks to marketing and a bad, bearded character actor.
(Seriously, the dude’s IMDB page has a sizable gap between “Murder She Wrote” and “present.”)
Anyway, this Mexican-named, American-made, rarely enjoyed brew has become a go-to for blowhards across the nation. And there’s a good chance you’ll run into them at the ballpark. Or you might actually BE one of them at the ballpark. To determine this, look for the following signs:
- They are susceptible to advertising (ask them where the beef might be located).
- They will tell everyone to stay thirsty, right before people walk away from them.
- They have memories of Coronas, beaches, and sad, drunken nights alone in a hammock.
- They’re making memories of Dos Equis, baseball, and sad, drunken nights alone in a field box.
Ballpark Heineken Guys
There was a time, not that long ago, when holding a Heineken bottle was a sign of esteem. At college parties riddled with kegs of Milwaukee’s Best, Heineken guys were folk heroes. People flocked to them in hopes of catching the faintest whiff of better beer, perhaps even – dare to dream – grabbing some for themselves.
Then the news slowly made its way across the internet: green bottles = bad beer. Apparently, light gets through the translucent glass, altering the taste and skunking it badly before it ever hits your lips.
(If you don’t believe the green bottle theory, go have a few decent lagers, then chase them with Heineken, Beck’s, Rolling Rock or St. Pauli Girl. We recommend Listerine to end the night.)
Anyway, I think we’re all old enough to realize Heineken is made and bottled closer to Albany than Amsterdam, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a foul-tasting, over-carbonated beer that people only claim to like, without ever actually enjoying one.
Still, at ballgames, the “import” beer stands are directly next to the hot dog lines, with tubs full of ice, funny names and green bottles. And Ballpark Heineken Guys are right there with them, debating between stale beer choices like they’re decoding Aramaic.
Other incriminating signs of Ballpark Heineken Guys include:
- They look at Ballpark Bud Light Guys and say “I used to drink that, but…”
- They look at Ballpark Microbrew Guys and say, “I would drink that, but…”
- Cold sores.
- A general lack of happiness or self-worth.
Ballpark Good Beer Guys
To the untrained eye, Ballpark Good Beer Guys are just like the Microbrew toolsheds we discussed earlier. It’s a fair mistake – they both wander the stadium looking for something a little darker than a clean urine sample. They both prefer something stronger, hoppier and altogether better than domestic swill. And they are often brand-loyal.
But there’s one huge difference between the two characters – Ballpark Good Beer Guys don’t care what others think.
They don’t care about being seen. They don’t care about what other people are drinking. They don’t want to go into a lengthy history of hop aging practices in Belgium. And they certainly don’t want to spend an entire game buying or eliminating beer.
If their favorite brand isn’t available, they don’t go on a hipster rant about why everyone needs to get on board with some hand-bottled excrement they discovered at a rooftop party. They just seek out something like a Sierra Nevada, enjoy the drink, and watch a game.
For that, we salute them.
So, what did we miss? It was impossible to cover it all – especially with so many types of beer guys. Let us know we dropped the ball by dropping some knowledge in the comments, or on The Spitter Facebook page.