I consider myself an amateur beer aficionado so I was excited to see that Ted Leonsis expanded the tap selection at the Verizon Center as part of his list of 101 things the ownership was improving. If you put me in a room (even one as large as the Verizon Center) with 50 beers, I'm going to find one that I like; as I'm sure is the case with most of the fans who will be purchasing beer this upcoming year.
But maybe that just means we're not that picky. The selection will definitely be good enough for those who are professional fans but only casual beer drinkers, and is a real upgrade over what they offered before. But if there wasn't a sporting event going on and the Verizon Center was just a bar, would it still be considered a good beer selection? That's what the guys at Pint Glass (which is a website for what I would call professional beer aficionados) wanted to know; so they evaluated the VC strictly by it's beer menu. See how it stacks up after the jump.
Among their findings were a couple of interesting statistics:
Of the 52 beers that should be available, 27% of the list (see previous “Ted’s Take” link) is either explicitly Big 3, or Big 3 owned. Hmm. Only 4 (3 really, in Ted’s post he lists Dominion and Old Dominion, which are the same brewery) regional breweries are represented; Dominion, Starr Hill, Fordham.
The first figure seems high, but the big three brewers (Anheuser-Busch, Coors and Miller) own such a large section of the overall beer market that I think 27 percent is actually kind of a low figure. I do agree however that Leonsis should have sought out to incorporate more local variety.
The biggest problem they find at the Verizon Center isn't with the beer at all, rather their inability to find the specific beer they want. The beers are broken down into groups of just a few varieties and put in various booths throught the arena's two concourses, but there is no map to pinpoint the location of a specific beer you might be craving. Which is fine with me. I would kind of like roaming around on a beer adventure.
Overall the Pint Glass called the Verizon Center an, "excellent beer experience." If it's good enough for these guys, then I'm sure it will be good enough for me.