St. Paul Saints Ballpark to Serve 21 New Craft Beers

St. Paul Saints Ballpark to Serve 21 New Craft Beers

A new 70-foot bar called the Beer Dabbler Bullpen will debut May 11 at the Saint Paul Saints’ Midway Stadium; it will also feature merchandise from craft breweries.

Baseball fans looking to enjoy a craft beer no longer need to venture to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. This year, they can choose between 21 different craft beers at a new 70-foot bar at the Saint Paul Saints’ Midway Stadium.

The new bar, dubbed the “Beer Dabbler Bullpen,” will be located in the left-field corner of the ballpark, and it is the result of a partnership between the Saints minor-league baseball team and the Beer Dabbler, a St. Paul-based operator of local beer festivals. (The Beer Dabbler also operates a retail store in St. Paul, and it launched a beer-focused magazine, The Growler, last year.)

In addition to beer, the Beer Dabbler Bullpen will also sell merchandise from participating breweries.

It will offer pints and flights of 21 different draft beers from seven breweries. Local offerings come from Minneapolis-based Fulton Brewing Company, Stillwater-based Lift Bridge Brewing Company, Cold Spring-based Third Street Brewhouse, and Minnetonka-based Badger Hill Brewing Company, whose limited-release white India pale ale will debut at Midway stadium.

National breweries that will be featured at the Beer Dabbler Bullpen include Alaskan Brewing Company, Goose Island Beer Company, and Odell Brewing Company.

Beer Dabbler owner Matt Kenevan told Twin Cities Business in a Monday phone interview that the partnership with the Saints is a “scratch-their-back-and-they-scratch-mine” arrangement.

The Beer Dabbler identified the breweries that will offer beer at the stadium, and it will staff the Beer Dabbler Bullpen. The Saints will take the revenue from beer sales, while the Beer Dabbler will make money through merchandise sales. The partnership also allows the Beer Dabbler to publicize its Growler magazine and promote its retail store.

In fact, fans who don a special Beer Dabbler/Saints T-shirt, which is sold exclusively at the Beer Dabbler Store in St. Paul, will receive a discount on craft beer at Saints games. The shirts go on sale May 1, and Kenevan hopes the products will drive more traffic to the Beer Dabbler Store. Fans wearing the shirts can buy beer from the Beer Dabbler Bullpen for $4—a $1.50 discount from the standard $5.50 price, Kenevan said.

The new Beer Dabbler Bullpen is described as a “permanent fixture” of Midway Stadium, and it will open May 11. However, the team is only scheduled to play there through the 2014 season.

In January, the City of St. Paul selected Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies US, Inc., to design and build the new $54 million Saints ballpark. The new ballpark will be located at Fifth Street and Broadway Street and will replace the vacant Diamond Products/Gillette building that’s now at the site.

St. Paul recently finalized an environmental assessment of the Lowertown site, effectively clearing the way for construction of the 7,000-seat ballpark, according to a recent report by the Pioneer Press. Demolition is expected to begin this summer, with the new stadium opening for the 2015 season.

Kenevan said there have been early discussions regarding whether the Beer Dabbler Bullpen will be featured at the new Saints ballpark, but he intends to gauge success at Midway Stadium before making any longer-term commitments.

“Beer and baseball are the perfect combination at the ballpark,” Scott Bush, assistant general manager for the Saint Paul Saints, said in a statement. “Our goal is to enhance the Saints experience, and this partnership with the Beer Dabbler will allow our fans to choose from a wide variety of tasty craft beers. A ‘call to the Bullpen’ will definitely have a different meaning this year.”

The Beer Dabbler Bullpen isn’t introducing local or craft beer to Midway Stadium, although it is expanding the options significantly. For example, beer from St. Paul-based Summit Brewing Company and New Ulm-based August Schell Brewing Company will continue to be available at the ballpark.

To learn more about the history of the Saints in a 2012 Twin Cities Business feature story, click here.

Since opening in 2010, the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field has increased its focus on craft beer selections. This year, the team debuted a variety of new foods, including a burger made with a blend of lamb and goat meat, and said it would continue to offer beers from Surly, Fulton, Summit, Finnegans, and Schell’s, among others.

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