As part of our mission here at Why Daddy Drinks to revel in the humorous lunacy that is fatherhood, and to promote the drinking of quality beverages, we bring you our weekly segment highlighting something that should be in your glass. This is The Drink Of The Weekend.
Baseball season just started, and as anyone who reads this site knows, I am 1) A diehard, long-suffering Seattle Mariners fan and 2) Pretty Fascistic when it comes to the rules of ballpark etiquette that I wrote up in this space last week.
I was the victim of one of those rules being broken in severe fashion on Saturday, as my wife, daughters and I took in an afternoon game at the Oakland Coliseum, where we went to see the Mariners and pitching ace Felix Hernandez take on the A’s. It was just about as perfect a day for an afternoon ballgame as you could ever want, without a cloud in the sky, King Felix dealing from the mound and proving worth every dollar of the 25 million bucks a year Seattle is paying him, and Dustin Ackley breaking the game open for Seattle with a 2-run home run in the fifth inning to give Seattle a lead it wouldn’t relinquish on the way to a 3-1 victory.
Of course, I didn’t see Ackley’s home run, nor did I witness Abraham Almonte’s solo shot right after that thanks to the two people who decided that the middle of Ackley’s at-bat would be the perfect time for them to shove their way into their seats in the row right in front of me. Really, if you’re not going to show up to a game until halfway through, then you might as well just stay home. I didn’t even know that either Ackley or Almonte had hit their home runs until the hippie guy with WAY too much nasty, shaggy long hair and his girlfriend with WAY too many tribal tattoos across her back and arms had finally sat down and the Oakland fans around me groaned in unison due to their team being down 3-0.
Luckily for me, it was $11 Beer Day at the ballpark, and I was already into my second Kona Brewing Co. Big Wave Golden Ale. Yeah, I was briefly pissed off at having missed my team’s offensive outburst, but I didn’t want to make a scene in front of my three-and-five-year-old daughters. Plus, the cold taste of that Big Wave Golden Ale helped cool down my anger at such a violent breach of ballpark protocol.
How did I end up choosing Big Wave Golden Ale? Well, it was easy.
Just up the walkway inside the concourse was a concession stand serving beer. Actually, every concession stand was serving beer. Sadly, at least in Oakland, the days of vendors roaming the stands and bringing beer to you so that you didn’t have to get up and miss any action are long gone. So I had to get up. And up in the concourse to the right was a stand promoting Kona Brewing Co. beers.
Actually, there was just one Kona Brewing beer on tap [along with Bud Light which I was NOT going drink, even though it was “only” $9], and that was Big Wave Golden Ale. I didn’t want to stumble around in the crowd and wait in line any longer than necessary, so I went up to the Kona stand and ordered my two-beer-limit of two, $11 Big Wave Golden Ales and went back to my seat.
As much as I love the hoppiness of India Pale Ales, sometimes—and under the hot sun at a ballpark is one of those times—you need something a little lighter and fresher to slake your thirst. Big Wave Golden Ale is the right beer for that situation. It also helped that Big Wave Golden Ale was one of the first beers I drank the last time my wife, kids and I went to Kauai two years ago, so needless to say, it carries a bit of a nostalgic factor every time I crack one open.
One ballpark-sized Big Wave Golden Ale is equal to, maybe, two 12-ounce beers, and it costs more than a six-pack you can get at the store. But you go into the ballpark knowing there’s going to be some kind of major markup on any concessions you want. You just accept it for what it is.
And for me on this hot Saturday afternoon, I accepted Big Wave Golden Ale willingly. It was just what I needed to cool my head just as King Felix cooled off the A’s hitters.
I love all of Kona’s brews. Honestly $11 for the equivalent of 2 beers isn’t a horrible deal. I’m from the south where everything is cheaper, so I nearly lost my mind when I read the phrase “$9 Bud Light,” but I figured it might just be that things are pricier out West. The fact that these beers are pretty decent sized restored my faith in humanity a little bit.
P.S. I’m flying out to Anaheim for a half-marathon in November. Know of any must-see spots/must-visit bars in that area?