Baseball N’ Beer

On Saturday, we went to the Lansing Lugnuts game, a bit of a last minute decision.  The weather was threatening all day but never did much so we decided to risk the rainout for a chance to be outside and see some fireworks (post game).

Oldsmobile Park has quite an array of food options.  Your choices range from traditional ballpark fare such as hotdogs, peanuts and crackerjack to more modern choices like pizza, bbq and even a vegetable burrito.  Beverage choices are varied too: lemonade, Pepsi products, assorted beers, even wine and mixed drinks.  Apparently the Clubhouse has premium alcoholic beverages which makes up for the fact that it’s a prime location for getting beaned with a popped foul ball.  Maybe next time.

On this particular outing, Chris had a polish dog and I went for the pulled chicken BBQ sandwich.  I have no idea what Chris thought of his dog but since he ate it right up, I guess it was at least decent.  My sandwich was mediocre. At first I thought it was too sweet but as I ate more, I realized there actually was far too much vinegar in the sauce for my tastes.  And far too much chicken to eat like a sandwich so I went the open-face with a fork route.  The wait in line for my sandwich was interesting though.  Silly drunk guy in front of me first told the guy behind the food stand that he looked like Steve Nash.  Yeah, if Steve Nash is 5 feet 7 inches tall!  Then SDG asked about local hotels.  The Steve-alike was trying to give him directions to places on the outskirts of town.  I suggested the Radisson, walking distance from the stadium. It was the middle of the 2nd inning- instincts told me this is one baseball that shouldn’t be walking anywhere. Especially after he said he could smell the barbeque from his seats along the third baseline, on the wrong side of a good 5-10 mph hour breeze. Ah, dinner and a show.

I might be tempted to blame that stiff breeze for the outcome of the game but the Lugs made enough errors left and right to cancel the wind’s effect.  Final score: Burlington Bees 10, Lugnuts 4.  More importantly, Lansing had eight errors! And the Bees had 3 of their own.

Following the game, we decided to visit Rum Runners because it was close and because there is no cover if you have your game ticket.  I haven’t been in there in years and thought I remembered the pianos being on the main floor but I could be remembering a different dueling piano bar.  Anyhow, we quickly went upstairs to escape the extremely loud DJ on the first floor. And here were the pianists and at least three bachelorette parties, one bachelor outing and what appeared to be a combo party. Otherwise that bride-to-be has some explaining to do later!

As soon as I saw that smiling sun on the tap, I knew what my drink was going to be: Bell’s Oberon Ale.  A summer time staple of sweet with a bit of spice goodness. Oberon is one of Kalamazoo-based Bell’s 19 varieties of beer and its only available in the summer (in Michigan anyway).

Bell’s was started back in 80s; production has grown to 90,000 barrels by 2007. The little downtown operation has also grown in to a nationwide distributor of handcrafted beers with a 60,000 square foot brewery. And I think Bell’s should receive the deserving credit for inspiring and leading the way for so many other small Michigan breweries such as Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor, Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire and Keewenaw Brewing Company way up in the Yoop (i.e. Michigan’s upper peninsula).  These are just a few of the microbrews in Michigan that I’ve heard of and tasted their beers.  For a much more complete list, take a gander at the Michigan Brewers Guild website. You can also find places to buy food and drink beer together.

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