13 September 2010

Penalty: they take a step backward

It has been two years since I first wrote about the beer selection (or lack thereof) at Lucas Oil Stadium. At the time, Ram Restaurant/Big Horn Brewery were the only brewery willing to shell out the advertising dollars in order to gain access to the crowd at the Indianapolis Colts.

Last year, I noted that they took a step forward by adding Upland to the mix. It was a small step in the right direction towards having a truly diverse beer menu at Lucas Oil Stadium.

This year, the beer menu takes a step backward. As Andrew Castner, head brewer at the Ram, put it: "The RAM doesn't have any involvement with Lucas Oil (Stadium) any more." I'm speculating that the RAM found that the advertising dollars spent at the stadium did not balance out enough with the amount of beer sold over the past two years.

Upland, in their second year at the stadium, has been added to many of the stands that used to serve RAM. From Cari Crowe, sales rep for Upland:
Upland Brewing Company has stepped up the availability at Lucas Oil Stadium after a positive response last year...some of these locations will sound familiar to those who knew where the Ram's draft carts were.

Upland Wheat & Dragonfly IPA Draft is available at Sections 109 and 132. The draft carts have gotten a new look so they should be easier to spot.

Bottled Upland Wheat and Dragonfly IPA are available at concession stands at the following sections: 307, 319, 334, and 346. Bottles are also available in the Baker & Daniels Club and Advantage Club, and in bars on the Suite Level.

Last season, I only saw Upland Wheat, so having Dragonfly is a plus. But for a sorry sap like me who resides in the 600 level of the stadium, it appears that the Upland tap is going away.

And I haven't heard of any other beers being made available at the Lucas Oil Stadium. So that's one less brewery (big step backward), one more brand (step forward), limited to levels 100 and 300 (step backward). Penalty on the play.

Another penalty flag on the Indianapolis Colts and Centerplate (the concessionaire) for not having an online stadium guide to concession stands. Nowhere on their website can you find info on what foods and beverages are available and where. This is a common feature on major league sports venue websites. Hell, even the Indianapolis Indians beat out the big boys in town by not only having a better beer list, but also providing details on what is available where.

In short: their on-the-field product is not the only thing the Colts need to improve in 2010.


  1. Sure makes you wonder if they really care about the fans or not. How freakin' hard is it to mind the details when you have a nearly-billion dollar stadium?

  2. Thanks for writing this, Jason. Although I know you see it as a step back, I'm glad you've made it aware that, as opposed to other venues in the city, at least Lucas Oil does have a local option. I hope other breweries will jump in in the future.


  3. I know no one cares about the pacers, but their beer selection is even worse. I am not sure that they have any local options. As one of their only fans (for now) I hope they get something soon. Blue Moon and Fat Tire are not cutting it.

  4. doesn't bother me at all. i can't afford the worst seat in Lucas Oil so i won't be shedding any tears for its patrons.

    why would lucas oil care about the fans anyway? they're in it for the money, man! like someone's gonna give up their season tickets because they can't get a fucking orval or something...

  5. Well, I care! You don't have to shed tears for me, but it is sad when you see other stadiums across the country with good/great beer selections.

    JMAC, I haven't been to Conseco in forever. And they also lack a concessions guide on their website. So I can't write intelligently about it (I know, that's never stopped me before). But next time I'm there, I'm going to check things out and write about it. But I look forward to the day when the Pacers are contenders again. I miss those days.

    Cari, I am very happy to have Upland there. I was very happy when Upland arrived last season. I would drink two Upland draft wheats during the game. But getting down to the 300 or 100 levels from 500/600 is a pain in the ass. So tell your bosses that there are nose bleed fans that like local craft beer too!

  6. I agree it sucks trying to find craft beer in Lucas Oil. I hope marketing will realize that they could have more beer sales if the fees were more reasonable--nah, that would make too much sense. I think the big brands have too much say-so for many stadiums selections. If fees are high, then only large companies can pay those fees.