Thursday, May 26, 2011

Craft beer at the ballpark: Dubois County Bombers and New Albanian Brewing Company.

“There is only one game at the heart of America and that is baseball, and only one beverage to be found sloshing at the depths of our national soul and that is beer … beer needs baseball, and baseball needs beer - it has always been thus.”
-- Peter Richmond, author and journalist

Growing up in Southern Indiana, one quickly comes to associate two of life’s most important pastimes with Dubois County: Baseball and beer.

Indiana’s Baseball Hall of Fame is in Jasper, and major leaguer Scott Rolen of the Cincinnati Reds starred at Jasper High School. Amazingly, at least four former major league players were born in the small town of Huntingburg: Bob Coleman, Ray Blemker, Alex Graman and Mitch Stetter.

As for beer, need I do more to document Dubois County‘s fermentable predilections than note its heavily German heritage? Although as yet there are no craft breweries in the county, Jasper is home to the regionally famous Schnitzelbank Restaurant, since 1961 a popular destination for its German cuisine and solid beer list.

Verily, it’s only a matter of time before an enterprising craft brewer sets up shop in Dubois County and brings beer tradition back to its local, independent roots.

That’s why the New Albanian Brewing Company is so excited to be partnering with the Dubois County Bombers to bring craft beer to League Stadium in Huntingburg for Bombers home games this June and July.

The Dubois County Bombers play in the Prospect League, a collegiate summer baseball league with teams located all the way from Hannibal MO to Slippery Rock PA. Players with remaining NCAA eligibility compete with wooden bats, and live with host families during the season.

Huntingburg’s League Stadium is a retro jewel, reconstructed from an existing grandstand to serve as the 1940’s-era home for the Rockford Peaches during location shooting of the film, “League of Their Own” (1992), starring Geena Davis, Madonna and Tom Hanks.

As for NABC, it is a small but growing Southern Indiana brewer with an expanding reputation, and bringing fresh local craft beer to Dubois County for Bombers games (and hopefully to other area establishments, too) is an overdue notion, but Bombers management deserves all the kudos for the idea. They get it.

Unlike other baseball clubs nearby, which have been slow to grasp constant changes in consumer beer preference, Bombers management sees the natural alliance of local baseball and local beer as one perfectly placed to give fans more of what they want when attending games.

NABC favorites Beak’s Best, Community Dark and Tafelbier will be available on draft from the beer trailer parked down the third base line. There is a roofed picnic area just in front of the taps, and the main concessions area is adjacent. Informally, we’re calling it the NABC Craft Beer Bullpen.

Within the next few days, NABC will announce promotions to coincide with craft beer at League Stadium, including as many as two weekend motor coach trips from metropolitan Louisville (probably coupled with an early afternoon lunch stop at the Schnitzelbank and/or a stop at the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame, prior to a 7:15 p.m. Bombers game), NABC poster night, and special tasting nights when a surprise NABC beer “to be named” will be pouring from a fourth tap.

If you enjoy great craft-brewed beer and high-caliber baseball, League Stadium will be the place for you this summer.


Dubois County Bombers:

Bombers 2011 schedule:

Prospect League:

A League of Their Own:

Dubois County:

Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame:

Schnitzelbank Restaurant:

NABC home page:

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