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April 9, 2012
Prudential Center: Live Sports & Craft Beer
The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ is the home of the New Jersey Devils and for just a little while longer, the New Jersey Nets. As a Devils fan, I've been to the arena a handful of times since it opened a few years ago. The first time I visited I was excited to find both Cricket Hill beers from Fairfield, NJ and also Brooklyn Lager. They could be found in a concession section labeled "BEERS OF NEWARK", which never made much sense. But I wasn't complaining.
The next season (last year if memory serves) both Cricket Hill and Brooklyn were nowhere to be found. Instead, Budweiser American Ale was the best beer offering they had. I actually tried American Ale once a few years ago and it was only a bit more interesting than a regular Bud.
Cut to this season. As you can see from the photo above, Goose Island Honker's Ale and IPA are now available at one single booth near the top of the main escalators to the upper level. I asked the server how long it had been there and he said 4 months, which means it showed up sometime in early December. While it's not exactly ideal as Goose Island is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, but being able to have an IPA while watching the game is a plus, even if it costs $9.00.
Interestingly enough, if you've ever been to Yankee Stadium, Goose Island IPA is the only good beer available there as well. It seems as though it's all because Budweiser has a long-running partnership with the Yankees. We'll have to see if any beer changes have been made for the 2012 season, but I'm willing to bet the Bud deal keeps great beer out of the stadium altogether.