It's no secret that Flushing doesn't hold a candle to almost every other baseball town experience. If you've ever traveled to watch a game on the road, you know other cities have far more to do around the ballpark.
But besides McFadden's (and, a couple blocks away, the Pine), there's not much to do. Tailgating is fun, but bar hopping, grabbing a bite, and exploring a new city after the game is part of the modern day baseball experience. I meet visitors each year that are so confused that a ballpark in New York is surrounded by nothing but dilapidated chop shops, potholes, and highways.
That's why Brian and I were pumped to break the news back in July on Orange and Blue Thing of a new brewery coming to Citi Field. Well, construction is underway, and each day, Mikkeller NYC is making more progress.
I was invited for a tour last week -- hard hat and all -- to get the lay of the land at the new space. Standing in the skeleton of, what will be, a full service brewery and restaurant was pretty cool. In just a few short months (on track for an early 2018 opening) construction will be complete, and they'll be open for daily business.
"Our brewhouse, along with a third of our other tanks, is already in place," Hannah Goldman, operations analyst at Mikkeller NYC told me. "It’s a thrilling time for us; out in LA, we just launched a collaborative line of Twin Peaks-inspired beers with David Lynch. We’re excited for this next chapter on the East Coast."
I wouldn't label myself a beer snob, but when given the option, I'll almost always choose craft over something else. During road trips, I'll browse the list and choose something that's local. I know what bland brand X tastes like, but that first sip of something new is exciting.
Besides their two existing NYC beers, Say Hey Sally and Henry Hops, Mikkeller will add more of their own flavors to the tap lines, while also offering brews from other local brands. Very cool.
"We’re excited to have Fuku and Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors signed on as our year-round partners," said Jim Raras, executive vice president at Mikkeller NYC. "Hospitality will be key to every aspect of the experience, but it’ll also be fun and approachable. We want everyone, whether they’re a beer enthusiast or just coming in to see a game, to feel welcome at Mikkeller NYC."
Beer will be available to purchase and take home. Mikkeller isn't offering growlers (at least not yet), but you'll be able to grab packs of cans to sip at home or your tailgate party. For more information, go to Mikkeller's website and sign up for their newsletter.
I'm excited for this new chapter at Cit Field, and look forward to a day when 126th street will become a year-round destination. Hopefully one day we'll be neighbors when my dream of The 7 Line Saloon becomes a reality, and Flushing will feel a lot more like Wrigleyville.