Perhaps you saw the press release or otherwise caught wind of the just-announced partnership between the Hillsboro Hops baseball club and Bridgeport Brewing. If you aren't in the loop about the Hops, you can find my earlier post here.
The basic facts are these: Portland has a rich history with baseball and beer. Forget the fact that the AAA Beavers were chauffeured out of town to make way for the Timbers soccer club. We have a history with baseball dating to the 19th century. Soccer is a small child by comparison.
The press release announcing the Hops' partnership with Bridgeport hit my inbox yesterday. There was a fair amount of chatter in social media land focused on what a great deal this is. That would have been completely justified if there had been a chance the Hops would enter an agreement with Budweiser or Coors. That wasn't happening.
Here's the reality: the partnership with Bridgeport is "exclusive." What do you suppose that means, sports fans? If you think it means Bridgeport will be the only craft brand poured in the stadium, you win that trip to Russia you've always wanted.
Look, I have nothing against Bridgeport. They are, as the press release says, the oldest craft brewery in Oregon. (They aren't the first, however. That honor belongs to Charles Coury's long defunct Cartwright Brewing.) Bridgeport has a decent selection of beers. Kingpin is terrific. Blue Heron is an old standby. Bridgeport IPA, invented by Karl Ockert in the days before IPA became a household name, is one of the few sessionable IPAs out there at 5.5%.
I suppose an exclusive deal between the Hops and some brewery was inevitable. "The business of America is business," as Calvin Coolidge once said. And we have to face the fact that baseball and beer are businesses that compliment each other. Alright. I get it.
It's just too bad that there couldn't have been some sort of collaborative arrangement whereby a variety of craft brands would be available at Hops games. We have so many great ones. Oh, I'm told they do expect to have a rotating guess tap, but aren't exactly sure how permanent it will be.
Macro beer lovers need not worry about the Bridgeport deal. You'll find Coors Light in the stadium. And Blue Moon. Something for everyone, they say. You gotta love that.
About that trip to Russia...