On the first Saturday of College Football, I’m always excited but also a bit sad that baseball is going to start getting a little less attention (from me and the rest of the American sports world).
The beers from Cooperstown Brewing Company weren’t the only baseball-themed beers I had on my Cooperstown trip. There are a couple other beers to post about. The first came all the way from AleSmith from San Diego. I knew about this beer, but didn’t realize AleSmith sent it out to Cooperstown. You could find this at a number of bars and restaurants throughout Cooperstown. I’m not completely sure – it may have been distributed only for Hall of Fame week. I had a couple of these across the 4 days we were there.
Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA
Beer: San Diego Pale Ale .394
Description: Per their website: “In early 2014, Tony Gwynn’s team approached AleSmith to create a distinctive beer for the baseball legend. A meeting was called at the Gwynn household, which included a sampling of AleSmith beers to identify Tony’s preferences. He wanted the beer to be “light with a kick” which he elaborated further to mean full of hop character and light in body and color. The result of the Gwynn family’s feedback on test batches rendered a golden pale ale full of American hop flavor and aroma, with a subdued bitterness and a malty sweet finish. AleSmith San Diego Pale Ale .394 pays tribute to the city that Tony loved and the career high batting average that he achieved in ‘94. Discover what happens when a Hall of Fame perfectionist crafts a beer with a world-class brewery. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation (TAG).”
I incorrectly assumed something like this wouldn’t be that good – a lot of time a famous person adding their name means the product suffers. Instead of working on the product, it tries to sell with its name. I was wrong in this case, and apparently the story about Gwynn working with them before his unfortunate passing is true. This is a light-but-tasty pale ale. Wish I could get this year-round!
There’s also an imperial version that was released over a year ago. Hopefully AleSmith does that again.
Medium: Comes in 12-oz bottles. You can also find it on tap at certain restaurants – the first of the two I had in Cooperstown was a draft.
How it’s related to baseball: Tony Gwynn helped the brewery designed it! It has his autograph, him in his recognizable batting stance. And, of course, the name follows his remarkable 1994 campaign where he hit .394 and was robbed of the opportunity to cross .400 due to baseball’s most recent labor impasse.