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Monday, July 16, 2007

A Day at Wrigley Field

This past weekend my Brother in Law Darrin Pikarsky and I loaded up my Jeep and headed to Chicago to deliver furniture, supplies and clothing to my daughter, Brhea, who is entering her junior year at Loyola University of Chicago.

One of the perks of the trip was a visit to Wrigley Field on Friday to see the Chicago Cubs play the Houston Astros. What does this have to do with drinking? If you have ever been to the corner of Addison and Clark, you would already know the answer to that question.

One of the first things you see arriving at the ballpark is a statue of the late Harry Caray, the legendary broadcaster famous for his announcing style, leading the fans in singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the seventh inning stretch and his love of the occasional Budweiser. My wife and I had the chance to have a meal with Caray, some Budweiser executives and staff of the now defunct Top Shelf magazine a few years back at Harry Caray's Steakhouse in Chicago. Seeing the statue brought back a great memory.

Once inside Wrigley you are surrounded with the ghosts of baseball's past and plenty of reminders of the link between enjoying a baseball game and enjoying a brew. Just past the right field stands is a roof top that has been converted into a giant Budweiser advertisement. In right field a billboard for Miller Lite screamed out "Houston, We Have a Better Beer." You can find beers ranging from those brands to St. Pauli Girl and Special Export around the stands. The fans, the ushers and the vendors were a pretty friendly lot -- especially since the Cubs won the game 6-0 -- and we even got to hear actor Jim Belushi lead the fans in Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

We enjoyed a couple of Old Styles during the game. It felt like the Chicago thing to do. Afterwards, we spent parts of the next two days hitting some of Chicago's best bars and drinking Midwestern beers. There will be more on those experiences in upcoming Tuesday Tasting and Weekend Watering Hole segments.

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