A Crafty Proposal for Ohio Stadium Beer Sales

By Ramzy Nasrallah on May 1, 2012 at 1:00p
Giant tanks of the Lord's NectarProduction facilities of great Elevator Brewing Co in Downtown Columbus

About one in six FBS programs play in stadiums that sell beer during games, and about half of those stadiums are on campus.

Ohio Stadium has long been part of the sober on-campus majority, while as of last season, Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown is not.

West Virginia cleared over half a million dollars in profit in its first season selling beer at Mountaineer home games while registering fewer campus arrests for the entire 2011 season than there were in Tuscaloosa just during the Alabama/LSU game.

While some schools have sold beer at home games for decades (Colorado State, which shares a city state with the Coors headquarters, will be selling beer for Rams games for the 37th year this fall) more universities are now looking for ways to increase revenues while relying less on state funding and endowments that aren't getting bigger in our sluggish economy.

Last season was West Virginia's first selling beer at home games, and next season Minnesota will be bringing the brew to the Bank in a way that should be exponentially more successful than the last time they tried it.

The arguments for beer sales begin with money and end with selling alcohol in a controlled setting rather creating an environment for hidden-booze-in-the-pants fans. The argument against beer sales begins with concern over tying alcohol to a university brand (which is valid) and ends with an increase in entries to the police blotter (which is unsupported by evidence and therefore not valid). 

With multi-billion dollar endowment, a strong balance sheet and a football program that already fills its huge stadium in good times and bad, Ohio State doesn't have to find new sources of revenue. However, the university is favorably positioned to pioneer stadium beer sales in a manner that transcends the conventional practice.

How popular was the new beer offering among Mountaineer fans? In West Virginia's home opener the concession sales breakdown went like this: 18,803 bottles of water, 2,906 sodas, 8,908 frozen lemonades and 21,811 beers which comes out to about one total beer for every three fans.

According to WVU police chief Bob Roberts, there was no uptick in unruly fan behavior. The school set a concessions record that day moving $548,000 in snacks and drinks excluding beer.

Having booze as an option positively impacted the sales of all other products.

ending the beer ban, intelligently

Game day binge drinking and excessive consumption happens in bars and at tailgates where there is hard liquor available and no limit to the number of drinks that can be consumed. Both are environments that generally lack the control that is seen in stadiums.

Those arenas across the sporting spectrum curb their legal exposure to the consequences of inebriated patrons by passing the liability onto the providers, who smartly limit quantities. You can only buy two at a time. 

Proud sponsor of Eat Too, BrutusOval Brewing: "The Best Damn Beer in the Land™"

On top of that, the supply chain from the bottle to your mouth is a bit more complicated than it is at the bar or tailgate: You're competing with a lot more people for service.

It's what all game day drinkers have always understood: There is a significant difference between being drunk at a game and getting drunk at a game. The latter is not only much harder to do, it's also a lot more expensive and less efficient - unless you enjoy standing in long lines and paying mini-bar prices.

What West Virginia discovered in making its calculated decision heading into last year was that the restrictions were part of the problem. Allowing "pass-outs" (Ohio Stadium hasn't had them in forever and more schools that once had them are getting rid of them) sent fans back to tailgates and bars to essentially binge-drink before returning to their seats.

At the same time, ending pass-outs sent fans to their tailgates and bars for the rest of the day, leaving empty seats behind as they took their consumption and wallets to other non-stadium businesses.

The answer, especially with ticket prices that rival and often exceed those of professional sporting events, was to provide the same amenities along with the control and responsibilities that are found at pay-league stadiums. 

In anticipation of its new sudsy game days, West Virginia expanded its restrooms, added surveillance cameras and trained its staff. Its concessionaire, Sodexo, assumed the liability risk associated with alcohol sales which is a common arrangement. 

Sodexo also has the business at Ohio Stadium, and its restrooms were expanded a decade ago (though lines remain, as they do at every single other stadium in the world).

A recent, albeit inadequately-powered study found that 8% of fans leave stadiums with a BAC above the legal limit for operating machinery. That's equates to about 8,800 people leaving Ohio Stadium who should not drive. Odds of being above the limit were predictably higher for younger fans, tailgaters and during night games.

The flip side is that 92% of fans were not too drunk to drive. The law of big numbers works to Ohio Stadium's advantage: 8,800 drunks would seem ripe for problems if not for the over-200,000 sober eyeballs that are on them, many of which would not be shy in reporting abberant behavior to the Shoe's already gigantic security crew.

Do something great

It would be very easy for Ohio State to follow the same model that West Virginia and many others have already taken, but the university can be far more innovative than simply following a cleared path to an uptick in game day revenue.

Sodexo would have no problem conveniently calling in some trucks from the local Anheuser-Busch brewery on Shrock Road. You can be confident that AB would happily supply Buckeye game days with some of the same mass-produced swill that's already pouring en masse out of most bars and tailgates.

Doing so would categorically qualify as supporting local business, except that AB is actually based in St. Louis, owned by InBev in Belgium and does about $17B a year in business.

Instead of bringing Big Beer into the Shoe, why not end the alcohol ban by devising an entirely new and innovative method of supporting Ohio-based small businesses? 

4. Wins against Ohio State...but RichRod can buy beer at West Virginia home football games.

Ohio is a treasure trove of breweries, the majority of which call the Buckeye state their home while meeting the small business definition.

These companies are founded and run by in-state entrepreneurs who - in addition to making high-quality/small-batch products - also make jobs.

When channels open up to increase business, their needs to maintain that growth increase which in turn feeds the job market. What better opportunity for them could there be than access to the large captive audience that the Shoe supplies each fall?

"(Ohio Stadium) could really open up a market to a lot of people that craft brewers normally cannot penetrate or even reach," said Adam Benner of the Oval Brewing Company. "At Nationwide (Arena) they offer one craft brewer and everything else is served by Bud/Miller/Coors."

Microbrews are for generally seen as products for drinking palates with greater sophistication rarely found among, say, undergraduate students. When I was in college I feigned elegance with Killian's Red, a cheap and disingenuous mass-produced substitute for refinement that nonetheless made me feel like carrying a gold pocket watch and wearing a monocle.

Regardless, consuming even a pretend-craft beer is generally done in the slower local boulevards, while watery American pilsners are built for speed of the HOV lanes to inebriation and extended bathroom lines.

"A lot of other arenas are now getting into offering craft beer selection," said Benner. "Target Field (home of the Minnesota Twins) is one; they now have a beer that's only sold at the stadium called Bandwagon."

"There are all kinds of opportunities for collaboration with the small guys instead of exclusively awarding large pouring contracts to Bud/Miller/Coors."

That kind of craft product exclusivity at Target Field may violate the NCAA's rule against alcohol marketing, however offering otherwise commercially available products is well within the NCAA's compliance guidelines.

paying forward responsibly

Ohio State football has been used to generate money for its smaller, in-state partners for years. Usually agents for those collaborators arrive wearing helmets and leave with what's only perceived to be a loss.

It's why Youngstown State came to the Horseshoe twice to play what only appeared to be a football game; both meetings were actually the transfer of wealth to a smaller institution that just happened to have its former AD coaching the Buckeyes on the opposite sideline.

Ohio MAC schools share state funding with Ohio State, whose stadium presents the largest opportunity for revenue collection in the state and one of the largest in the world. This is at the core of why the Buckeyes don't do home-and-homes with Miami, Bowling Green, Toledo, Akron or Ohio: It's bad business for both sides.

That's Spielman's old neck roll taped to the serving trayJust like a CFB playoff: OSU is sitting on a golden opportunity.

The AD is not opposed to these kinds of favors, even when it doesn't benefit in-state schools: When the Buckeyes hosted Eastern Michigan, it was extending its ample game day payout to the school that just so happened to grant Gene Smith his first athletic department position (and note that Eastern Michigan extends its in-state tuition rates to Ohio residents). 

It's time to amplify OSU's outreach to Ohio's small businesses. It's time to think unconventionally, outside of sterile corporate dispensation contracts and rigid distribution agreements.

There are creative and transparent ways to limit exposure to the university, just as there are precedents for doing so. In making this a small business opportunity, the only difference here would be scale and ingenuity: Ohio State would be bigger and more innovative than its precedents.

Aggregate participating brewers to share liability coverage. Create exclusionary criteria for involvement to maintain accordance with both stadium rules and program participation. Install standard cut-off times and adjust it accordingly for the odd night game. Establish quantitative metrics and tracking to gauge how successful the program is and if any uptick in adverse behavior can be tied to it. 

It's not that complicated, nor should it be too difficult to integrate into existing stadium practices. The best part of having Ohio small businesses shoulder the exercise of bringing their products to the Shoe is that the increase in concessions revenue isn't the best part. It's exposure these local producers will have to heavily-biased consumers of Ohio's most beloved local product.

Showcasing Ohio-made products and manufacturers without violating the NCAA's on-campus alcohol marketing ban or compromising fan safety is a win for all game day stakeholders.

Evidence shows that doing so would provide greater control over alcohol consumption. The detractors to the idea of stadium beer sales are poorly informed to the benefits of unlocking and controlling the flow of suds to fans. And locally-manufactured craft beer at a stadium markup is hardly the optimal vehicle for binge drinking.

"If the deterrent from the university standpoint is that they cannot justify selling cheaper beer for fear of bad behavior, then they should explore more practical options," said Benner. "Craft beer may actually assist in shrinking the horde of intoxicated fans."

"Using local companies to accomplish this would also infuse local businesses with significant growth opportunities they normally could not achieve on their own."


Comments Show All Comments

hodge's picture

I find it ironic--yet totally appropriate--that the two of us are the first to respond to this article.  

bassplayer7770's picture

Agreed, although the subject of some of our previous beer discussions (TSUN brews) may not be appropriate here.  Haha

hodge's picture

I was originally vehemently opposed to this subject, I'm starting to turn the corner now.  Well written, and a good read, Ramzy.
Also, Maumee brewing's Buckeye Beer clone could serve as a cheaper "American-style lager" substitute for fans.  Lacking the adjuncts normally found in Miller/Coors/Bud (corn and rice), Buckeye Beer is a pretty solid pilsner, and cheap to boot.  Not to mention that it has the perfect name for Ohio State games.

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Just to clarify a bit...it's Maumee Bay Brewing Company in Toledo that produces Buckeye Beer. It's a buck a bottle at a local store -- The Andersons -- if you buy it as a single bottle to make up a 4- or 6-pack of different craft brews. You can also buy 6 and 12-packs. It is good, too. I've enjoyed several bottles. There are two (?) Andersons stores in the Columbus area. Do they carry Buckeye down there?

Doc's picture

Jim, I buy my Buckeye at the Maume Andersons.  Along with a Packo dog or three.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Doc's picture

"When you're dry, drink Buckeye!"  Great beer.  I have a buddy that lives in Elmhurst Ill. and I bring a case to him everytime I visit.
I'm still not sold on beer in the stadium, but if they would do it with a nod to the in state breweries I could get on board.  Keeping Bud/Miller/Coors out would be a good idea.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

buckeyedude's picture

Buckeye Beer by Maumee Bay brewing is a light Pale Ale, and would fit the bill for a microbrew that unsophisticated drinkers could drink and not notice much of a difference.
The only thing missing would be the huge advertising and the "promise of thousands of good looking girls, if you drink this beer."



Ahh Saturday's picture

Football without beer is like the Secret Service without hookers.

Maestro's picture

"sober on-campus" love the irony of that phrase.  Good topic Ramzy, thanks.

vacuuming sucks

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Particularly when Woody's Tavern serves beer/wine/liquor in the union.
They could just easily sell what they sell at Woody's, in the Shoe + more (at both). 

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

William's picture

Sloopy's also serves beer, and quality beer at that (Great Lakes).

BuckeyeVet's picture

If it the Great Lakes line of brews (from Cleveland) I'm absolutely on board!

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

DJ Byrnes's picture

Today it's beer, tomorrow it's heroin! 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Maestro's picture

Is that what happened in Marion?

vacuuming sucks

DJ Byrnes's picture

Yes but we started with oxycontin and ended with the horse.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Maestro's picture

It's not over till it's over DJ.

vacuuming sucks

chrisrexOSU's picture

Nah, they got meth, not heroin.

buckeye76BHop's picture

LOL DJ...I'm going to the OK cafe!  Then I'm going to pick up a young pussy from out back and take it home;-) 

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

BuckeyeVet's picture

Good to see you here, sir.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

DarthSweaterVest's picture

I say bring on quality Ohio beer in Ohio Stadium.

Baroclinicity's picture

I say try something that has never failed as a promotion:  10 cent beer night!!  What could go wrong (6/4/74)??

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

BuckeyeVet's picture

I think that might be a great article to put on the boards sometime. Bet no one ever tries that again !

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

doctor_brutus's picture

10 cent beers, 11/24/2012.  Do it.

OSUBias's picture

well written article Ramzy, and a great point of view. Good stuff, keep 'em coming

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

pcon258's picture

an interesting proposal. i think this could actually be a nice way to increase revenue, and do some good at the same time. although, id prefer natty over just about anything else....

William's picture

Dear god, no, just no haha. There are so many better cheap beers than Natty.

BUCKtuckian's picture

Ironically back in 2002 Metallica played a tour in the summer with Linkin Park/Limp Bizkit/Mudvayne/Deftones. Me and my friends chose to drive to the Pontiac Silverdome for this 7 hr bender. We knew indoors and beer would be a factor in enjoying our $100 tix. 
Some of my co-workers chose the Ohio Stadium tour stop a month or so later. Needless to say they were pissed. It was a hot sunny summer day outside and no alcohol was sold.
We would have chose the Cbus stop if they sold beer... There was some missed revenue that day for sure..

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic.
Ron White

Buckeyeneer's picture

I was supposed to be at that show at the shoe. I think it was actually in 2003. Not trying to be the timeline-correcting-nazi, just that I remember that day as the "Blackout of 2003".  . . . . . . and that's why I don't drink Everclear anymore.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

hail2victors9's picture

Ironically, I was at that show at Ohio Stadium...one of the two times I've been there.  I don't recall there being beer there, but I remember my buddy puking in a 20oz coke cup after drinking too much in 95 degree heat.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

Boxley's picture

Don't drink myself, maybe a little more suds in the stands will assist in pumping up the volume of the crowd, or put them to sleep faster........
Sorry, forgot to say;
 Ramzy, as always a good read with a realistic take on what can be, could have been, will be..... love your work.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

builderofcoalitions's picture

It's good to know that there are other Buckeyes out there with sensible tastes in beer. The stereotype out there suggests otherwise.
I'm a huge craft beer proponent (proof) and would conisder weekly 9-hour drives to see Buckeye home games if this were to become a reality. Hell, I'd consider seeing a game up north if it meant Founders and Jolly Pumpkin all game long.  [dreaming of sipping on a BORIS the Crusher as the Buckeyes destroy Michigan University...]

Because we couldn't go for three.

hodge's picture

Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout...now that's a damn fine ale.  Great Lakes Blackout Stout is also another incredible Ohio Imperial Stout.
And you can ask Bassplayer, we sing the praises of Michigan's microbrew scene almost religiously.

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Beer is about the only good thing that comes from that state up north; Bell's, Founders, etc.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

bassplayer7770's picture

Can't argue with that.  Anybody else thirsty?

BuckeyeMike74's picture

I make an annual drive from St. Louis to the shoe with a car-full of buddies, and knowing we can't buy a beer inside the stadium has prompted two actions -- Have an extra beer or 3 at Varsity Club or b-dubs before heading in and/or lining our socks with mini bottles of rum to consume while inside.  We could and often have abstained from drinking inside, but this idea of selling craft beer would eliminate the two behaviors I mentioned.  As a fan of craft beers (Commodore Perry IPA from great lakes may be my favorite) I love and support the ideas in this article.  
Thanks for writing it!!!

mshaf's picture

Beer and Disco record night.What could go wrong ?

SaintTressel's picture

Great Article! I had to read fast and there was a lot to digest, but a couple of thoughts.
Are craft brews generally higher in alcohol content then Budlight/coors light/whatever? What effects would this have on intoxication? Won't people still binge drink outside and then begin drinking beers with an alcohol content higher then they are accustomed to?

Evidence shows that doing so would provide greater control over alcohol consumption. The detractors to the idea of stadium beer sales are poorly informed to the benefits of unlocking and controlling the flow of suds to fans. And locally-manufactured craft beer at a stadium markup is hardly the optimal vehicle for binge drinking.

Doesn't evidence actually show that providing generic beers affords stadiums greater control over alcohol consumption?
How close of substitues are Craft brews inside a stadium and binge drinking outside of it? You could make the argument that serving craft brews would cut down much less on binge drinking outside the stadium (and sneaking booze in) then serving generic beers.

Establish quantitative metrics and tracking to gauge how successful the program is and if any uptick in adverse behavior can be tied to it.

This. My feelings--try it for a year. Better yet, start with the generic beers and try working some craft brews in.
Sorry the post is rushed (not actually sorry)

hodge's picture

His point was that craft beers are generally less "quaffable" than your traditional, mainstream domestic tipple.  Budwieser, Miller, Coors, etc. are all designed to be drank fast and often, thus expediating the process of intoxication.  Craft beers typically cater to a more sophisticated palate, and offer flavors much more intense than domestics.  Even entry-level microbrews like Sam Adams Boston Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (top two craft beers by sales, respectively) are so radically different than domestic beers that they're more often drank slower to maximize the flavor.  
Not to say you can't rip through microbrews, but it's a lot harder.  Especially when it comes to the high alcohol ones, which I'd advise stadiums abstain from selling.  Most craft brews top out around 7% abv, while a bottle of Bud runs around 5%.  For example, most of the Great Lakes Brewing catalogue runs between 6-7% abv (with some outliers, like imperial stouts, etc.).
To best illustrate the difference, I'll quote the great Eric Idle:

"American beer is like sex in a rowboat, it's f***ing close to water."

BuckeyeVet's picture

Hodge - after reading your reply, I'd say you are a gentleman and a scholar. Or, at least, you know your beer. Your 1st Great Lakes is on me this fall if we make it to any 11W functions!

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

hodge's picture

Much obliged, good sir.

AltaBuck's picture

Could we morph Buckeye Guy into Duffman and rename? Suggestions?

I am Groot - Groot

chitown buckeye's picture

Ohhhh Yeahhh!

"I'm having a heart attack!"

sandytowne's picture

Selling micro-brews at a game is a great idea but with two major drawbacks; the alcohol content in micro-brews is traditionally much stronger than the macro's.  This leads to people getting drunk quicker, and also leads to people drinking less beers (and hence profit goes down). 
Selling a combination of macro and micro-brews makes the most sense.  I was at an Akron Areo's game this past weekend and they have two concession stands dedicated to local breweries; Thirsty Dog and Ohio Brewing, as well as two stands dedicated to Miller. 

sir rickithda3rd's picture

First let me say I prefer liquor waaay before beer (thats how we roll in marion).The more beer taste like water the happier I am. Great article Ramzy I cosign your proposition

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

Doc's picture

The ALC content of micros can be three times what butlight is.  Coors Light is 5.5% alcohol, my beer of choice when eating bdubs.  I was drinking Edmund Fitzgerald's at 5.8% and Eliot Ness' at 6.2% this weekend.  Two or three of those is all you really need[I typed need NOT want;)]  I would think most beer drinkers would go for a butlight over most/all craft beers.  Not me, but I'm not most beer drinkers.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Hoody Wayes's picture

Beer or any other alcholic bev sold in Ohio Stadium? Nope. Never.

Bucksfan's picture

It's an interesting proposal, but even at stadiums with craft beers, they'll have Coors Light or Bud Light on tap, too, I think as a way to subsidize cost of the liquor license.  I wouldn't object to beer at Ohio Stadium.  I seriously doubt that it is going to increase the # of incidents.  People have been smuggling in liquor for years, and that's probably more dangerous than a regulated flow of $7.50 beers.

vidstudent's picture

It is a good proposal, and it's not like OSU doesn't know who these brewers are, either:  At the Ohio Union, both Woody's and Sloopy's sell Ohio-brewed beers from around the state.

Nicholas Eckert


DefendOhio's picture

Get Great Lakes on board (Best Beer In Ohio, and prolly the midwest) and then we would be talking!

BuckeyeVet's picture

Yes ^

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

Northbrook's picture

I am now officially a Colorado State fan if you can get Colorado CoolAid at their games. Damnit, it's BANQUET BEER!

RBuck's picture

The way to go would be draft only. Costs the vender about 30 cents for 12 oz. and sell it for 6-8 bucks. OSU takes half and all of a sudden they're the most profitable AD in the country....and I hate draft.

Long live the southend.

biggy84's picture

Finally there is a topic i am actually qualified to speak about with true knowledge. I have worked for many years in advanced sales for all 3 major breweries, at different times (i'm a whore for money). I appreciate the article, but there are some flaws in the logic. 
Major breweries have the necessary funds to buy the rights for representation in any venue, something the small breweries cannot. The major breweries also have exclusivity contracts with certain vending companies that would prevent the sale of any competitors product. The decision to sell beer at games would be a financial decision, and financially it wouldn't make sense to not take the highest bid.
The liability for enforcement laws, etc, would belong to the vendor. The vendor would have training to adhere to the laws or face the consequences. Trained staff would ensure that someone who is obviously inebriated would not be served any alcohol, thus having control over the situation.

Doc's picture

That all sounds non-sensical.  Biggy have you ever drank beer before? Let alone worked for a brewery? You obviously no not what you talk about. J/K :D

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

biggy84's picture

I have tried far more beers than any person should =) 

USMCBUCKEYE82's picture

The major breweries also have exclusivity contracts with certain vending companies that would prevent the sale of any competitors product.
I think those contracts go out the window. It is the Ohio Stadium! If Ohio State wants to have macro and micro served in house. Then that is what would happen. There is no way that any distributor is goin to walk away from OSU refusing to sign exclusivity contracts. Too much money to be missed out on.
Everything else is completely on point.

biggy84's picture

Ohio State would not have the contract, their vendor would. IF there is a contract between the vendor and a major brewer, they would be held to the contract. If there is a McDonalds on any campus, they cannot sell Pepsi products, regardless if the university president wants them to, because they are an exclusive Coke vendor. 
Example- http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/miller-lite-continues-as-exclusi...

William's picture

Quick question. Considering that the restaraunts in the Union: Sloopy's and Woody's have made the attempt to only serve beers that were locally produced in Ohio, like Great Lakes, could they not just look to those companies to provide for gamedays as well? 

biggy84's picture

The liquor license of any establishment is not transferrable. If those companies had the licensing to do so, then they could. The big problem is that contracts are usually awarded bid, and the major brewers have far too much money for a small brewer to compete. Some venues do not exclusivity, which would be terrific. Even then, the major players get a large portion of coverage. 
If you ever fly into St Louis, you may be very shocked to see the tap selection there. You would think that St Louis would be a huge AB market due to the fact that they are headquartered there and employ a large number of people in that area. Most of the bars are run by a national vending company that has contracts with various breweries that covers any location they operate in, so you may be shocked to see more Miller/Coors products on tap than AB. That has everything to do with contracts. 

USMCBUCKEYE82's picture

You are exactly right. I had a .... brain fart...I guess. But you are spot. 

SPreston2001's picture

Bring on the beer!!!!

ThirdLegLouie's picture

Great, GREAT piece. Love the idea, Ramzy. 

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

buckeye76BHop's picture

Love the idea...but doubt it happens in the Shoe.  But man would it be cool if it did

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

OurHonorDefend09's picture

Awesome article, I'm all for it. Seems like it has way more upside than not.
Also, where can I buy some beer from Oval Brewing? I'd love to try out some local brews.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I love it.  I always thought that it would be a bad idea to sell beer at the 'Shoe, but I never realized all of the considerations around it before.  It's genius to do local Ohio beers.  I don't much like those mainstream beers anyway. 

Class of 2010.

FLAMikey's picture

Imagine the revenue they could make at WVU if they sold moonshine in coonskin covered flasks.

klfeck's picture

A couple of points:
1. I have been to a few UC games where half the fans stand with their backs to the game swilling beer. I know that is because Cincy is far from being a football school or football town(sorry Boom) but I would hate to see the same thing happen at the shoe. I know that's apples to oranges, most people who pay $100 a ticket actually like to watch the game.
2. Using WV to sell your case is a losing cause. How would the police know if there was an increase in rowdy behavior in a place like that. I don't think too many Buckeye fans want the shoe to resemble WV in any way.
3. I know that many drink before OSU games, but then most have 3 hours to sober up before heading home. That would not be the case if beer were to be sold at games. God knows traffic is hell after a game anyway.
4. I dont think revenue is an argument for selling beer at the shoe. They are swimming in cash as is. If they donate beer sales to the Spielman fund I might change my mind.
dont get me wrong, I love beer and I would love to have the occasional one while at the shoe, but honestly I don't remember ever missing one while at the game. Just my .02



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

William's picture

$8-$10 beer is not going to increase the amount of inebriated people in attendance. It's not like they would be selling shots of Patron at any of the vendors. Besides I've seen guys sneak in a Camelbak bladder under their hoodies that was filled with Jaiger. If people want to get drunk, they'll find a way to do it. Just cut off sales halfway through the 3rd quarter if you're worried about people needing time to sober up.

collisionbend's picture

Oh, man... there are all sorts of excellent brews from all over the state that would be outstanding to quaff while watching the Bucks: Great Lakes from Cleveland would of course be an excellent choice with several excellent beers to offer; Thirsty Dog, Ohio, and Hoppin' Frog Breweries from Akron would knock your socks off with a number of excellent ales; Oval and Buckeye from our beloved Columbus (still my second home); and I'm certain that Cincy has something better than Hudy, Christian Moerlein, or Schoenling's -- certainly not Sam Adams -- I'm just not sure as to what. I'm open to suggestions.

My only issue with your proposal, Ramzy, is that it'll never work: it's too damned practical, too logical, and makes far too much sense for any Ohio politician (or school administrator) to agree to.
I certainly hope they can be persuaded along these lines, though.

"There's a fine line between perception and reality." -- Luke Fickell

buckeyedude's picture

GREAT, GREAT idea Ramzy!
Just my opinion, but I think selling beer inside the stadium would actually reduce drinking outside the stadium for adults. If people like myself know I get a brewski inside the stadium, I might not try to put down 2 or 3 more(and then run straight to the urinal) at the tailgate before I go in.
I personally love microbrews and think it is a great idea. Goose Island, Great Lakes Brewery, Maumee Bay Brewing, Sam Adams. Love them all.  This would be a cool way for Ohio State to be unique. It's harder to get sh*tfaced drinking heavy microbrews than that water-down piss flavored crap that Budweiser and Busch sells.
Don't think it will happen though.



cabanaboy925's picture

Another great Ramzy contribution...love the idea, and price alone is a built in deterrent to people getting overly intoxicated.  I buy a beer at the beginning of every period of Blue Jackets games and that amounts to $30 per game... a rather expensive endeavor.
As far as recommendations, I want to offer up Elevator Brewing's  Three Frogs IPA, my new favorite beer.  It's very powerful too at 7.6%.

it's Miller time....