Intentional walk, steal, ground out, balk, dinger, triple-crown, grand salami. These utterances are all synonymous with one of America's oldest avocation, baseball. In an era when the world seems over-stimulated by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, breaking news, or the selfie, baseball has endured. 170 years later (since the first game was played in Hoboken) fans and leisure-seekers continue to be energized by witnessing a home run, a stolen base, or a no-hitter. Call it slow, call it boring, but there's no denying the welcome distraction the game provides.
Located in Seattle's historic SoDo (South Downtown) neighborhood, Safeco Field has witnessed numerous history-making events. Whether it was Felix's No-Hitter, Ichiro's Hits milestone or the day The Kid's jersey was retired, Safeco has been a church for both the malcontented and persevering Mariners fan. But with each year, starting with Opening Day, a sort of catharsis infects 47,000+ fans with the hope that this is the year we win it all. To that end, chef Ethan Stowell would like to complement the start of another season at The Safe, by showcasing the food and drinks that will hopefully be as memorable as the team we can't stop loving.
Like any meal, one starts with a refreshment before choosing an appetizer or main course. Please consider the following options, before filling one's stomach on baskets of Garlic Fries.
'cellar series' beers from local and regional breweries.
Bolstered by the increasing interest for the uncommon and in some cases strong, the Seattle Mariners are happy to share a private stash of beers, starting with Black Raven Lat Mort. Brewing from nearby Redmond (Washington), La Mort Bourbon Abbey-Style Brown Ale will take you down for the count if you aren't careful. At 11.30% Alcohol by Volume and $10 for 12 ounces, the only light sensation felt will be in your head, not in your wallet.
La Mort Bourbon is our award-winning strong Belgian brown that has been aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months. Annual release, time of year varies.
With the evacuation of La Mort, Schooner Exact will share a keg of their Imperial Porter for those wishing for colder days and darker beers. Following this, the only other brewery we know of is Escondido's Stone Brewing, who will be no-doubt nourish visiting California ex-pats, with the taste of Stone Russian Imperial Stout.
Unfortunately, the beverage management at Safeco wouldn't release additional breweries, for fear someone might break into the secret cellar to drink from the vaulted kegs. Like the catch of the day, one will have to purchase a ticket and visit Section 129, stopping at the cask-conditioned station, to learn more.
Comparable to each season's starting lineup, the following breweries are new Safeco Field:
- Hop Valley Brewing Company. Started in 2005 and located in Springfield (Oregon), Hop Valley was a relative unknown in Seattle's landscape of ales and lagers. With financial assistance after the sale to MillerCoors, the brewers at Hop Valley are expanding awareness with names like Hop Mistress and Red. Curious what a Citrus Mistress tastes like? Swing over to Green Shipping Container, located on the main level, near the bullpen.
- Saint Archer Brewing Company. Independently-owned and operated from 2013-10/2015, Saint Archer is located in San Diego, California. Until recently this brewery was a relative unknown, to most, and only used as currency by beer traders throughout The Golden State. Today, the brewery which is owned by MillerCoors, will be available during the Seattle Mariners regular season for the first time.
- Montucky Cold Snacks. Unlike many breweries that advertise their support of non-profits, co-owners Chad Zeitner and Jeremy Gregory put their commitment on the label. Available in 16-ounce pint cans throughout the ballpark, ask your nearby beer vendor for a MCS.
Just in time for the 2017 regular season, the following draft beers are new to the lineup:
- Alaskan Company's Big Mountain Pale Ale from Juneau, Alaska (Sections 105, 146, 185, All Star Club, Bar in the 'Pen)
- Diamond Knot India Pale Ale from Mukilteo, Washington (Sections 134, 319, 349)
- Farmstrong La Raza Amber Lager from Mount Vernon, Washington (Sections 121, 129, 185, 319, Edgar's Cantina, Bar in the 'Pen)
- Ghostfish gluten-free Grapefruit India Pale from Seattle, Washington (The Natural)
- Ghostfish gluten-free Meteor Shower Blonde from Seattle, Washington (The Natural)
- Pike Space Needle India Pale Ale from Seattle, Washington (Section 136)
- Sumerian Holy Water Citrus India Pale Ale from Woodinville, Washington (Section 134, 185, 223, 319, 330, All Star Club, Hit it Here Cafe, Bar in the 'Pen)
Meanwhile, the following breweries have been retired. Who knows they might make a comeback in the coming seasons.
- Double Mountain Brewing Company Hood River, OR
- Ninkasi Brewing Company from Eugene, OR
- pFriem Family Brewers from Hood River, OR
Returning for another season, be on the lookout for cask-conditioned beers from the following breweries, near section 129:
- Black Raven Brewing Company from Redmond, Washington
- Diamond Knot Brewing Company from Mukilteo, Washington
- Georgetown Brewing Company from Seattle, Washington
- Laurelwood Brewing Company from Portland, Oregon
- Machine House from Seattle, Washington
- Naked City Brewery and Taproom from Seattle, Washington
- Silver City Brewing Company from Bremerton, Washington
- Stoup Brewing Company from Seattle, Washington
Answering that nagging question, associated with cost here's the breakdown:
Draft-Beer: Available in 16 and 24 ounces (with the exception of the limited-edition beers) will cost either $9.50(domestic) or $10.50 (premium) for 16-ounces and $12(domestic) and $12.50 (for premium) respectfully. This change simplifies the costs as goers can now get either a can or draft beer in 16-ounces or 24-ounces.
Reminder, if you're looking to get started early on gameday, the 'Pen will be open 2.5 hours before first pitch, featuring a special happy hour price of $6.50 for all 16-ounce beers.
Complementing the many beers at The Safe, the following spirits, wine, and cideries have been included for the 2017 season:
- Columbia Crest & Beringer Founders’ Estate Wines. This year, the winery has been selected as the "house" wine for the ballpark. Fan of Columbia Crest? Ask for the "house" wine.
- Heritage Distilling. Hailing from Gig Harbor, the distillery will be showcasing their unique gin, vodka, and whiskey. Ask for an HSB Old Fashioned to taste their Brown Sugar bourbon, infused into this classic cocktail.
In all seriousness, it's impractical to expect anyone to sustain themselves solely on cocktails, wine, or beer. So Chef Ethan Stowell has enlisted the following locally-owned companies to nourish and enrich your palates.
- Great State Burgers (located in The 'Pen). As we have a soft-spot for the one-handed sandwich, Great State convinced us there's nothing crazier than pairing their Double Cheese Burger with Black Raven La Mort. True, many will disagree, but unless Chef Stowell can make an affordable filet for the ballpark, we're gonna stick with a Dbl. Cheese with some bourbon barrel-aged abbey-style brown ale.
In addition to Great State, Safeco Field and the Seattle Mariners invite you to visit the following restaurants, luncheons, and desert vendors:
- Ballard Pizza (located in The 'Pen)
- Poquito's (located in The 'Pen and Edgar's Cantina)
- Dynamite Chicken (located in The 'Pen)
- Uptown China (located in The 'Pen)
- Fletcher's Mariner Dog (located throughout the ballpark)
- Frozen Rope Ice Cream Sandwich Co. (located throughout the ballpark)
- Rita's Italian Ice (5 locations in the ballpark)
- Caffe Vita. (located throughout the ballpark)
- Heritage Distilling presents the HSB Lounge (Third Base Terrace Club Level)
- CB's Nuts (paired with Northwest craft beers near section 132 and throughout the ballpark)
As with anything the list of breweries, beers, and vendors are subject to change. Word has it there will be some beer-related events at the ballpark. As always we will share what we know when we know.