By Allie Pape
The Giants' first regular-season home game is coming up next Friday, and while the rules allow you to bring whatever snacks your heart desires into AT&T Park (seriously, we've carted in whole pizzas), outside booze is still verboten. Since shelling out $10 a pop for those plastic cups of Bud can really add up, we wanted to draw attention to two alternative options for drinkers looking to up their class and save a little cash.
1. Cart in a brew or two from Public House. Traci des Jardins' restaurant in the bottom of the ballpark has a killer beer selection, with 24 taps from local brewers (Bear Republic, Linden Street, Speakeasy, Russian River) and national craft beer luminaries (Allagash, Dogfish Head, Ballast Point). Not only are these beers far more interesting than the upstairs offerings, they're cheaper to boot, at an average of $6 a pint. Any brew on the menu can be served to-go at no extra charge; just ask for a plastic cup and head into the stadium through their nifty side entrance. Not feeling a hot dog or garlic fries from upstairs? They've got tasty, portable bites like house-fried potato chips and a sweet and spicy peanut mix for sale at the bar, as well as take-out boxes for indulgences like potato-chip crusted fried mac-and-cheese bites and soft pretzel nuggets with porter mustard.
2. Grab a drink from the new Anchor Plaza & Taproom. The pioneers of craft brewing have finally set up shop inside AT&T Park (they're located just behind the center-field scoreboard), and their offerings go far beyond just a pint of Anchor Steam. The weatherproof replica of their Potrero Hill taproom is the only place in the park where you can settle in with a pint of Liberty Ale or Anchor Porter, and they've even got some harder options from their distilling arm, including a Junipero gin and tonic and an Irish coffee spiked with Old Potrero whiskey. Four flat-screens surround the beer garden, ensuring you don't miss a second of the game.
Happy Opening Day, and go Giants!