Team: San Francisco Giants
Ballpark Basics: Home of Splash Hit Home Runs
We had high hopes for our visit to Oracle Park. The ballpark lands on many Top 5 lists for MLB ballparks and with one visit it is easy to see why. With views of the San Francisco Bay and McCovey Cove, Oracle Park has one of the best backdrops in all of baseball. However, there are a couple aspects that just miss the mark.
Oracle Park is shoehorned into a small plot in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco and this leads to some of its benefits as well as its. The tiny footprint is the reason for the short right field wall and the splash hit home runs that land in McCovey Cove. However, this is also the reason for the cramped concourses you will find throughout the ballpark. The concourse wraps around the entire field but many of the views of the field are obstructed by the multiple concession stands. These same stands cause even more issues with traffic in the concourse.
Speaking of McCovey Cove, the Giants have one of the best views in baseball. However, when you are in the ballpark the view of the bay is only visible from the upper deck. In an ironic twist the seats in the lower bowl are not able to see the water just behind the right field wall. The best view of the bay is from the (somewhat) cheap seats!
Another aspect that makes Oracle Park great has nothing to do with aesthetics. Their food and beverage program is top notch. You can find almost any type of food you would want here. From seafood to Asian to Mexican to traditional ballpark fare and everything in between. The team does not skimp in the beverage section either.
Best Spot For Beer: Just like with the food options, fans will have no issues finding a variety of local and craft beverages. Most concession stands will have at least a couple of craft options. For a state and a region that are known for their craft beer it is great to see. The best option is the Public House restaurant along the first base side. Here you will find a list of 24 beers on tap that rotate throughout the season as well as over 75 options in cans/bottles.
Oracle Park makes a lot of ballpark lists and it’s not hard to see why. With some of the best views in baseball as well as some of the best food and drink options we had an absolute blast. However, there are a few small items that keep this from being the best ballpark in in Major League Baseball.
Cellarmaker Brewing Co.
Rating: Home Run!
Brew Basics: Beer worth relocating for
We checked out Cellarmaker on a Saturday, and apparently we weren’t the only ones with that plan, as it was packed with people. To be fair, the tap room wass on the small side, housing a rectangular bar with seating on two sides, all of three tables (seating family style) and a small wall area where people leaned and hung out. The packed feel was enhanced by the fact that the music was turned up to eleven *possibly fifteen* making anything less than full on shouting imperceptible. However, the decor was nice, olive drab accents complemented exposed brick walls, on which ghost prints and window boxes adorned the largest. The chalk board marker menu was by far one of the better we’d seen as it included descriptions of the beers along with the standard name, price, size and style.
Cellarmaker closed their original Howard street location at the end of 2023 and relocated their brew works to and the East Bay/Oakland area but Cellarmaker House of Pizza remains just a miles down the road of the original site. On our visit, the energetic bar tenders welcomed us and danced along to the music, and the fact that you could order anything in 5oz., 1/2 pints and full pints encouraged drinking and helped our ears acclimate. We liked everything we had, and so we splurged on 5.
Tim’s Brown (4.7% ABV/20 IBU) This beer had the most head of our pours, and clingy lacing. Chocolate brown in color with an ecru top, Tim’s smelled floral and nutty, and tasted nutty and woody. It’s also lightly hopped which caused the end to have a little bit of a bite not typically found in a brown ale, but not wholly unexpected on the hop-crazy west coast.
Midnight Silk (5.0% ABV/ 23 IBU) Coffee black liquid with no head. The Midnight Silk is a black lager that’s smooth and nutty with pronounced coffee roasted palate. It ended smooth and chocolatey and was very good.
Sweet Trees (6.7% ABV/52 IBU) The Sweet Trees IPA was a happy, bright yellow – pineapple color with no head, but some white lacing. The palate was juicy with bright florals and tropical fruits that lean most heavily toward pineapple and citrus. The smell is hoppy and tropical, and the end is similarly hoppy and fruity, but with some surprise strawberry notes to finish.
Mosaic Freshies (6.8% ABV) Brewed in the wet-hopped style that’s stedily gaining popularity, this one smelled to us – like most wet hopped IPA seem to – like weed. It tasted like grain and rice and was very sticky, and interestingly enough was fermented with cold beer instead of hot, sugary wort. It was a sharp contrast to Sweet Trees, and seemed harsh at first but grew on us. A solid beer but of a style that’s not our favorite.
Strawberry Shorty (4.5% ABV/17 IBU) Light yellowy-white ale that had just a hint of white lacing. It smells like a sour should, fermented and tangy, which carried over to the palate at first. Midway through the sip suddenly changes to strawberry jam, and then reverts back to sour and tart. An interesting addition to the sour fruit beer category.
Cellarmaker Brewing Co.
3193 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110