Sweetwater Boots Atlanta Breweries out of Turner Field

Sweetwater Turner Field

We love Sweetwater Brewery! They have played an instrumental role in developing the Georgia craft beer scene. According to the Brewers Association, Georgia is now one of the largest craft beer markets in the country. Atlanta is also home to some the best beer bars in the world such as  the Brickstore Pub and the Porter.

Everyone has their fix when it comes to beer. Some enjoy insanely hoppy India Pale Ales, while others will just down a Bud Light. We are huge craft beer nerds! We drink everything from amber ales to sours. So when we head to a ballgame we like to have options.

In 2013, Turner Field added a craft beer stand in the main pavilion. You could order beers from local breweries such as Red Brick, Sweetwater, and Terrapin. Assortment is always nice. It was even better having Terrapin Hopsecutioner on tap at several locations.

In a move to obtain one of the largest beer accounts in the city, Sweetwater agreed to a massive deal with Turner stadium vendor Aramark. They now control the craft beer kiosk that existed in the main pavilion. They serve 16 ounce cans at $9.50 a pop. No typo there folks, yes $9.50 for a Sweetwater 420! One can always expect steep beer prices at a stadium, but that seems outrageous.

Not only did Sweetwater nab one of the best beer locations at Turner Field, they also booted out other breweries such as Terrapin. On Opening Day, Sweetwater was the only locals beer offered. That means no more Terrapin Rye or Red Brick Hoplanta. Capitalism at its finest!

Distribution information behind the deal: In 2013 the beer stand was dubbed the “Coors Light craft beer kiosk.” Coors Light, Sweetwater, and Terrapin are all distributed by the same company, United Distributors. Georgia has a three tier alcohol  system in-place, which means that breweries are not allowed to distribute their own beer.  Rather they have to use a middle man such as United Distributors.

The partnership between the Braves and Sweetwater is great, but is it appropriate that they pulled other regional beers from The Ted?

 

Mitchell’s Take on the Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves somehow managed to win the NL East last season and the only reason they did finish in first place was because of the awful play by the Nationals and Phillies. I think without a doubt the NL East is THE WORST division in baseball. I mean look at the other divisions in baseball. They are way more competitive than the NL East!! Way more! If the Atlanta Braves played in the NL Central, they’d be in 3rd place year after year! A lot of people that cover the Braves like to bank on the fact that the team was in first place, but being in “first place” doesn’t define exactly how good of a team that they are. If the Atlanta Braves win their division which I think will happen and proceed to lose in the division series, being in “first place” absolutely WILL NOT matter. It will be irrelevant! When it comes down to winning a World Series, being in “first place” during the regular season doesn’t matter. The only thing that ultimately matters to me is how good a team does in the playoffs. I mean the regular season matters because you have to do good in the regular season to make it to the playoffs but having success in the regular season and the postseason are two different things. With that being said, I do not believe the Braves are capable of winning in the playoffs. This lineup isn’t a lineup that I believe can beat a Wainwright or a Kershaw when need be in the playoffs. There are quite a few holes in their lineup and it all starts with the current leadoff hitter, Andrelton Simmons. He is simply just not the answer at leadoff. He’s a proven 8 hole hitter. His numbers are incredible when he bats eighth. The braves have other guys on their roster that can bat leadoff. For Example, I think that Bj Upton would be a good leadoff hitter. Before you say I’m crazy, let me explain. I understand he has really been struggling lately in many departments, but I think batting him leadoff would give him a totally different approach at the plate. He’s also batted leadoff before in the past. So it wouldn’t be something unknown to him. I think he’d be great in that spot! He’s got a ton of speed as well. While I don’t think he’d do as nearly as good of a job as Michael Bourn did last year, I think he’d be better than anybody else they’ve got on the 25-man roster. Another hole in our lineup is the 2 hole. Last year the braves had Bourn and Prodo as their 1 and 2 hitters and any braves fan knows how good those teo guys were. This year it’s Simmons and heyward. That duo hasn’t done much of ANYTHING! I think Fredi Gonzalez should continue batting Jason in the 2 hole though. I don’t think there is a better option right now. And last but not least the last three spots in the lineup have KILLED the braves. Before Bj was placed on the DL, the 7, 8, and 9 spots consisted of uggla, bj, and the pitcher. That’s an EASY three outs for a top pitcher. You absolutely CANNOT have that happen in the playoffs! The bottom of that lineup is a rally killer. I think if Fredi makes some changes in this lineup, this team might be able to have some success in the playoffs. Hopefully that will be the case and the braves can make a run at the World Series!!

Braves Honor Hammerin Hank – Selig Chimes In

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the “shot heard ’round the world.” On April 8, 1974 Henry “Hank” Aaron became the new home run champion, passing Hall of Famer Babe Ruth with 715 career home runs. A moment that is extremely memorable to any sports fan.

Atlanta Braves fans still acknowledge Aaron as the true home run king. MLB commissioner, Bud Selig, also suggested that Aaron is the games leading home run hitter.

In an article on USA Today, Selig was asked about the Aaron being the true home run champ. He said, “I’m always in a sensitive spot there, but I’ve said that myself and I’ll just leave it at that.”

In Tuesday’s ceremony, legendary Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren announced “Aaron is still recognized as baseball’s true home run king.” We agree with Wieren’s statement.  Although some may think the broadcaster is being facetious, Aaron was one of the game’s best hitters. Not only did he play in a time where steroids were non-existent.  He was also one of the first African American players to enter the league.

Aaron joined MLB just seven years after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He began his professional career in the Negro League with the Indianapolis Colts and debuted with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. His first major league hit was a double against the Reds.

After jersey numbers from 5, to 44, he became one of the best hitters in the game. His 755 career home runs are not the only astonishing stat. He hit above .300 for his career, walked more times than he struck out (possibly because teams started pitching around him), and holds the MLB all time record for runs batted in (RBIs). 240 stolen bases is also a nice for a power hitter than got on base 37.4% of the time.

For sabermetrics fans, Aaron is seventh all time for Wins Above Replacement with 142.6.  The only active players in MLB in the top 50 are Alex Rodriguez (116) and Albert Pujols (93.1). Future Braves Hall of Fame third baseman Chipper Jones is 50th on the list with a 85 WAR.

We thank one of our heroes Hammerin Hank!

 

Freeman Leads the Way With 2 Homers

Atlanta Braves 5 – Milwaukee Brewers 2

The Atlanta Braves were shut out 2-0  in their season opener Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers.  Julio Teheran pitched well allowing two-hits in six-innings of work.  The bats were silent and did not create any buzz.

The most exciting part of ballgame may have come when manager Fredi Gonzalez challenged a play call. He now holds the record of being the first manager to issue a challenge that was reversed.

Heading into Tuesday night, Braves pitcher Alex Wood knew he would have a tough match-up against flamethrower Kyle Lohse.  Wood’s first pitch of the season was a deep solo home run to outfielder Carlos Gomez. As usual, Gomez sprinted around the bases, causing mixed emotions in the dugout. Was this deja vu? Last year, catcher Brian McCann and Gomez got in a brawl at home plate. The fight came  after Gomez showboated around the bases on a first inning solo jack at Turner Field. However, no brawl broke out Tuesday night.

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In the fifth-inning Jason Heyward launched a two-run homer to give the Braves their first lead of the season. As the great Braves announcer Skip Caray used to say, “A little insurance wouldn’t hurt.” I guess first baseman Freddie Freeman got that message. As he belted two solo home runs himself.

Alex Wood settled down nicely after a shaky start. He went seven-innings and only allowed one run. Although he struck out five batters, he also issued three walks.

Setup man David Carpenter struggled with his command and gave up an eighth-inning run. Then it was Kimbrel Time. Craig Kimbrel faced a full-count to every batter, but also struck out the side.

What did you think of Tuesday night’s game?

Off Season Recap

Frank Wren and the Atlanta Braves began the off season by not making a qualifying offer to starting pitcher Tim Hudson and watching Brian McCann sign with the Evil Empire, the New York Yankees. Because the Braves extended a qualifying offer to Big Mac, the team will receive a first round draft pick as compensation from the Bronx Bombers.

There was speculation that the Cincinnati Reds were interested in trading Brandon Phillips  for Dan Uggla. That trade never came to fruition. Uggla is currently the starting second baseman and batting in the middle of the lineup for the Bravos.

When Wren and company watched Hudson and Paul Maholm sign with other teams, management agreed to terms with Freddy Garcia. They were confident that their surplus of young pitching and the return of Brandon Beachy would be enough entering the season.

In February, just as Braves fans thought the off season would come and go, Freddie Freeman agreed to the largest contract in team history. He signed a rich 8-year deal worth $135 million. The Braves spending spree continued as they locked up starting pitcher Julio Teheran, All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, and Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The front office spent $280+ million in a matter of weeks.

The buzz around baseball was soaring with the new extensions. Then came the bad news. In as few as twenty-four hours the Braves learned that ace Kris Medlen and starting pitcher Brandon Beachy needed season-ending Tommy John surgery. As a result the Braves needed to add pitching. Ervin Santana agreed to a 1-year/$14 million deal with the Bravos and may be ready the third week of the season. Garcia was released after a decent spring and the Braves signed Aaron Harang.

What are your thoughts of the Braves off season?

 

 

New Look for Atlanta Braves Nation

We’re very excited to be back at the saddle again! This year we are bringing along three new staff writers and will be hosting our famous Live Bravo Blog for key matchups. Since 2007, Atlanta Braves Nation has been your source for Atlanta Braves news!

So what’s different with the new site?

We moved to a faster and easier new platform
Mobile Friendly: read blog posts on the go with your mobile device
Breaking news will appear at the top of the page

What stays the same?

We are still focused on delivering the freshest and latest Braves content
Our passion for Atlanta Braves baseball

 Enjoy the ride!