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Posted: 1:53 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Round Rock Express opens craft beer garden 

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Brew at the Rock photo
Dell Diamond now offers 16 rotating craft beer taps at the newly opened beer garden, Brew at the Rock, where visitors to the ballpark can relax with a pint.

By Arianna Auber

Starting this season, you might have another reason to spend a few hours at Dell Diamond that has nothing to do with baseball.

The Round Rock Express has revamped the ballpark's food offerings, with everything from fish and chips to a steak sandwich, but the highlight of the culinary overhaul (from the perspective of this blog, at least) is a craft beer garden, Brew at the Rock, that sells 16 beers on rotating taps.

After all, what beverage pairs better with baseball than beer? And shouldn't the beer be as good as the baseball, especially in a city like Austin? That was the thinking behind adding a bar selling only local and national craft beers, including Independence, Goose Island and Firestone Walker, according to Ryan-Sanders Sports Services, the the food and drinks arm of the Express that transformed all of Dell Diamond's former concessions stands.

"I challenge anyone to find that unique of a beer list in a minor league stadium anywhere in the country," Jay Kudla, general manager for Ryan-Sanders, said.

He said Brown Distributing helped put together the beer list and the beer logo for Brew at the Rock, located along the third base line just below a special covered area that people can rent out for parties. The beer garden has a handful of tables where baseball fans and beer lovers alike can relax at during games. Here, you can get 20 oz. pours of the beers on tap for $7.50 unless it's Thursday, when beers are $1 off.

"The idea is that it's more than a sporting event, it's a social event," Jill Cacic, the Express' communications director, said.

Throughout the season, Brew at the Rock will host special tappings; Kudla said he eventually hopes to add beer flights to the menu as well in case people aren't sure about what they like. That's partly the purpose behind Friday's Brew Review event — a beer tasting featuring many of the brewers whose beers are on the beer garden menu.

It's a tap list that won't stay the same for too long, either. Spicewood's Solid Rock will soon be added, and a lot more summer beers will also start being tapped once temperatures start heating up.

If you're looking for something a little different to pair with the new ballpark food (but that's still boozy), Dell Diamond also offers beer milkshakes — a chocolate stout shake with Independence Convict Hill and Blue Bell chocolate ice cream; a dreamsicle shake with Shock Top Apple Wheat, orange juice and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream; and a butterscotch shake with Firestone Walker DBA, caramel and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.

Plus, in Jack Allen's Kitchen in an exclusive upstairs lounge, there is a bourbon shake with Bulleit. It's one of the boozy drinks on Jack Allen's cocktail menu that are only at this Jack Allen's location, such as the Diamond Express, with Cinco Vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and jalapeños.

Here's the current list of craft beer at the ballpark:

Infamous Hijack Cream Ale
Firestone Walker Pale 31
Firestone Walker Pivo Pils
Firestone Walker Union Jack
Goose Island 312
Goose Island Honker's Ale
Independence Austin Amber
Kona Big Wave
New Belgium Ranger IPA
New Belgium Snapshot
Pedernales HefeWeizen
Rahr's Blonde
Grapevine Lakefire
Stella Artois Cidre (a hard cider)
Widmer Upheaval IPA
Pedernales Lobo Texas Lager
Omission IPA

Arianna Auber

About Arianna Auber

Arianna Auber writes in-depth news about beer, cocktails and spirits for Liquid Austin and keeps readers in the know about fun local events with the Planner.

Connect with Arianna Auber on:Twitter

Send Arianna Auber an email.

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