Editor's note: Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 3 of this investigation
Another research sortie took place last week to Minute Maid Park. Previous research had raised some additional questions and proved to be incomplete.
First order of business is that I need to retract one charge of shenanigans on Minute Maid Park. I had previously declared that some of the craft beers were $9 at the upper level, but $8 at the lower level. This proved to be untrue, the sign next to the stand did not apply to the craft beers. Craft beers appear to be $8 for 23 oz. at all levels.
However, a new charge of shenanigans needs to be levied. At the same stand that SirRon got a $10 St. Arnold (23 oz) on opening day, I received the same for $8. As front line Minute Maid employees are involved in the process, the blame presumably lies there. Either the vendor on opening day overcharged, or the vendor this week undercharged. Hopefully the former. There is a secondary shenanigans charge as a result, $8 now gets two different quantities of St. Arnold on the lower (20 oz) vs. upper (23 oz) levels. Maybe they figure us po' folk up top need a bit more beer for our $?
Before I delve into more CPMMO analysis, another issue needs to be brought above the table. The one (1) upstairs craft beer stand still has "line issues". The Cubs/Astros game I attended was light on fans, but the line still took one full half inning, and part of another. With only 5 people in line in front of me. The problem is plastic. Everyone that was charging beers was slowing the vendor down 1-2 minutes per transaction as she was not equipped to just swipe and go, she had to wait for the whole thing and get the receipt signed. The lady in front of me and I had cash, pour & transaction time reduced to ~60 seconds. Otherwise it was 2-3 minutes for each (x 5 people = 15 minutes). As a PSA, please, please bring a little cash to Minute Maid to grease the skids here. As a second note, Cubs fans almost universally seemed to love their Bud/Miller products, shunning the vastly superior St. Arnold and slightly superior other options. Minute Maid should add an auxiliary stand for the 24 oz. cans (we used to have one behind Section 328, but it seems to have been rolled into this one bottleneck stand).
In other research, the following price schemes were discovered/clarified:
3) $7.50 draft at standard concession stand is 23 oz. Ziegenbock is one of the options at certain stands.
4) $5 (“small”) draft at standard concession stand “looked like” 12 oz.
5) Bottles are only 16 oz, I think only $7.50 (need to look at the vendors button next game).
This sets the CPMMO (Cents Per Minute Maid Ounce) board as follows:
Italics = No longer available
Bold = J.R. Ewing Recommends
31 CPMMO: Ziegenbock/Bud/Miller at Larry's Big Bamboo - pregame only
32 CPMMO: Bud/Miller/Ziegenbock 23 oz. draft (all levels)
35 CPMMO: Sam/Shock/Drop Top/Shiner(?) 23 oz. draft (all levels)
35 CPMMO: St. Arnold in 23 oz. cup (second week of May)
38 CPMMO: Bud/Miller 24 oz. cans
40 CPMMO: St. Arnold in 20 oz cup (lower levels)
42 CPMMO: Bud/Miller/Ziegenbock 12 oz. "small" draft
42 CPMMO: Premium 24 oz. cans
42 CPMMO: 2005 World Series Mug* 24 oz. (Bud/Miller draft)
43 CPMMO: St. Arnold in 23 oz. cup (Opening Day "SirRon special")
47 CPMMO: Bud/Miller/Coors 16 oz. plastic bottles
56 CPMMO:: St. Arnold in 12 oz. bottle poured into cup
* Mug was collectable, retail value at least $2, knocking price down to 33 CPMMO.
Future work needs to be placed in finding what 24 oz. costs $10 (according to signs) and general Shiner availability. One fan was seen purchasing a St. Arnold in a bottle at Larry's Little Bamboo upstairs as well. Dos Equis is available downstairs, and the options at Lefty's Pub needs to be fully vetted.