The final chapter.
For those new to TheFerm blog, Part 1 and Part 2 will set the stage for the dramatic conclusion of my investigation into beer pricing at Minute Maid Park.
First, there has been a re-re investigation into the size of the pregame special at Larry's Big Bamboo. Larry's felt obliged to call shenanigans on MY shenanigans and reiterate that the pregame beer is 14 oz., not 12 oz. as TheFerm implied (happy hour board at right). I accepted this declaration and re-investigated. The fairest way to re-measure the volume, was to open a brand new St. Arnold Texas Wheat, and re-pour it into the cup. The result here proved that the pregame special cup is greater than 12 oz. Now with head and a sloppy pour, 12 oz. might be the expectation. But I cannot say it is a 12 oz. pour. It looks like 13-14 oz. and I'll take their word and declare it 14 oz. I hereby have to accept my broom flogging.
As the latest intricate research was concluded, the cup was washed out and put in a drying rack (in case further testing was needed). It was noted that the cup comes labeled as 14 oz. on the bottom. I declare it 14 oz. This has to be the same cup as the $5 regular small draft from concession stands throughout.
Other cups were then scoured for measurement, the St. Arnold (lower level) cup clearly declares itself 473 ml. Now that's only 16 oz! But is that 16 oz. with a head, or a flat 16 oz.? Back to the drawing board! Clarity is gained when a distinct 45 cl line (centiliters...really) is found on the side, with at least a cm to go above (or course the widest part of the cup). It is my belief that the 16 oz. is conservative, that is, a few oz. of head is anticipated, and with a good pour it can be exceeded. I will split the difference in the CPMMO analysis, I think the average pour here is 18 oz with a bit of head.
The rest of the third Minute Maid sortie was info gathering. A 16 oz. bottle from the beer guy costs $7.50 as has been previously remembered. For the $10 premium, 24 oz. options, they include Heineken, Corona, Shiner, and XX. The Latin Cafe (behind home plate) as the unique options of Negra Modelo and Modelo Especial. For $8, a 23 oz. pour, like the other good drafts. Lefty's was the only place (besides Larry's Big Bamboo) that a Shiner draft was found, presumably the $8/23oz. kind. Blue Moon is also at Lefty's and Larry's, not available for the pregame special, but presumed for $8. Confirmed, there is still a $6.75 for a 12 oz. St. Arnold Amber pour at Larry's Little Bamboo upstairs. I asked the vendor how much, and he quickly told me that you get a bigger draft about 10 steps to his right at the upper level premium stand. And the St. Arnold draft is still 23 oz. up there, and still only $8. Sirron got jobbed, although I note the extra ounces for the $2 vs. downstairs makes it the second best St. Arnold deal.
So the final CPMMO for 2009 is as follows:
Italics = No longer available
Bold = J.R. Ewing Recommends
27 CPMMO: Ziegenbock/Bud/Miller at Larry's Big Bamboo - 14 oz. pregame only
32 CPMMO: Bud/Miller/Ziegenbock 23 oz. draft (all levels)
35 CPMMO: St. Arnold in 23 oz. cup
35 CPMMO: Sam/ShockorDropTop/Landshark/Shiner/BlueMoon/Modelos 23 oz. draft (all levels)
36 CPMMO: Bud/Miller/Ziegenbock - 14 oz. "small" draft
38 CPMMO: Bud/Miller 24 oz. cans
42 CPMMO: Heineken/Corona/Shiner/XX in 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")
44 CPMMO: St. Arnold in 18 oz cup (lower levels)
47 CPMMO: Bud/Miller/Coors 16 oz. plastic bottles
56 CPMMO:: St. Arnold in 12 oz. bottle poured into cup at Little Larry's
We'll do the whole thing again next year, I don't think we ever go by a year when Uncle Drayton doesn't raise everything by .25 - $1.
Update Opening Day 2010 (4/5/10): Good news folks! It appears that beer prices have stayed the same in 2010 as reported here for 2009.