Baseball and beer go together like…well….they go together so well, they should be the comparison in that kind of sentence. Like when your friend finally finds a girlfriend that is legitimately good for him. You might say “They go together like baseball and beer.” Or imagine baseball staring very intently at beer and emphasizing “You COMPLETE me.” That’s how much they belong together.
Fortunately, Target Field gets this. Since it opened in 2010, the Minnesota Twins have added all kinds of variety to their beer options, with an emphasis on local brewers. With the Brewers coming to town, it seemed like a good time to list Top Ten Best Seats in which to enjoy this natural pairing.
#10 – Anywhere EXCEPT sections 310 and 311.
Those are the family sections, so they’re alcohol free. If you get a Twins ticket for anywhere else, people called “vendors” will lug a variety of beers up and down stairs right to your aisle. Isn’t that nice of them? Tell them keep to the silver.
#9 – Section 202/302
You can find Leinenkugel all over the ballpark, but there is a hidden kiosk near the right field foul pole on the third deck with a couple of taps and no line. You can be there and back and still catch some of the Underwater Camera gimmick. Sorry.
#8 – Section 220/320
Similarly, right behind this section is a small kiosk of Grain Belt Nordeast on tap. It is a slight upgrade because of the view of downtown. You can sit (sip?) and enjoy if the game gets away from the hometown nine.
#7 – Section 116
Great seats, right behind home plate. Also, a great selection of beers awaits you at the top of the stairs as this is where the “Beers of Twins Territory” stand is located. Despite the name, these aren’t just local beers; they have a wide selection, though they’re all in bottles. The only downside is there is almost always a line, so you’re going to miss some action.
#6 – Sections 223/323 and 125
Behind both these sections is a smaller version of the “Beers of Twins Territory” called “Minnesota Brews.” These are only local beers, so the selection is smaller but so is the line and that moves it up to #6.
#5 – Budweiser Roof Deck
Minnesota Twins tickets for the Budweiser Roof Deck are not available every game as it often hosts private events, but for a little different experience, seek them out. You’re limited to Bud products and your view of left field is cut short, but they have bar stool and rail counter seating that overlooks the game, the lines are short, there’s a fire pit for when it’s cold and there is a party feel to the experience.
#4 – Section 123 or 17
Right behind this section are two kiosks for Schell’s and Goose Island, both with tap beer and limited lines. This section gets extra points for being in the sunshine for afternoon games. If baseball and beer were interested in a threesome, sunshine would be at the top of their wish list.
#3 - Twins Pub, near Section V
These last three, in my humble opinion, separate themselves from the rest of the stadium.
Most of the second level at Target Field is closed off to regular ticket holders but down the left field line is the “Twins Pub,” which was previously called the “Captain’s Deck.” It is similar in feel to the Budweiser Roof Deck, except that the views are better, it’s covered, and you don’t need a ticket to watch the game from there. In fact, you can’t get a ticket, because there are no seats, just a railing and counter from which to watch the game. Spots go to whoever gets there first and the party feel exceeds that of the Budweiser Deck. When I was there, there was even a distributor giving away samples of liquor.
The beers at the Twins Pub are limited, but right behind it is the Townball Tavern, which has eight tap beers including four different Summit brews. And best of all, after the game (or after they cut off beer sales), you can meander into the Townball Tavern, where they serve beer for up to 45 minutes after the game.
#2 – Section 213
There are three sections – 213, 214 and 215 that are steps away from the 2 Gingers Pub on the lower half of the 3rd level. The view is good, there are a few kiosks a short distance away, and the 2 Gingers Pub (which does not require a ticket) has Summit Pale Ale and a few other beers on tap, though the crowd at the bar can be daunting. Finally, the Kramarczuk sausage stand next door is a nice addition.
Those are all fine, but what launches 213 to the next level is that Twins organist Sue Nelson sits in the 2 Gingers Pub and watches the game, talks to customers, and deftly launches into her designated riffs as soon as a double-play is turned. That’s not an experience that you’re going to get in many (any?) other major league ballparks. Even if you don’t sit in this area, you owe yourself a visit to watch (and maybe get a picture with) Sue.
#1 – Section 140 and 139 – the Great Clips Great Seats
Here it is – beer nirvana. This is literally everything a beer drinker could want. Except maybe the organist.
Let’s start with the beer. There are no fewer than four craft beer stands within a stone’s throw of this section, which is next to the right field foul pole. On one side is a Leinie kiosk which always has at least one tap of Summer Shandy. In the other direction is a Summit kiosk and a Blue Moon kiosk. Those three by themselves would make this a destination. But it’s the fourth stand that separates it from the pack.
Directly behind this section is built-in stand which is unfortunately also called the “Twins Pub.” This is the only place in the ballpark that has taps reserved for Surly and Fulton beers. They also serve the “Summit Bomber” bottle, which is an incredibly large Summit Pale Ale, in case you don’t want to make too many trips. But honestly, that isn’t much of a problem with the Bomber. Unlike the lines at the Surly kiosk last year, fans haven’t found this stand, yet. This year I’ve never had to wait in any kind of line there.
Finally, the section itself was redone this year, now having stool seating with a counter railing as you watch the game. The view of the infield is excellent, although you lose the view of deep right field. It gets sun through all the early and late afternoon games. And you have about as good a chance here as anywhere of catching a home run ball.
One final tip: no matter which seats on which you settle, consider getting to the ballpark very early, as soon as the gates open, to watch batting practice. Warm sun, cold beer, green grass, blue sky, relaxed pace, no crowd and the occasional mad scramble for a home run ball. It does not get much better than that. No matter where you are, it feels like the best seat in the house.