White Sox Craft Lodge 2022 | Guaranteed Rate Field
The White Sox really put in some work during the 2016 offseason. While completely tearing the team down with the trades of Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and (in 2017) Jose Quintana, the White Sox decided to open the Craft Kave. Sale, Eaton, and Quintana turned into Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada and completely re-shaped the team and its future. Now, for the first time, the Craft Kave has changed too, turning into the Craft Lodge.
In a somewhat similar beer and concessions tear down, Goose Island and Revolution brewing are out. That means the Goose Island section – and more importantly the giant Goose Island tap handle – in Section 109 is gone. The Revolution #SoxSocial Tap Room above Section 157 is no more. A new contract was signed with Molson Coors, meaning its brands are now a focus in the park. The Goose Island section is now Miller Lite Landing, the Goose Island Craft Kave becomes the Leinenkugel’s Craft Lodge, and the Revolution #SoxSocial Tap Room morphs into the Vizzy View Bar.
Honestly, I loved the giant Goose tap handle in Section 109 while the CTA-line car behind it was nice but never really had anything distinct from the Craft Kave. I loved the name (and spelling!) of the Craft Kave. It also sounded better – I’d rather drink in a cave than in a lodge (I don’t ski, maybe that’s why). But the biggest hit to me is the Revolution Tap Room. I had never been to that area of the ballpark before Revolution took it over. It was great to be able to get a nice variety of Revolution beer all in one place and sometimes not available elsewhere and enjoy the game. While the view is lovely, I can do without Vizzy Hard Seltzer options at the game. And, at the very least, the Detroit Tigers also have their own version of it (the Vizzy Hard Seltzer View). Fuck that.
So what of the Craft Lodge, neé Craft Kave? The immediate area surrounding the coolers – usually replete with barrels to stand around and featuring the nice 80s White Sox Goose Island neon light – has all been removed, making it very sterile there. As for the beer, it’s still there and going strong, with over 75 different options to choose from. Those 75 choices vary during the year slightly, with the beers changing twice – once around June 1st and again around August 1st (I will update as necessary). It sounds like some craft beer bars bottle lists. With so many options and Jose Abreu up with the bases loaded, what’re you gonna grab? Here’s your guide to the 2022 White Sox Craft Lodge!
Almost all of my selections below come from local Chicago-area craft breweries, with one exception. Yeah, .900 batting average will do. Barrel-aged and high gravity beer lovers – this list lacks either of those beers. The White Sox don’t really want people more drunk than they already get so having 12%+ ABV beers in the mix isn’t a good idea. Plus for a majority of the season it’s nice and warm out!
Starting Pitcher – Hop Butcher for the World – rotating
Hop Butcher makes perfect sense for the starting pitcher position as their offerings will change throughout the season. Historically, Hop Butcher had whatever was fresh in addition to Good Ryes Wear Black. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, as only one beer from Hop Butcher lay on the shelf – A Plume of Many Hues. There are not too many hazy IPAs out there that can consistently beat Hop Butcher’s, plus if they time it right you might get something extremely good (thinking Blazed Orange Milkshake or something akin to Alemerica). Typically the Hop Butcher beer resides near the high end of the ABV scale on beers available in the Lodge as well. Always worth a grab.
Catcher – Dovetail – Hefeweizen/Vienna Lager
Tired of getting something hoppy at the ballpark? Change things up a bit and go with some different things besides various tropical fruits and bitterness. The Hefeweizen (one of the two I grabbed on opening day) slides right in for those summer games. A bigger mouthfeel with banana, clove and some light bubble gum underneath sets you up nicely for a nine-inning game. It’s refreshing enough to keep you going back for more in the heat. The Vienna Lager enters the lineup for those early/late season games where the weather can be a bit iffy. Still refreshing, this lager veers maltier but does provide a nice little bitter kick. It’ll warm the cockles enough – especially if there’s a long playoff run.
First Base – Revolution – Anti-Hero
You want a Chicago IPA? YOU GOT IT. While 312 is brewed who knows where and how, Anti-Hero is brewed in the Avondale neighborhood in Chicago every time. A classic American IPA, it has all the bitterness you could want and a nice, hefty, malty backbone to add some body and sweetness to everything. It never becomes heavy to drink while all that aggressive bitterness (in relation to all those hazy IPAs) keeps you coming back for more. Warms you up on a cold day and keeps you refreshed on a warm day? Yeah, Anti-Hero’s in the lineup for a full 162 (if that pitcher’s throwing something spicy, Anti-Hero should probably sit however).
Second Base – Around the Bend – Vera
One of two cream ales in my lineup, Around the Bend’s Vera features a nice twist – pistachios. It does what cream ales do, featuring a nice malty sweetness. But then the pistachios add some nuttiness and totally change the game. Some vanilla creeps in as well and the beer feels hefty (thanks to it being a cream ale) but really isn’t. If you like pistachios or nuts, this beer should be one you grab. Get yourself a new-to-the-stadium Rainbow Cone or classic churro (or any dessert really) and make it a home run.
Third Base – Phase Three – Pixel Density
Pixel Density is one of the best hazy IPAs you can consistently get in the city. This all-Citra beer drinks on the lighter side of the hazy spectrum. All the citrus notes that Citra typically provides are there. The carbonation is high enough so it won’t really weigh you down. Among the offerings available at the Craft Lodge, this would be the closest to 3 Floyds Zombie Dust of the bunch both in terms of taste and quality (and, at this point in time, most likely better). Really the only thing lacking is the bitterness, but you chose a hazy IPA for a reason didn’t you? A lighter hazy option if Old Irving’s Beezer is too heavy for you. (Note: For some reason Pixel Density is listed under the IPA category with Anti-Hero and Bodem in the Craft Lodge.)
Shortshop – Spiteful – Spiteful Radler
The lightest beer in the lineup, Spiteful Radler really stands as the only choice for those July and August games where the heat index approaches 100 degrees. Light, absolutely refreshing and a nice change of pace from some of the hoppier fare listed here. The soda is housemade at Spiteful and adds that carbonation you want out of a radler. I actually think it’s lighter than the Stiegl Radler, the current MVP of radlers. I always grab one when I’m at a beer fest in any season if it’s available as it’s just so damn tasty. Might not be near the top of your list for the colder days, but for those scorchers it’s a first overall pick.
Left Field – Half Acre – Daisy Cutter
The other half of the Chicago hoppy beers, Daisy Cutter is bitter, clean, and easy to drink. Half Acre has somehow resisted to turn this hazy (like their Beer Hates Astronauts IPA). A nice hit of grassy bitterness complements a slight malty sweetness. It drinks so easy that you’ll just mindlessly sip it during the game and only realize you’re doing it when you’re finished. And then you’ll want another one. This was one of my gateway craft beers, as the bitterness is there but not as overbearing as some other pale ales or IPAs. A great beer to get for someone who likes macro beers as a way of introducing them to something a little more flavorful.
I don’t think Allagash White was available at the Craft Kave last year? If it was, I’m sorry I missed it! It’s at the Craft Lodge now, and it’s in the two hole in terms of refreshing (behind our shortstop Spiteful Radler). If you have a Blue Moon drinker in the group, grab this, as it’s made with Curacao orange peel. But it’s so much more than Blue Moon! Full body, soft mouthfeel, and a hint of orange zest really make White the standard for Belgian wit beers in America. Added bonus – it pairs well with everything, so no worrying about getting something spicy that’ll make things worse. Great for any season you might encounter while at the game. It covers a lot of ground!
Right Field – Old Irving – Beezer/Scentinal
It’s not often that you can grab a beer at a baseball game that has essentially won the MVP/World Series/Cy Young of hazy IPAs. Beezer accomplished that feat by winning the gold medal in the hazy IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in 2019. Beezer features all the fruity and juicy characteristics you want in a hazy IPA but with enough carbonation and bitterness to not make it a chore to finish. If you’re looking for a hazy beer, this is the one you grab – no questions.
The other side of our platoon split belongs to Scentinal. While Beezer focuses on fruit and juiciness, Scentinal focuses more on bitterness. A West Coast IPA that features both old-school (Centennial) and new-school (Citra and Mosaic) hops, Scentinal really scratches that itch if you want something that features some bitterness and malt while still retaining some fruity characteristics. Old Irving has four beers in the Craft Lodge. (The others being the Cushy sour ale and the GABF silver-medal-winning Della Kolsch.) Grab any of the four – you won’t be sorry.
Manager – Off Color – Beer For Ball Games
You know this had to be on the list. Off Color’s Beer For Ball Games stands as the sole obvious ball game beer. Lemon girl scout cookie aromas support a robust mouthfeel and excellent drinkability. While not as obviously flavorful as some others on this list, some slight vanilla wafer notes do show up to keep things interesting. The star here is the mouthfeel that keeps things on the tongue while still remaining drinkable. A beer for any type of mood, but definitely one for a ball game. Pairs with everything!
I’m hoping some work is done on the immediate area to give it some sort of vibe and not just having a bunch of coolers in the corner of the Bullpen Sports Bar. It would also be nice to see some South Side breweries represented like Marz, Whiner, or Horse Thief Hollow. That being said, the selection is absolutely insane and makes drinking at the ballpark fun and flavorful. You’ll win with most things you select from the coolers.