If you’re a fan of craft beer and have been to games at Citi Field over the last couple of seasons, there were a couple of cans of beer that might have caught your eye: an IPA and a pilsner from Mikkeller brewing. Both had art done in a style consistent with the brewery’s other beer and incorporated baseball and one of the Mets’ old uniform scripts. And on top of that eye-grabbing art, the beer inside those cans was very good.
The Denmark-based brewing company just opened their first location on the east coast, having had a presence in San Diego—its first location in the United States—since 2016. And that location is on 126th Street in Queens, just outside the right field gate of Citi Field. Structurally speaking, it’s a part of the ballpark, located under the office building that you see just beyond the Shea Bridge when you’re inside the ballpark proper.
Like McFadden’s, it’s adjacent to a gate, doesn’t require a ticket to the game to enter, and isn’t accessible from inside the ballpark once you’ve gone in. But that might be about the only thing the brewery has in common with the bar that sits beyond center field. There are TVs on the walls, but there are just a handful of them, with a couple behind the bar and a few others strategically placed. If you’re planning to go there and watch a game, it’s certainly possible, but the TVs aren’t an overwhelming presence—in a good way.
The walls inside the place have a lot of large art in the aforementioned style. Among others, there’s a double door to the kitchen that features “358” on it with a Mikkeller-style Mets outfielder about to make a leaping catch above it on the outfield wall, basically a rendering of the legendary Endy Chavez catch in the 2006 NLCS if you just reconfigure the shape of things a little bit.
As for the most important material, there’s a large bar that sits a couple of steps up from the main floor, with a ramp included on its far right side. There are sixty taps, the majority of which are pouring the brewery’s own beers. But a handful of those taps feature beer from other breweries, which certainly isn’t unheard of but is always nice to see. The main floor has a bunch of picnic tables, there’s a pretty good selection of beer available for takeout purchase, and the actual brewing setup is almost entirely visible from the whole place—and it’s big.
The beer itself is quite good, too. If you’ve had the IPA at Citi Field over the past couple of years, the hops profile has been tweaked a bit to make it less west coast, more east coast, and the resulting beer is an improvement. There wasn’t really anything wrong with the old one, but the new one’s easier to drink and seems like a better fit for the summer months. And again, there are plenty of other styles of beer there if that isn’t your thing.
At the time of this visit, the kitchen wasn’t yet operational, but the plan is for plenty of food to be available there, too, with the providers including at least one familiar name and a few others that sounds like they should be worth trying.
The Mets don’t get everything right, but the whole place feels like a win for the team, its fans, and the brewery itself. They’re planning to be open year-round and family-friendly, and it’s pretty easy to see this becoming a favorite pre- or post-game spot for a good chunk of Mets fans.