“Ball and Brew Pack” Brings Together Ball State Football and The Guardian Brewing Company

“Ball and Brew Pack” Brings Together Ball State Football and The Guardian Brewing Company

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

Ball State University has begun a football partnership with The Guardian Brewing Company in Muncie. Beer and football go together better than Scooby and Shaggy, so we heartily approve of this partnership. Beer at college football games is even better because it is much newer; most universities that allow alcohol sales started it during the craft beer boom. In 2015, only 34 college stadiums had beer sales, but in 2019 the number is much larger, with the SEC voting to allow alcohol sales for this season, as is IU (Purdue greatly expanded sales in the 2017 season).

The beer knowledge and tastes of the public are at a very different place than they were a few years back; a $9 Bud Light just isn’t going to cut it for many fans now. If people are going to pay premium price for a beer, they want the chance to have a premium product. It will improve the fan experience; many fans that stayed in the tailgate lot for the entire game may now actually venture into the stadium.

image credit: The Guardian Brewing Company

Boosting attendance is often cited as reason by proponents for piloting or expanding alcohol sales, but the colleges/universities say they are merely trying to add value for ticket buyers. A 2018 study in the Journal of Sport found no correlation between alcohol sales and attendance, so perhaps it really is just a way to let people have a better time – and make some money. Purdue beer and wine sales at Ross Ade Stadium last year totaled more than $1.1 million.

Not satisfied with just expanding beer sales at BSU games for 2019, now there is a ticket and beer voucher program with one of the most established of the local breweries. The Guardian Brewing Company has become a corporate sponsor of BSU sports, even though corporate isn’t a word I associate with The Guardian. With this increased relationship, the two partners have created the “Ball and Brew Pack” wherein a $20 ticket gets you a BSU home football game ticket and vouchers for two beers from The Guardian.

Jarrod Case, Director of Sales/Marketing and sometime brewer at The Guardian said, “We’ve had a great working relationship with Ball State University from the inception of The Guardian Brewing Co. Our owner, Jason Phillips is a BSU alumnus, along with quite a few of our staff and spouses. Concurrently, being a ‘college town’ we see a wide range of patrons affiliated with Ball State University.” He added, “Once Ball State approved alcohol sales at public events such as football and basketball games, it was only natural for us to expand on our relationship.”

image credit: Ball State University

A variety of The Guardian beer will be available before and during the games, including Charlie Cream Ale, Rainbow Pop New England Pale Ale, The Rez IPA and Frank Coffee Stout. The beer vouchers can be redeemed at the alcohol sales booths at the game itself, at the taproom of the brewery, or in Charlie Town, the tailgate lot before and during the game. Charlie Town is a newer amenity for BSU sports. It’s located next to Scheumann Stadium and the Alumni Center. There are food vendors and beer sales – The Guardian will have 16 oz. cans there and in the stadium.

The use of cans in beer sales for stadiums and concerts is standard practice to reduce broken glass possibilities, and this was a fortunate coincidence of timing for Ball State and The Guardian. The brewery was already headed toward canning in 2018 when Ball State piloted beers sales at basketball and football events, so this move helped The Guardian to expand their relationship with Ball State.

Ball State’s next home games are Fordham (09/07), and Florida Atlantic (09/14). Click here for tickets or call 888-BSU-TICKET (765-285-1474). Package prices will increase on game days, and you can get a reserved seat Ball and Brew Pack for just $35 in advance. Purchasing the package saves you money on both the game ticket and the beer, so the link between football and beer just got stronger. BTW, Notre Dame still doesn’t allow alcohol sales at sporting events.


banner image credit: Ball State Sports

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