Baseball is America’s pastime. There’s nothing like sitting in the stands and watching your favorite baseball team —often with a cold beer in your hand. The game takes your mind off everyday stress and puts a smile on your face that lasts the entire day.
The connection between cold beer and baseball goes beyond the need to quench your thirst on a sun-drenched summer afternoon. In the late 1800s many baseball team owners also owned breweries. Selling beer at baseball games was good for business!
In 2014, just before losing his battle with cancer, Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn decided to reignite the tradition: He called Peter Zien of award-winning, AleSmith Brewery in San Diego and asked him to create a great-tasting beer—not a gimmick beer.
Peter and his wife, Vicky, met with Tony and his wife, Alicia, to taste and create a beer: Something light, but wasn’t too bitter.
In addition to enjoying a world class beer, drinking .394 Ale helps a worthy cause too. A portion of the proceeds go to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation, which helps homeless and young people with roadblocks in their life. Gwynn always believed in taking care of your own first. Therefore, it was an easy decision to spend his free time helping the San Diego community.
If you’re in San Diego, the AleSmith Brewery is a great destination to sip award-winning beers and see the Tony Gwynn Hall of Fame Collection. Tony was an eight-time National League batting champion, 15-time All-Star, and seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner. The memorabilia on exhibit rotates on a regular basis. I asked Peter to name his favorite items currently on display.
“I like the jersey signed by every member of the 3,000-hit club. They each wrote a personal note to Tony.” Tony’s wife Alicia prefers the invaluable. “I like the little things that fans made and sent to Tony over the course of his career. For example, a fan made a little caricature of Tony hanging off the wall. It meant a lot to him that a fan would spend his/her time and money to create something to Tony.”