Seattle is a great beer town, but that fact isn’t enough to save Seattleites from the scourge of watered-down beer at their sports events. A local news station, with the help of a Seattle lab, found half a dozen beers in CenturyLink stadium to be notably less alcoholic than advertised.
It’s a real shame too, because not only are Seahawk’s fans among the most devoted fan bases in professional sports, their stadium boasts one of the best beer selections in football—how many stadiums have a dedicated beer hall with 14 taps? So it was a little more than surprising that reporters found six different beers to be between 0.2 and 0.6 percent lower in alcohol than they should have been. One was just 3.9 percent. Even worse, prices in Seattle are the second highest in the NFL. The allegedly watered-down beers were: Stella Artois, Budweiser, Bud Light, Shock Top, Bass Pale Ale and Redhook No Equal. The many local craft brews on tap at CenturyLink weren’t tested.
For its part Anheuser-Busch (which owns five of the six beers tested) vehemently denied it tried to deprive any fans of their much-needed alcohol, saying it performed its own tests and found no irregularities in alcohol content. Redhook Brewery likewise denied any beer tampering.
This is not the first beer scandal in professional sports: In 2008, a reporter found beer at San Diego’s Petco field to be suspiciously low in alcohol.
It’s possible that the six beers at CenturyLink are just lower in alcohol across the board—the reporters didn’t perform any tests on six packs from a grocery store or drafts from a local bar. But either way, someone is drinking beer that’s less boozy than it’s supposed to be.
If you’re going to pay more than $9 for a beer at a football game, we’d recommend sticking to one of the local drafts from breweries like Fremont or Elysian. It might still be expensive, but at least there's no evidence that you won't get what you paid for.