With concessions overhauled to the tune of $20 million and an added emphasis on Sconnie and MKE offerings, a Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park is an even more localized and tasty experience for the 2017 season.
There’s always been a unique vibe to Brewers games, whether at County Stadium or Miller Park. Brewers fans passionately embrace the ballpark experience, which usually begins with a long tailgating session complete with grilled brats and burgers, potato salad, chips and plenty of adult beverages. By the time the gates open, fans are ready to move that rolling party into the ballpark, ready for more beer and brats.
The Brewers have always worked with concessionaires on local and unique items: Secret Stadium Sauce, for instance, dates back to the 1970s and was created by Sportservice (now Delaware North) in response to a condiment shortage at the ballpark. (Hard to believe today that a Major League Baseball ballpark would run out of ketchup and mustard.) It’s still available at the ballpark (best served warm on a Klement’s brat) and in bottles. Otherwise, you have plenty of access at Miller Park to brats, burgers, brandy and beer.
This season the Brewers and Delaware North embarked on a more comprehensive overhaul of Miller Park concessions throughout the ballpark, upping the local content. These are the biggest changes to Miller Park since it opened in 2001. The new Field Level First Base Ward and Third Base Ward spaces have been remodeled and the concessions upgraded. In many ways, it’s a simplified approach to Miller Park concessions, with many portable stands removed. The large concession stands on the Field Level (the main 360-degree concourse level) have been overhauled and converted to beverage stands with beer (including a wide selection of microbrews), mixed drinks and cocktails, such as a Korbel Brandy Old-Fashioned (best served sweet, of course). The beer selection ranges from Miller High Life to regional favorites from Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee and Chippewa Falls. (You can see the new stand in the above photo.) Specialty stands featuring AJ Bombers burgers, Klement’s sausages and brats, cheese curds, custard, Smoke Shack BBQ and more are now located to the side of the concourses, allowing for a better traffic flow on the main level. A lot of real estate has been given over to the jointly owned AJ Bombers and Smoke Shack brands, but it works.
The concession overhaul extends to the Loge Level, where another new beer stand near Section 207 serves nothing but 24 different Sconnie brews. Of course, with MillerCoors holding naming rights to the ballpark, that selection includes Miller Lite, but there’s a fine sampling of other Wisconsin microbeers. That encompasses Badger Club Amber from Wisconsin Brewing, Fantasy Factory from Karben4, Riverwest Stein from Lakefront Brewing and Outboard from Milwaukee Brewing. (We covered that stand here.) On the Club Level, Bernie’s Barrelman Ale from Leinenkugel is still on tap. And it takes a little work to find, but New Glarus Brewing’s Spotted Cow is available in a can.
Overall, there are 10 cocktail stations at the ballpark, with another 10 stands dedicated to beer and pretzels. Remember: Korbel Brandy Old-Fashioned, sweet.
The concession upgrades certainly enhance the game-day experience for Brewers fans. A healthy crowd was on hand for a Memorial Day weekend matchup, and the lines were noticeable but not unmanageable. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with local brews, deep-fried cheese curds and burgers topped with Bomber sauce—the very essence of a Miller Park experience.