While up in Milwaukee recently, I took in a Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park with one of the guys from a distributor I was working with. I've written about Miller Park before, but it was more of a general post on the place (you can read it here). This time I took my camera to get shots of the park.
One of the most time-honored traditions they have in Milwaukee is tail-gating before the game. Just like many football fans do before a game, Brewer fans will tail-gate in the parking lot for up to three hours before a game. This includes barbecuing brats, drinking a lot of beer and tossing around a baseball. I'm still rather amazed the Brewers allow this to go on as it undoubtedly cuts into the concession revenues at the stadium.
Our first stop once we got into the stadium was at one of the Leinenkugel "Leinie Lodge" beer stands they have along the main concourse at Miller Park. We got got a Leinenkugel Red and walked around for a while before going to our seats before the start of the game.
Miller Park is great in that you can walk all the way around the park to get a good perspective of how big the ball park really is. It's sort of fun to just go up to a railing and hang out for a while watching the game. The concourse on the main level is wide and even with a big crowd, you don't feel all that crowded walking along.
Here's a shot of the Klements Sausage Haus on the east side of the parking lot at Miller Park. We were going to go over there before the game, but we found out that it wasn't open that evening. It was kind of a bummer because all the times that I've gone to a Brewers game at Miller Park I've always wanted to hit the Sausage Haus before the game. This time, we made it down there in plenty of time to go there before the game and it was closed. Crap! Oh well...
We settled into our seats just below the press box area at Miller Park. They were actually pretty good seats. The Los Angeles Dodgers were in town that evening and there was a good crowd on hand. We were both sort of confused as to why the roof was closed on such a beautiful night. We asked a beer vendor if he knew what the deal was and he said there was supposedly a chance of rain for later in the game. They didn't want to have the roof open and then have to close it up again. Well, I thought that was the deal with the roof being able to open and close. He told us they haven't had the roof open all year long, the weather has been that bad in Milwaukee. And this was in the middle of May!
Here's the scoreboard from Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field). Some people may think it's a little busy, but I like the colors and the big "Indians" logo over the board.
This is the left-field perch for the Brewers' mascot, Bernie Brewer, or as my cousin John calls him, "That faggot Bernie Brewer." Bernie has a long slide that he goes down when the Brewers take the field at the start of the game and when they hit home runs. That's all that Bernie does. He doesn't go into the crowd to kibbutz with people. In fact, when the Brewers are on the field, he's no where in sight! Bernie is pretty lame as a team mascot.
We decided to get up and go get something to eat. A trip to Miller Park can't be complete without having a grilled Klements bratwurst slathered in Secret Stadium Sauce and topped with sauerkraut. It is the best ball park food in the major leagues.
Now, I am usually dead set against having any tomato-based condiment put on a bratwurst, but there's something about the Secret Stadium Sauce in conjunction with the sauerkraut and the brat that just makes it so delectable. Good God, look at this picture. My stomach is doing jumping jacks just writing about the brats at Miller Park. They are just heavenly.
We decided to walk around for a bit during the game and we went down the right field line to the bleacher area in right field. Actually, I don't know if there's a bad place to sit in Miller Park except for the very upper reaches of the upper deck. Actually, we decided we should have saved $20 bucks a piece and got tickets for the right field bleachers, then just got up and walked around during the game. I kind of like to do that rather than just sit in one place during the game.
Here's a picture of the rambunctious crowd in the right field bleachers, also known as the Miller Lite Beer Pen. It's mostly young adults out there, but you'll find some older people who like to hang out in the bleachers, too. I believe this area is only open to people 21 and over. I don't remember seeing any small kids out there.
Just below the Beer Pen at the field level is the Mercedes-Benz Field Haus. The area accommodates up to 75 people and depending up on the game or if it's weekend, you can pay $59 to $89 per person and have a pre-game buffet and all the pop you can drink. That's right - beer and mixed drinks are extra. I'm not certain I'd like to watch a game in right field at the field level.
Of course, any Brewers game wouldn't be complete without the running of the Sausage Race. I was a little upset at myself for not getting in better position to take a picture at the finish of the race. We thought it went off at the bottom of the sixth inning, but it turned out it was the middle of the sixth when they raced. There are now five sausages running in the race with the Chorizo sausage being added to the mix within the last couple of seasons.
Coming around the corner and finishing first this evening was Number 4 - the Hot Dog, also known as "Frank Furter". The Chorizo (#5) and the Polish Sausage are right behind him with the Bratwurst and the Italian Sausage bringing up the rear. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen the Sausage Race, I just get a large kick out of it.
If you haven't seen the Sausage Race, here's a YouTube clip from about three years ago. The Chorizo isn't in this clip, but you'll get a good idea why the whole stadium goes nuts when the sausages run.
And you can't go to a game in Milwaukee without sticking around for the Seventh Inning Stretch and joining in with several thousand people with the singing of "Roll Out the Barrel". Thankfully, the Brewers have been playing good baseball so the crowds have been coming out the past couple of seasons.
My guest had a little bit of a drive ahead of him to the far south side of Milwaukee, so we decided to leave after the 8th inning and beat some of the traffic. Sure enough, it was raining when we walked out to the parking lot. I guess having the roof closed was a good thing.
Miller Park is one of my most favorite places to see a game. The food is great, the beer is cold, the Brewers are fun to watch. It just has a party atmosphere to the place. I need to take Cindy up there sometime for a couple games. We've always had a good time each time we've been there. If you like baseball and can get to Milwaukee, you've got to go to Miller Park.