As I wrote yesterday, this season marks the 40th Anniversary since Bernie Brewer was introduced as the mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers and to celebrate, we’ll be hosting “Birthday Weekend at Bernie’s” presented by Southwest Airlines from Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18 as the Crew takes on the Cincinnati Reds. A variety of activities are scheduled for this entire weekend at Miller Park, including giveaways, prizes, sing-a-longs and much more. (For a complete list of activities click here.)
And, beginning tonight, fans will have the opportunity to sign a giant card for Bernie when attending games leading up to his birthday, beginning this Friday. The birthday card will be located near the Southwest Airlines Nuttiest Fan display in the right-field corner on the Field Level.
Bernie’s best friends signed the card first and we hope to see your name on there soon, too!
Over the All-Star Break, a small group from our Front Office had the chance to live up to our team namesake by heading over to MillerCoors and getting a behind-the-scenes tour, complete with the opportunity to brew our very own special batch of beer.
As you would expect from a team whose ballpark is named Miller Park, we have a wonderful partnership with MillerCoors, one that extends beyond naming rights; our newest all-inclusive area, the Miller Lite Party Deck; the popular Miller Lite Beerpen on Friday nights; and the various other events we work with them on year in and year out.
The brewery’s dedication to professional baseball in Milwaukee goes back almost 60 years to 1953, when Frederick C. Miller – the great-grandson of the brewery’s founder — helped bring the Braves to the city. The partnership with the Brewers dates to 1970, the team’s first year in Milwaukee.
“The Milwaukee Brewers and MillerCoors partnership continues a relationship between two iconic heritage brands from our market,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We have great appreciation for the support that MillerCoors has demonstrated to the Brewers over the years.”
So, on Friday, we had the awesome opportunity to get know our friends at MillerCoors–and their product–a little better and I’d love to share some of what I learned with you!
We arrived at their main building on Highland Boulevard at 8am where we were greeted by Troy Rysewyk, Manager of Pilot Brewing Services. We were taken over to the Technical Center where Troy, along with Manny Manuele, Director of Technical Insights and Product Development, promptly put us through a condensed version of Brewing 101: Brewers Boot Camp.
There, we learned a little about the history–including Frederick Miller, the brewery’s founder–and the composition of beer. We talked about the types of beer (ales, lagers, pilsners, stouts); main ingredients (barley, hops, water, yeast and adjuncts), the process (including making mash, “pitching yeast,” and fermentation); and how to judge beer by AATMF (appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and finish).
Then, it was time to actually make the beer and take a hard-hat tour of the facilities and we headed to a special mini-brewing operation where Troy, Kevin, Gustavo and Megan run test batches of new brews and manage quality control, among other things.
For our visit, they had come up with a special recipe they were hankering to try, one they dubbed “Crackerjack Lager,” which will ultimately have notes of caramel and peanut–sounded perfect to me! (Note: This beer was just a fun recipe–sorry, there are currently no plans to make it available for public consumption.)
We were able to get hands-on experience with the mash tun, lauter tun and brew kettle, adding the barley, corn flakes (that’s flakes of corn, not breakfast cereal!), hops (the type we used is called Brewer’s Gold–how appropriate) and yeast throughout the day.
One of the things that was very apparent was the amount of art and science, particularly chemistry, that goes into brewing and perfecting a beer. That’s generally something that gets glossed over on your average brewery tour. Also, the technology is amazing. The entire process is very controlled and computerization has allowed for vast advances in production and quality control. To make great beer, one has to understand the art and passion for brewing, which was truly evident by the people at MillerCoors.
Alas, since beer isn’t brewed in a day, we weren’t able to finish off our concoction and will have to wait a few weeks to be able to sample our finished product.
That’s okay–that will give us another excuse to get together with our friends at MillerCoors again and taste our product. And, just because we didn’t get to sample Crackerjack Lager, that doesn’t mean we left thirsty. No, we ended our day with a sampling session, tasting five different brews and exposing our palettes to a spectrum from Miller Lite, Leinenkugel’s Canoe Paddler, and Leinenkugel’s new Orange Shandy to a new beer that’s slated to come out September 1 (sorry I was sworn to secrecy!) and a special Anniversary Porter that Troy and his team brewed to celebrate MillerCoors’ 5th anniversary (sorry folks, it won’t be available to the public).
A fan of Summer Shandy and Lemonberry Shandy, I also enjoyed the Orange Shandy. It’s currently available only in sampler packs, but I’m told it will be out on its own in September.
My favorite part of the day (aside from the beer itself of course), was learning about how Megan Mares, a Pilot Brewer at MillerCoors and trained panelists taste the beer for quality control. Here’s a quick lesson for you as well!
Here are some more photos from the day!
This season marks the 40th Anniversary since Bernie Brewer was introduced as the mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers and to celebrate, we’ll be hosting “Birthday Weekend at Bernie’s” presented by Southwest Airlines from Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18 as the Crew takes on the Cincinnati Reds.
A variety of activities are scheduled for this entire weekend at Miller Park, including giveaways, prizes, sing-a-longs and much more. On Friday, August 16, the first 20,000 fans to enter the gates at Miller Park will receive a Bernie Brewer can coozie, compliments of Southwest Airlines. The giveaways continue throughout the weekend as roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines will be given away during each inning of the game on Saturday, August 17 (two roundtrip tickets will be awarded to a lucky fan each inning).
Two special events are planned for Sunday, August 18 with the Kids Eat Free promotion and the Party on the Plaza. The Party on the Plaza will take place before Sunday’s game from 11am – 1pm with clowns, face painting, tailgate games, music and appearances by Bernie Brewer, the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages and other local mascots, including Fang (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers), Roscoe (Milwaukee Admirals, Pounce (UW-Milwaukee), and more. Then, upon entering the ballpark, vouchers will be distributed to fans 16 and under, good for one free Klement’s hot dog, small Pepsi product and Blue Bunny ice cream for the Kids Eat Free promotion.
Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to sign a giant card for Bernie when attending games leading up to his birthday, beginning this Friday. The birthday card will be located near the Southwest Airlines Nuttiest Fan display in the right-field corner on the Field Level.
As the most popular Major League mascot on Twitter, Bernie is very tech-savvy so fans can join in the celebration online in the following ways:
- Tweet messages and/or photos on Instagram using the hashtag #LUVBernie. Fans can visit Brewers.com/luvbernie to see a compilation.
- In August, we will launch an app which will allow fans to integrate a digital Bernie Brewer mustache into photos and post them in celebration of Bernie’s birthday.
- Follow @Bernie_Brewer on Twitter! Bernie’s closing in on 31,000 followers at the time of this writing–wouldn’t it be great to get him to 40,000 by his big weekend?!
For more information and tickets to “Birthday Weekend at Bernie’s,” please visit Brewers.com/bernie40. A historical timeline of Bernie Brewer is included below.
Bernie Brewer Historical Timeline:
- June 1970: 69-year-old superfan Milt Mason climbs to the top of the County Stadium scoreboard and vows not to come down until the Brewers draw a crowd of over 40,000.
- August 1970: The Brewers drew a crowd of 44,387 on bat night, also drawing Milt, their adopted hero, down from his perch.
- June 1973: Milt Mason passed away on June 12, 1973. The team dedicated their new mascot that year, Bernie Brewer, in Milt’s honor.
- 1984: The bleachers at County Stadium were rebuilt and Bernie’s Chalet was replaced with a sound tower, sending Bernie into early retirement.
- 1993: Due to overwhelming demand, Bernie Brewer returned as the team’s mascot in 1993.
In addition, check out this brief video of the history of Bernie Brewer:
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We’re also pleased to work with Southwest Airlines on this celebration, as there is a mutual “luv” between the two (if you’ll recall, Bernie made his trip to Spring Training thanks to Southwest earlier this year:
We hope you’ll join us as we pay tribute to Bernie over the next month!
With the Travel Channel’s Adam Richman set to visit Miller Park this weekend to film Brewers fans and their tailgates for the new show Fandemonium, now is the perfect time to reflect on your tailgating habits.
With tailgating so ingrained in us as Wisconsinites, it is easy to fall into a routine: BYOB, Tony’s bringing the grill, Kristen is bringing the tent, Nikki is making her famous pasta salad… maybe you’ve got a game of bags and/or a special playlist. While you definitely don’t need to fix what isn’t broken, like anything in life there is probably still some room for improvement.
So, to help you out, we’ve got a handy Tailgate Checklist:
plus, some Tailgating Tips:
(Note: Follow us on Pinterest for more of this type of fun & useful info!)
Did we forget any essentials? Got a special tip of your own? Post them in the comments below or email them to JohnandCait@brewers.com. We’ll compile some of the best ones here on the blog.
And finally, consider spicing up your tailgate with our Homestand Highlight from the Brewers Team Store by Majestic: Brewers Tailgate Games. Choose from Baseball Toss, Washer Toss or Ladderball ($80 each). They are Brewers-branded, easy to assemble and fun for all ages. Want a chance to show off your skills? If you’re here for a Sunday game, be sure to stop by the Brewers Merchandise Trailers located near the Sausage Haus or Helfaer Field for a chance to compete in tailgate games and win “Bernie Bucks” which can be used toward merchandise in the Team Stores at Miller Park!
Brewers tailgate essentials are also available online at the brewers.com shop. In addition, we’ve created a Pinterest board dedicated to tailgating–visit it to keep up with the latest tailgate gear, checklists, tip and more.
On Saturday, we’ll host our eighth annual Negro Leagues Tribute at Miller Park as the Crew takes on the Miami Marlins at 6:10 p.m.
As part of the Negro Leagues Tribute, the Crew will wear reproductions of uniforms worn by the Milwaukee Bears, the city’s 1923 representative in the Negro National League.
The team played only one season before disbanding but featured some of the game’s most influential men, including Hall-of-Fame player/manager John Preston “Pete” Hill. The Miami Marlins will join in by donning uniforms of the Minor League Miami Marlins, who were a Triple-A franchise in the International League from 1956-1960. Hall-of-fame pitcher Satchel Paige was a member of the Marlins towards the end of his playing career from 1956-58.
We will also honor former Negro League players George Altman and Lonnie Harris in a pre-game ceremony. An autograph session with the two honorees will take place during the first 45 minutes of the game on the Field Level Concourse near home plate.
Altman, 80, was an outfielder for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1955. Nicknamed “Jo-Jo,” he played three months in the Negro Leagues before signing with the Chicago Cubs. He played for the Cubs (1959-62, ’65-67), St. Louis Cardinals (1963) and New York Mets (1964). Altman was a National League All-Star in 1961 and 1962. In addition, he spent seven seasons playing in Japan, where he finished his baseball career in 1975.
Harris, 83, played eight seasons in the Negro Leagues (1953-1960) as an outfielder with the Birmingham Black Barons and Memphis Red Sox. Nicknamed “Showboat,” he earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1953 and played in the East-West All-Star Games in 1953 and 1955. While serving in the U.S. Army, Harris won a batting title. In addition to his accomplished baseball career, he earned three bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from the University of Memphis. After graduating, he taught special education and worked with the Board of Education for 20 years.
The activities continue on Sunday, July 21 beginning at 1:45 p.m. when Altman and Harris will be inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame at the Mother Kathryn Daniels Center located at 3500 W. Mother Daniels Way on the grounds of Milwaukee’s Holy Redeemer Church (COGIC). We are once again partnering with the MKDC and the church as a sponsor of the annual induction ceremonies and other initiatives. This event is open to the public.
In previous years, we’ve recognized pitcher/utility player Mamie “Peanut” Johnson and outfielder Porter Reed (2012), pitchers Charlie “Whip” Davis and Johnny Washington (2011); pitcher Ollie Brantley and first baseman/outfielder Clinton “Butch” McCord (2010); infielder Harold “Buster” Hair Jr. and catcher James “Jim P” Tillman Sr. (2009); pitcher Eugene ‘Dick’ Scruggs and first baseman James ‘Red’ Moore (2008); and outfielder W. James ‘Jim’ Cobbin and catcher Arthur Hamilton (2007) as they were inducted into the Yesterday’s Negro League Hall of Fame. During our initial Negro Leagues Tribute in 2006, Buck O’Neil, James Sanders and Dennis Biddle were each honored.
The game-worn Milwaukee Bears uniforms worn by Brewers players and coaches will be auctioned off at Brewers.com, starting at 9 a.m. CT on Tuesday, July 23 and continuing through Monday, July 29 at 5 p.m. CT. The proceeds from the auction will go to Brewers Community Foundation to benefit the Yesterday’s Negro League Baseball Players Foundation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. For additional information or ticket info, fans can visit Brewers.com.
On the evening of Saturday, August 24, the fifth annual “Field of Sweet Dreams” will take place as Brewers fans of all ages are invited to experience a slumber party at Miller Park. Tickets went on sale today starting at 10 a.m. for this truly unique experience. Fans are asked to act fast as quantities are extremely limited.
During the event, fans are invited to bring their camping gear and spend the night under the stars at Miller Park. Fans will have no shortage of entertainment as the entire Field Level becomes their overnight playground with the doors to the stadium opening at 5 p.m.
As if playing catch on the field and spending the night in the ballpark aren’t enough, guests will also be able to watch the Brewers game against the Cincinnati Reds on Miller Park’s HD scoreboard, beginning at 6:10 p.m., followed by a full-length family-friendly movie.
There will be plenty of additional activities for fans to enjoy, including exclusive access to the US Cellular Power Playground, a private tour of Miller Park, a visit by the World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages and Bernie Brewer, all capped off by listening to a bedtime story recorded by Brewers players and coaches.
In addition, each guest will receive a gift bag with “overnight essentials,” dinner, snacks during the movie, breakfast in the morning, non-alcoholic beverages throughout the night, and more. Fans will also have the chance to win Brewers tickets, memorabilia, and one-of-a-kind fan experiences such as the opportunity to throw out a first pitch.
Tickets are priced as follows:
Age 13 and older – $110
Age 3-12 – $75
Age 2 and under – FREE
A responsible adult (parent or guardian) must accompany all guests under the age of 17, with a maximum of 4 minors per adult (this will be strictly enforced upon registration). Alcohol will not be served or sold during the family-friendly event, and carry-ins of alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited. Fans can order tickets online at brewers.com/sweetdreams or by calling (414)902-4424.
Field of Sweet Dreams is sponsored by Kemp’s, Copps, Pick ‘n Save, Coffee Mate Natural Bliss, and Lipton Tea.
Last night, Miller Park was packed with almost 44,000 fans who were, at one point, treated to a display of fireworks.
No, the Crew wasn’t in town–it was Sir Paul McCartney who was bringing the house down for a record crowd (for a non-baseball event) despite sweltering temperatures.
For a complete review of the show, check out Piet Levy’s from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He’s even got the setlist, which included songs such as “Eight Days a Week,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” and two encores including, “Day Tripper,” and “Yesterday.”
We asked you to share your comments and photos using #OutThereMke, so we’ve pulled some of the reaction around the web. Enjoy!
Reader Ginny Prince from Bay View emailed some additional photos to me this afternoon:
And, as of 4:45pm today, I’ve created a Storify, compiling some of the best tweets we received. Click here to view.
Do you have more photos and/or comments from last night’s show that you’d like to share? Tweet and/or Instagram them using the hashtag #OutThereMKE or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org; I’ll be updating this post throughout the day!
Right now, the 84th All-Star Game is being televised nationally on FOX and while you’re watching Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura represent Milwaukee, you can have a say in voting for the MVP.
Log onto MLB.com now through the end of the Midsummer Classic to vote for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2013 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by T-Mobile. Fans can also vote on Twitter using the appropriate hashtag (Brewers fans, use #SeguraMVP and #GomezMVP). The winner of the award will be announced at the end of the game, and fans’ ballots will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the winner.
Immediately following the conclusion of the All-Star Game, the winner will receive the Arch Ward Trophy, which was first presented in 1962 as a tribute to the man who founded the All-Star Game in 1933. That first presentation went to Leon Wagner of the Los Angeles Angels and to Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers, because two All-Star Games per year were played in those days.
These are the players who have won the award since fan voting was introduced in 2003:
2003: Garret Anderson, Angels
2004: Alfonso Soriano, Rangers
2005: Miguel Tejada, Orioles
2006: Michael Young, Rangers
2007: Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
2008: J.D. Drew, Red Sox
2009: Carl Crawford, Rays
2010: Brian McCann, Braves
2011: Prince Fielder, Brewers
2012: Melky Cabrera, Giants
If you haven’t heard by now, our Brewers Baseball Academy, presented by Kwik Trip, is eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that are being held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.
I recently came across a nice piece on the camp, produced by Time Warner Cable Sports32, which I thought I’d share. This video gives a great sense of what the camps are all about:
If you’re interested in signing your child up for one of the remaining camps, please visit brewers.com/camps for details.
Last week, I wrote about how Time Warner Cable is celebrating its role as the designated “Official WiFi Provider” of Major League Baseball All-Star Week by dishing up complimentary baseball and regional-themed food from branded food trucks–served by All-Stars–throughout All-Star Week.
Well, today the Milwaukee Brewers truck was at Broadway and 96th Street, near the TWC retail store from 11am – 4pm ET.
On our menu was of course, the “Milwaukee Brat – pork and beef bratwurst, sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard”.
In addition, former Brewers pitcher Jesse Orosco, made an appearance at the Milwaukee food truck. Orosco played for the Crew from 1992-1994. He is a 2x All-Star (1983 & 1984 with the Mets) and 2x World Series champion (1986-Mets & 1988-Dodgers). Although he retired in 2003, Orosco still holds the MLB record for most career games pitched (1251).
Blog reader Joel Reamer who lives in New York wrote me to say, “I live right around the corner from 96th and Broadway so I came home for lunch today for some Brewers Bratwurst action. No stadium sauce unfortunately (and where was the Bratwurst Racing Sausage?!?) but for $5 got a brat, chips and drink served to me by Jesse freaking Orosco and was given a Go-Go bobblehead to boot, with the proceeds going to Sandy. Not bad.”
Here are some of his photos, enjoy:
In addition, reader Bronwyn Bevin, who lives in New York, wrote in to say: ” I live in Brooklyn but couldn’t miss the chance to come out and represent my team. I think my favorite part was being asked if I was from Milwaukee, and then trying to explain how someone from New Zealand who lives in New York ended up being a Brewers fan! Looking forward to the All Star game tomorrow, and can’t wait for September when the Brew Crew come to NY!”
I also heard from Chance Michaels who writes: “I’m a Brooklyn-based baseball historian and baseball fan who has to cheer the Brew Crew from afar. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a real Milwaukee brat. Not bad, but not as good as at Miller Park – no Secret Stadium Sauce!”
Finally, I heard from Jake Russo, a transplanted Milwaukeean, who didn’t seem to mind. That’s because, as you can see in the photo below, Jake brought his own Secret Stadium Sauce to the truck. He says it was a gift in a care package sent by his sister, Janel. “[She] sends me a postcard from Miller Park every time she goes to a game. I’d like to think she does it because she misses me cheering along side her, but in reality, it’s probably just to make me jealous.”
Jake also says he rarely misses a chance to see the Crew (or their food) when they are in town.
Donations from the food trucks will go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which helps New Yorkers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
For more information on the All-Star promotion, please click here.
Did you also check out the food truck? Send me your photos at email@example.com!