Miller Park Ballpark Beer Review

Sean Roberts, June 02, 2014

As you enter Miller Park, perhaps to your seats in right field in the Miller Lite Beerpen (just under the Miller Lite Party Deck), you might wonder if you’ll be able to find more than the SAB MillerCoors offerings and if you should have just spent some extra time tailgating in the parking lot.  

But even with the macro name, the Brewers offer a decent variety of craft beers in spite of several of these abominations that we’ve seen at other ballparks:

(By the way, they’re only offering Third Shift and Redd’s at these now?  Obviously I’ve never been a fan of the “Craft Beer Destinations,” but they’re not even trying to trick us by offering more than two varieties anymore.)

Before digging into the craft selections at Miller Park, we should start with a word about Leinenkugel’s, in the interest of accuracy, but also in the interest of this author not being thrown out of the great state of Wisconsin.  It’s everywhere at Miller Park.  I’m not including the MillerCoors-owned brewer here for purposes of this discussion because it doesn’t fit the strict definition of a craft brewery, but recognize that there is room for disagreement, as this excellent review of Safeco pointed out.  However, know that if you’re interested in trying just about any Leinenkugel’s beer (including Bernie’s Barrelman Ale available only at Miller Park), it’s available on tap at several general concession stands, most of the beer carts, and even through some of the seating area beer vendors.

For strictly craft beers, Miller Park offers about a half-dozen locations throughout the stadium, and the top beers offered seem to be the same at each of them:

Spotted Cow takes the top spot for BAR in the stadium’s offerings, but beyond that it is odd in “Brew City” that the next two highest-ranked beers are by Sierra Nevada.  If you’re like me, when you’re at a new ballpark you’re interested in trying the best of the local beers, and it would be great to see more of Wisconsin’s best offered (not to be confused with “Milwaukee’s Best”), though perhaps that’s nitpicking with so much Leinie’s offered.

Two caveats could really advance the Brewers’ uh…brewers at Miller Park.  First, at the craft beer stands “Bell’s” was listed on the sign, but no Bell’s was actually offered.  If there are plans to add the new 16 oz cans of say, Oberon and Two Hearted, the selection and overall BAR would be greatly improved.  Second, the stadium has offered Moon Man in the past, but seems to have reduced its New Glarus offerings to just Spotted Cow.  

Another option for the craft beer connoisseur is on the first level in left field.  It’s no Public House, but at the Friday’s (as in TGI Friday’s) Front Row, you can sample a few more local favorites, like Hinterland Luna Stout (.21 BAR), Lakefront IPA (1.95 BAR), and Hop Happy (.63 BAR).  Like the Public House, you can take your beer “to go” in a plastic cup back into the stadium as well.

But where Miller Park really shines is the price.  In Wisconsin, we love a deal and the Brewers have obliged our craft beer drinkers.  At just $8.50 for a 16-ounce and $6.75 for a 12-ounce, you’ll pay just about 50 cents more for one of Miller Park’s premium craft offerings over its namesake brews.

Overall, Miller Park has a pretty good variety at a great value but some local favorites and additional locations to purchase would really put it among the elite for craft beer ballparks.

Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin:  82/100

Top Beers: New Glarus Spotted Cow (7.86), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (5.44), Sierra Nevada Torpedo (5.21), Milwaukee Brewing Co. O-Gii Imperial Wheat (5.01), Lakefront Brewery Riverwest Stein (4.77), Tallgrass 8-bit (2.92)

Excellent Stands: 6

Price: $6.75-8.50

Sean Roberts rarely bunts.  You can reach him or find his other work here.