MILWAUKEE, Wis. - With Johnsonville as the new official sausage of the Brewers, there are plenty new food options at Miller Park. The club suites have also been updated, and the ballpark has added a new kids' zone and breast-feeding area.
And after switching this offseason from Klement's Sausages to Johnsonville, the Brewers want to let you know there won't be much changing of the ballpark basics.
"Johnsonville with all their high-quality products are going to be featured in all our concession stands throughout Miller Park, making a high-quality brat, Italian, Polish, and we're excited to partner with them," said Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger. "They were a Brewers sponsor in the past. It's great to welcome back, great heritage, Wisconsin product, great company. Obviously big news when you make a change of that magnitude and we expect the fans are going to find the products to their liking and very tasty."
The new partnership with Johnsonville meant the Miller Park crew could utilize its Italian and Polish sausages for some new food options, like pierogies. Those will be available in the First Base Ward on the field level, with a sauteed onion and peppers option with Parmesan garlic sauce or a sauerkraut and bacon option with sweet bacon dressing.
"Something different we're doing with Johnsonville is we're featuring Johnsonville Polish (sausages) in our pierogies," said Delaware North at Miller Park Executive Chef Seth VanderLaan."We didn't have the piergoie concept last year, so being able to feature a premium Polish sausage in our new pierogie concept was fantastic. It was a natural fit."
And as drool-inducing as those options sound, the head chef at Miller Park is actually most excited for one of the ballpark's new healthy choices.
"One of my favorites is a Thai salad, which features red quinoa, some edamame, some bell peppers, and with that is going to be a Thai peanut dressing," VanderLaan said. "So it's gluten-free, it's vegan. I'm very excited about it and I'm not gluten-free or vegan, and I really like it."
In addition to the new food offerings, Johsonville's name will be on a new party deck. Fans will also see a new Jim Beam bar on the field level as well. For families, the Brewers have also revamped the kids zone and added a breast-feeding suite for new moms, in addition to renovations to the PNC Club Level.
Among all these upgrades, the Brewers front office is just as excited as its fan base for Opening Day to hit in less than a week.
"This is my 16th Opening Day and it's always exciting because it's a rebirth, it's a new season. Right now, we're tied for first place. We're excited about the season," Schlesinger said. "We've made a lot of great offseason moves. The team's looking really good. We had a great spring training, and we're excited obviously to showcase new players.
"So as much as we talk about the renovations, at the end of the day we're very excited about the team on the field. And that's the focal point. I think we expect great things out of this team this year. Ticket sales have been great. The impact that we're going to have on this market I think is going to be very strong and we're very excited for what's in store for 2018."
The Brewers begin the 2018 season on the road at San Diego and open up at Miller Park on Monday against the Cardinals.