Wisconsin is brat country, something I learned too late after my first trip to Miller Park.


While I liked Miller, I was a little bit miffed at the low quality of the hot dog. I believe at the time I declared it to be the worst dog I’d ever had at a ballgame, and I liked Wendy Selig less afterward for it. (This was in 2001 when she still owned the Brewers.) As far as I was concerned, there was no excuse for a ballpark in Wisconsin to have a lousy hot dog.


It became a theory of mine after learning that Milwaukee is the only ballpark that sells more brats than hot dogs that the lesser dog was intentional, as a way to get folks to buy more brats. I was probably wrong on that one, although I’m not yet totally convinced.


Sausages at Miller Park are available in four varieties for varying tastes. There is the Wisconsin brat, the Italian, the Polish, and the Mexican chorizo. The four flavors are very different, but according to most accounts, the one thing that makes them all taste better is the Secret Stadium Sauce.


Secret Stadium Sauce is a Milwaukee institution, carried over from the days at Milwaukee County Stadium. It is a blend of water, tomato paste, corn syrup, vinegar, a blend of spices and capsicum. The story of its creation is one of necessity being the mother of invention: close to 40 years ago, the team’s concessions were running out of ketchup and mustard, so a vendor named Rick Abramson put together a concoction of ketchup, mustard, smoked syrup and barbecue sauce, slapped it all together, and became president of Delaware North Companies Sportservice. Now there’s a company that recognizes genius when they see it.


Indeed, baseball authorities Tony Kubek and Bob Costas would trade off broadcasting duties when announcing games in Milwaukee, so they could each enjoy their brats with Secret Stadium Sauce without enduring endlessly long seconds of delay between bites.


Like the Stadium Mustard in Cleveland, the Secret Stadium Sauce is available in local grocery stores in Milwaukee, which means that there is no shortage of it in the world-class tailgating scene of Miller Park parking lots.


Condiments – bringing people together.


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Comment by Kurt Smith on February 12, 2011 at 2:44pm

I knew there was a "Brat Patrol", but I didn't know they gave people coolers!


My first trip to Miller I completely missed the tailgating. I am never going to a ballpark without researching again!

Comment by Craig (17) on February 12, 2011 at 12:51pm
Damn, I can't wait to check this out one day!!
Comment by Chuck Booth (35) ALL 30/23 DAYS! on February 12, 2011 at 12:10pm

You gotta love Milwaukee Tailgating parties-while other parks discourage it-they give a free beer fridge 'from Miller Lite'-for the best tailgate party before game time.  Miller Park's ballpark staff is also the best in baseball.


Comment by Kurt Smith on February 8, 2011 at 3:12pm

That's a great story Bob...I like the bit about speaking drunken 19 year old. I wish I could have seen County Stadium.


I've actually seen your blog before looking for information about ballparks but I never made the connection. Forgive me for being stupid on that one. If you want I'll put the link to it up on my MLBlog.


Thanks for the compliment!



Comment by Bob DeVries (30 all in 09 & 10) on February 8, 2011 at 8:01am

Great post, Kurt.

The other issue with the dogs at Miller Park is they didn't bring the grills with them from County Stadium. Those grills had years of "flavor" grilled into them. Back then they were called Brewer Plumbers and try saying that as a 19 year old who had been tailgating for hours.


Here is blog I wrote about my trip to Milwaukee back in May 2009.




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