As a Florida craft beer blogger, there really isn’t anything cooler than being recognized for what I do. So when I received a message from Dave over at the Florida Beer Blog about attending the ribbon cutting for Miami Brewing Company’s new Beer Garden at Marlins Park, I was pretty stoked. On top of that, Friday night at the ballpark also happens to be Burger and Beer night. Tickets start at thirty dollars and get you into the game, a burger, and a beer from Miami Brewing. That’s a pretty damn good deal! The thirty dollar ticket puts you in the right field bullpen seating overlooking Giancarlo Stanton. It also happens to be right next to the Miami Brewing Beer Garden (formerly the Bacardi Bar). The sight lines from the beer garden were so good I never actually went to my seat.
I arrived at the stadium around 5:30 pm, parked and located the Will Call office. A few minutes later I was upstairs and checking out the Miami Brewing Company’s brand spanking new Beer Garden. One of the first things you’ll notice is a mural on the column in which the bar surrounds. The mural was created in a collaborative effort between Claudia La Bianca (left side) and Aquarela Sabol (right side), two of Miami’s best-known street mural artists whose work can be seen around the Wynwood Arts District.
After taking in my surroundings for a few minutes, which included a live band, I ordered my first beer. Being the stout lover that I am the ‘Little Havana Café Con Leche Milk Stout’ was my number one target. A stout isn’t typically what most folks would think of when grabbing a beer at the ballpark. Remember though this is Miami and with a name like that, I imagine it will be a big seller. While drinking, I was thinking that the ‘Little Havana’ actually leaned more towards a shot of Cuban Coffee than a Café Con Leche. The coffee came through strong and that is certainly not a bad thing. You haven’t quite lived until you’ve had a shot of Cuban Coffee.
After a bit, it was time to officially open the beer garden. A representative of the Miami Marlins said a few words and presented Miami Brewing owner, Peter Schnebly, with an official Marlins jersey. Peter’s son Kody, Claudia La Bianca, Aquarela Sabol, and of course Billy the Marlin joined him on stage.
After all of the excitement, I hit the bar again for a ‘Flamingo Ale’. The coconut and mango in the Hefeweizen came through nicely. It was the perfect beer for the Miami’s tropical humidity.
I spent a bit of time talking with Anthony Nader, who is a Miami based photographer specializing in food photography on his site 52 Chefs. He was more than eager to answer any and all of my photo taking questions. I learned more about my camera in that half hour than I had in all of the months before.
As the game started, I headed to the designated section to cash in my burger and beer voucher. The burger hit the spot and the can of Miami Vice IPA washed it down nicely.
Peter invited the Miami Brewing crew and I up to a suite during the seventh inning. Talk about watching the rest of the game in style! He had smuggled in a few growlers of both his ‘Lychee’ and ‘Columbian Lemonaide’ meads. I have only just started getting into mead and found both of these to be delicious. I’m definitely looking forward to trying them again when I head down to Homestead to review the brewery.
The suite was a great spot to watch the rest of the game and a first time for me. If you’re looking to watch the game like a baller getting a suite is certainly the way to do it.
Once the game ended, we extended the night a bit by heading downstairs to the Clevelander. After a bit more conversation and a few games of Cornhole it was time for everyone to head their separate ways. I headed home after having a great night and forming a new friendship or two.
In closing, if you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to check out a Marlins game, Burger and Beer Fridays should be the way you do it. This was the first game I’ve attended at the new ballpark. I’m happy to say I will be making the drive from northern Palm Beach County again. The only thing missing was a win by the hometown team. There’s always next time!