. . . brothers Tom and Al Mullens of Saukville are still on the job after more than four decades, pouring gallons of beer and serving too many nachos and other snacks to count in the Miller Park concession stands
Despite a poor season, the Milwaukee Brewers will draw more than 2 million fans to Miller Park this year.
There’s a good chance many of them have ordered a bratwurst or beer from brothers Tom and Al Mullens of Saukville.
Al, 69, is completing his 45th season in Milwaukee stadium concessions, while Tom, 79, is completing his 43rd year.
“I could write a book about the crazy things that went down in this place,” Al said. “Most of them can’t be printed.”
The brothers carpool to the stadium for every home game, missing just a few over the years.
They arrive around 3 p.m. for a 7:10 p.m. game, getting the stands ready for the customers.
“I always get the nacho trays ready,” Tom said. “That’s kind of my thing.”
Al works near section 110 along the first base line, while Tom works near section 126 on the third base side.
This year, he will work 80 of 81 home games.
“I’m missing the game on Sept. 3 because my daughters are flying in from California and Florida for the Packers preseason game,” Tom said. “Otherwise I’ll be at every one.”
The brothers actually work for Delaware North Sportservice, a company the Brewers and many other professional teams contract with for their concessions service.
That means they work other events at Miller Park like soccer games, concerts and high school baseball games.
Al started working Green Bay Packers games at County Stadium, which was originally built to lure the team to Milwaukee.
His father-in-law needed bartenders for football games and asked if Al would help out.
Two years later, Tom worked a handful of weekend Brewers games before returning to his job at Simplicity Manufacturing during the week.
“I spent 47 years at Simplicity driving the forklift and working on the assembly line and 43 with the Brewers,” he said. “This is my casino money. I’m up about 30 grand this year.”
He also used the extra money to help with emergencies while raising three children.
Al recently bought a 1994 Chevrolet Corvette with some of his extra money and is planning a cruise to the Bahamas with his wife this year.
He worked at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac for 37-1/2 years.
The brothers worked the Brewers’ four playoff runs since arriving in Milwaukee in 1970, including the World Series in 1982.
“We didn’t run out of customers,” Tom said of the World Series. “The lines just kept going, but we had a lot of fun.”
They also worked the first game at Miller Park in 2001, a day Al called “hectic.”
“It was fine after they opened the roof because they set off all the fireworks and the whole place was full of smoke,” he said.
The Brewers playoff run in 2008, their first since the World Series appearance, was memorable for the brothers.
“We were sold out all the time,” Al said. “This older woman came up and asked me where the standing room only seats were. I said, ‘Sorry ma’am, you’re going to have to stand.’”
They estimate they’ve poured more than 250,000 beers in their careers.
Beth Bartelt, operations manager for Sportservice, has worked at Miller Park since it opened in 2001.
She is impressed by the Mullenses’ work ethic.
“I’ve never had a complaint about them,” Bartelt said. “They are so professional behind the stands. They move quicker than some of the younger workers we have.”
The brothers weren’t sad to see the Packers leave Milwaukee for good after the 1994 season.
“I didn’t mind them leaving, especially in the winter when the wind would come up the (Menomonee) Valley and you couldn’t move your fingers by halftime,” Al said.
One of his favorite memories was working in the bleachers at County Stadium during 10-cent beer night.
“People were buying 50 beers at a crack in these eight-ounce cups,” he said. “There were fights, everything. It was something.
“We used to have 53-ounce buckets of beer that were sold for $2.50.”
While they agree on many things, including Robin Yount as their favorite player, one thing they can’t seem to figure out is the best route to the stadium.
“I take I-43 to Highland Avenue,” Tom said. “He takes the freeway all the way to 35th Street.
“There’s about seven stop lights on Highland and if you go a little above the speed limit, you’ll hit every green light.”
The brothers have met many repeat customers over the years, including a couple from Sturtevant that sends a Christmas card every year, Tom said.
Al’s goal is to be the first employee to reach 50 years in concessions. He has never sat in the stands as a fan.
Image information: BROTHERS TOM (left) AND AL MULLENS estimate they have poured more than 250,000 beers over more than four decades of working at Milwaukee stadium concessions. The Mullenses began serving
fans during fall afternoons at County Stadium for Green Bay Packers games. Photo by Sam Arendt