Team: Minnesota Twins (Spring Training)/ Fort Myers Miracle
Ballpark Basics: Spring Training at its finest.
Hammond Stadium looks like what a spring training facility should look like. The ballpark is part of the CenturyLink Sports Complex and it is surrounded by multiple practice fields. Walking up to the front entrance there is a palm tree-lined walkway which ends at a waterfall fountain. The exterior of the ballpark itself was modeled after Churchill Downs and is one of the more picturesque ballparks you will find in the Grapefruit League.
Once inside the ballpark the main concourse sits behind the seating bowl around the infield. Once you get past the grandstand the concourse opens into a wide walkway that wraps around the rest of the ballpark. There is a bar in left field corner with a patio that overlooks the Twins bullpen. A “boardwalk” extends along the entire outfield concourse with another bar in center field behind the batter’s eye. Another bar sits in right field corner. There is berm seating behind the left field wall and a small patch down the right field line.
Best Spot for Beer: As mentioned before, there are multiple options to grab a drink while at Hammond Stadium. Each of the bars had various local options including Fort Myers Brewing, Bury Me Brewing, Scotty’s Bierworks, Cape Coral Brewing Co. and Islamorada Brewing to name a few. You can even find Fulton Beer and Summit Brewing Co. at certain stands around the park if you are looking for your Minnesota fix.
Whether you are there to see the parent club for Spring Training or seeing their Single A affiliate Hammond Stadium offers a laid-back environment to take in a game. The ballpark is also a great spot to get a local beer, even if that local beer comes from 1,700 miles away.
Bury Me Brewing
Brew Basics: A brewery that’s on theme; but there’s more to the name than meets the eye.
Bury Me Brewing is located in a strip mall, but that’s pretty par for the course in Fort Myers. You can even play Cornhole on the sidewalk out front. The logo looked pretty clip arty, and so combining that with the location, we were prepared for a kitschy brewpub. These, in our experience, are the sort that tend to focus less on product, and more on theme and income; and on theme they were. The decor is black, wood and corrugated metal. They’ve got chain link fence barricades, low lighting from chains of Italian lights, spade shaped tap handles and more shovels-as-art on the walls. However, they’ve also got Foosball, and board games, and shuffleboard…and most importantly, they have pretty decent beer.
One of the owners was actually manning the bar while we were there, and he gave us the story behind the name (short version: the idea originated from two guys named Barry and Mee. From there, the dead theme wasn’t too much of a stretch).
For having just opened less than a year before we visited, they’ve got a good following, a small area out on the sidewalks to play cornhole and even Small Batch Wednesday, which is fairly self explanatory. They’d also just added a new 10 gallon fermenter, and had purchased barrels from Jack Daniels for some upcoming experimentals. You’ve got to hand it to them, they’re not afraid to try new things. We were there on a Monday, so instead of small batching it, we tried:
Mortalitea Green Tea and Gogi (5%abv) clear like white wine, with bubbles at the bottom. Tastes like a white tea – as in tea that’s light and watery but not herbal. Floral smell with a hint of berries, some lacing, not beer like.
La Mort Belgian Trippel (9%ABV) – La Mort was just a shade yellower than the uber pale Mortalitea, and had lots of lacing. Smells of Belgian yeast and wheat, but had a lot of banana in the taste. Though it poured with a lot of force it was not terribly carbonated. (Bury Me seems to have high pressure taps, as all of the beers arrived with big heads).
Hell Bound Honey Brown (5.5% ABV) The Hell Bound appeared ruby brown in color with tan head, and lots of bubbles. At first it presents with a very faint aroma but as it warms it becomes more prevalent, ending up to give the Hell Bound a warm, spiced sugary smell. LIke the aroma, the palate also builds, and though it starts thin it builds and the notes of sweet honey build to a malted, carbonated finish.
6 Foot Down Stout (6.5% ABV) – The noticeable bouquet is a strong, dry malt smell and the stout is another thinner (we are in Florida here, heavy is not usually what patrons are looking for) beer that as it warms develops a somewhat creamy, dry roasted finish.
Soulless Scottish Red Ale (7%ABV) – Ruddy brown and very carbonated, the Soulless Red smells sweet and slightly malty. While the taste also has a sweet front, the end is sugary, with a bit of slightly drier malts in between.
4224 Cleveland Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33901