Mercer University Athletics will be partnering with the Macon Beer Company to host a “bear” garden during football games. The garden will be located on Black Field, next to Five Star Stadium.
Before football games, attendees over the age of 21 will be able to purchase a selection of Macon Beer Company beers from the garden.
In a June Mercer News article, Mercer Associate Athletic Director Daniel Tate said that the beer garden will help create a “full-day experience” for Mercer football’s six home games this fall.
“We’re fortunate to partner with Macon Beer Company, which is just one example of the fantastic locally-owned businesses that Middle Georgia has to offer,” Tate said.
Yash Patel, the CEO of Macon Beer Company, graduated from Mercer University in 2016. Patel said he knew the campus “intimately.”
“It’s been in the works for about a year, year and a half now… I think it’s going to be a really cool spot, I’m really glad that I can be doing it with my alma mater,” Patel said. “I’m from Macon, I went to Mercer, I attended Mercer law, so I really wanted to do something to develop that program out there and… try to get that campus to where it’s not just dry, but semi-wet or whatever you want to call it.”
Macon Beer Company is currently working on a selection of Mercer-themed beers for the garden, similar to “Macon Bears,” the drink they crafted for Oktoberfest. While “Macon Bears” may not be on the drink menu this fall, Patel said that their brewery works backwards; after deciding on a flavor, they work backwards to determine what ingredients and conditions they’ll need to achieve that flavor.
“One thing we don’t like to do is add syrups or extracts to our beers, so we try to get all our flavor from the malt, the water, the yeast, the hops,” Patel said. “So we’re using more basic ingredients of beer to get that nice fruity, juicy flavor out instead of just taking more juice and dumping it in there.”
The Macon Beer Company Bear Garden will be unveiled during the first home game, when Mercer faces off against Austin Peay State University on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.