Your guide to Milwaukee’s beer gardens
In 2012, Milwaukee’s first beer garden since Prohibition – actually, the country’s first beer garden since those dark, dry days – opened to the public. The idea quickly took off, as evidenced by the lineup below, and summertime imbibing hasn’t been the same since.
2900 S Shore Dr.
Overlooking Lake Michigan, this expanded beachside beer garden features the Miller 1855 Bar, with its nearly 30-foot concrete and cedar counter complete with 20 top handles. The beer menu offers suds from Leinenkugel’s, including its collaboration with Hofbrau, Blue Moon varieties and more. And for the edibles, South Shore Terrace offers carrot fries, a cheese board, Milwaukee Pretzel Co.’s soft pretzels, chicken drums, and, of course, cheese curds. Hours are Wednesday through Friday from 4-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Street parking available.
3000 W. Park Ave
The home park of Chill on the Hill prides itself on featuring a selection of local food along with rotating taps of Wisconsin craft beer. This means you can chow on a bratwurst in a pretzel bun and wash it down with Tyranena Rocky’s Revenge or Vintage Brewing Co.’s hibiscus saison. Enjoy live polka music and an authentic pig roast every Saturday or Quizmaster Trivia Wednesday nights. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. daily once open. Parking available.
3565 North Morris Blvd., Shorewood
Tucked into an adorable Shorewood park, the Hubbard Park Beer garden sits adjacent to the Milwaukee River. It’s an ultra-scenic way to sip from your stein, which could be filled with Sprecher Black Bavarian, Spotted Cow or a rotating IPA. If beer gardens are a morning activity for you, Hubbard Park also offers a delectable bloody mary. And if you’re hungry, Hubbard’s got a nice mix of sausage, cheese and pretzel offerings. Open Monday to Friday, 3-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 12-9 p.m. Parking is limited.
1800 N Swan Blvd, Wauwatosa
With both indoor and outdoor seating, The Landing features a changing menu of local craft and imported beer, along with red, white and sparkling wines and a menu that includes local favorite Cranky Al’s pizza, giant pretzels, obatzda, beer brats, hot dogs, popcorn and fountain drinks, along with specials offered periodically by SA Braai. Hours are Wednesday through Friday from 3-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9pm once open. Parking available.
4600 Estabrook Dr.
Established in 2012 as the first public beer garden in America in more than 100 years, Estabrook’s beer garden is an expansive affair right next to the Milwaukee River. Food is limited to beer garden basics of bratwurst, hot dogs, and giant pretzels, but they’re no less delicious. The garden features beers imported from the Munich Hofbräuhaus and all beer is served in half or full-liter glass mugs. Visitors arrive by foot, bicycle, automobile, kayak and canoe.
8831 North Root River Parkway, Greendale
As the newest permanent beer garden, Whitnall Park has got it all. Not only does the park house the stunning Boerner Botanical Gardens, but the beer garden includes domestic and craft beer and cider, Pepsi products, wine and a variety of snacks. Parking available.
This summer the Traveling Beer Garden will visit 13 parks over 16 weeks to serve up thousands of glasses of suds. Each temporary beer garden features craft beer, gourmet sodas, hard root beer, hard ginger beer, and more from Sprecher Brewing. There will also be live music featured at all stops Wednesday through Saturday evenings from 5-8 p.m. Hours are Monday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with last call at 9 p.m. Parking depends on location.