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Why Milwaukee: Matt Daniels

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Actor, director, and teaching artist Matt Daniels is a California native who has made his home living, working, and performing in Milwaukee. We asked him a few questions about Milwaukee's theater scene, the arts, and his favorite spots in town!

Why have you chosen to live & create in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee is a great city! I’m able to support myself as a theater artist here, and the cost of living allows for my wife and I to own a house in a great neighborhood (Bay View, by the way) with great bars, restaurants, and shops. Even though we’re a mid-sized city, there is a surprisingly robust arts scene here; friends and family from much larger cities are consistently awed by the breadth and quality of the theater here. Also, our audiences have a real connection to the work here, which allows us to take some risks as artists, which is essential to to the act of creation.

What’s your favorite thing about Milwaukee’s theater scene?
I love the collective commitment to nurturing the next generation of artists, whether it is through the Theater Academy at First Stage (one of the nation’s largest programs of this type), or the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, or the various collaborations with local universities undertaken by In Tandem Theatre or Milwaukee Chamber Theater, or the Emerging Professional Residency at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. These programs allow for young artists to grow in a safe environment and start to put down roots right here in Milwaukee. I am the director of First Stage’s Young Company, a pre-professional training program for high school actors, and while it is wonderful to see our alums working around the country, but also living and working right here.

What’s something that surprised you about Milwaukee?
As I mentioned above, the breadth of the theater scene was certainly a surprise when I got here. But I’ve also really fallen in love with the handcrafted, authentic nature of the city. There are still lots of independent business owners, restaurateurs, and shop owners here; some family businesses span generations! The old-world architecture really contributes to a sense of shared history and community. At the same time, some of those restaurants are world class with James Beard Award winning chefs, there are new, internationally-renowned buildings like the Calatrava-designed Art Museum, and a forward outlook on our future with the establishment of water sciences. It is one of the biggest small cities you will ever visit.

What’s one thing that everyone who visits Milwaukee should see or do?
Tough question! One thing? I love the river boat tours that start downtown and take you out into the harbor of Lake Michigan. You get a great look at the city from an often unexplored vantage point. If you can’t get on a boat, a walk along the riverfront downtown is almost as good. But there’s so much more. Check out the restaurant scene in Walker’s Point and Bay View, the many many performing arts offerings downtown, or the Historic Third Ward, where there’s also a ton of great shopping. The tavern scene in Riverwest is great, or a tour of one of the breweries. Or in nice weather, enjoy time in one of the beer gardens in our beautiful parks.

 

 

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Why Milwaukee: Jordan Dechambre

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Get the inside scoop on Milwaukee's shopping scene from local style exeprt, Jordan Dechambre. We asked her a few questions about the best places to shop in town and what made her choose Milwaukee.

Where are your favorite places to shop in Milwaukee?
Asking about my favorite places to shop in Milwaukee is like asking me to choose a favorite pair of shoes! For Milwaukee mainstays, I know I can always find something I love for a special occasion at Lela — amazing dresses and unexpected, almost artful pieces. Stephanie Horne is a go-to for me for denim and fabulous sweaters. I think Luci does an amazing job of offering the hottest trend pieces at a low price point, so I am constantly picking up a few fun things there. I also think Spruce has been a much-needed addition to our retail landscape, with European designers like Maison Margiela who aren’t offered anywhere else in Milwaukee. And when you add in all of our talented emerging design talent, we’ve got a pretty terrific fashion scene!

What’s something that surprised you about Milwaukee?
I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years, by way of Door County. I never imagined myself staying in one city for that long. But there is this special magic about Milwaukee that you don’t find in many places. The city has a magnetism that is mirrored in its people. I live in the Third Ward, and I cannot walk my dog without seeing someone I know and getting a wave and smile, or a stop and chat. I can walk to some of the best restaurants in the Midwest. I can shop at posh boutiques steps from my door. Everything from my gym to the Milwaukee Public Market to my new obsession Warby Parker are steps away from my condo. Before I moved here, I didn't picture Milwaukee like that. But downtown is made up of true neighborhoods, mixed with world-class culture and offerings. You just can’t beat that.

What’s one thing that everyone who visits Milwaukee should see or do?
I think there are probably a few “musts” for this city, and it’s what I do with any friends who come in to visit from out of town. First, the Milwaukee Public Market is just about my favorite place in the world. You will find me there almost daily getting either soup from The Soup Market, salad from Green Kitchen or (perhaps) a chocolate chunk cookie from C. Adams Bakery. I am also an all-season walker, and I love the RiverWalk — especially the lesser-known Third Ward extension that takes you from Water Street all the way to Lakeshore State Park. The city is so stunning from that park! Kickapoo Coffee is another favorite haunt, and I take clients there all the time. And for dinner, I am all about Bel Aire Cantina — I am addicted to their tacos. For brunch, the new Sweet Diner is my pick for most beautiful diner in Milwaukee; I could live in that space. I could literally go on forever!
 

 

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5 Places to Watch Soccer in Milwaukee

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By Alex Murphy
Content Marketing Intern

Bartender with various taps at Cafe Bavaria in Wauwatosa

As July comes to a close, the English Premier League is nearing a return. Miss Packers football?  Fútbol season starts back up on August 11th!

In Milwaukee, the bars open as soon as the match starts, no matter how early. Here are some of the best atmospheres to take in some Premier League soccer.

Cafe Bavaria
7700 Harwood Ave, Wauwatosa, WI 53213

This German tavern is owned by a Milwaukee favorite, The Lowlands Group. Come check out the newly renovated Village of Wauwatosa and enjoy a German beer at Cafe Bavaria. Prosit!

Nomad World Pub
1401 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Famous for packing Brady Street during the World Cup, Nomad offers a free toast buffet, $3.50 Pints of Carlsberg and Stella, and $2 Pabst Blue Ribbons during Premier League matches. 

Red Lion Pub
850 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

A new rooftop bar and an authentic British feel make Red Lion Pub on Tannery Row a perfect place to catch a soccer match.

The Highbury
2322 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Named after the legendary Arsenal soccer stadium, the lively atmosphere at the Highbury Pub does North London justice. 

Three Lions Pub
4515 N Oakland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211

This authentic British pub is fresh off being named “Best Sports Bar” of 2016 by the Shepherd Express. Three Lions Pub takes pride in creating a welcoming, old world environment for all patrons.

Whether the match starts at 6:30 a.m. or right around lunch time, these Milwaukee bars are open and ready for kickoff!

 

 
10 Iconic Milwaukee Beers

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10 Iconic Milwaukee Beers

While craft and microbreweries are popping up all over the country, Milwaukee continues to set itself apart from the masses and hold fast to the title of “Brew City.” The home of the four greats (Pabst, Miller, Schlitz and Blatz), the city has a rich history in brewing, so it’s no wonder microbreweries are choosing to open their doors in Milwaukee. Everyone wants to be in the city where it all started. To drink like a Milwaukeean, you have to both pay homage to our trailblazers and be on top of the newest brews hitting the market.

10. Schlitz Although the brewery was born in 1849, it was in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire that Schlitz got its nickname “the beer that made Milwaukee famous.” The fire wiped out five of Chicago’s breweries, along with its water infrastructure, leaving no water or supplies to brew beer. It was Schlitz to the rescue, sending thousands of barrels of their beer south to wet the whistles of the beer-deprived Chicagoans who were so thankful to Schlitz that they became brand loyalists. Schlitz is still available today, brewing their “classic ‘60s formula” that resonates with past and present generations alike.

9. Pabst Brewery – Andeker While Pabst Blue Ribbon (or PBR to hipster-nation) might be the “award winning” beer, it’s Andeker that has beer enthusiasts buzzing. A European-style lager that was introduced in 1939, taken off the market in the 1960s, and briefly reappeared between 1972 and 1986, is one of the old formulas getting a resurrection at the new Pabst Milwaukee Brewery.
 
8. Miller Brewing Company – High Life Sure, craft beer is king these days, but without these big guys paving the way in the 1800s, the beer industry wouldn’t be what it is today. Miller High Life was first released in 1903, making it the oldest Miller beer to date. The high carbonation levels in this pilsner-style beer, paired with the clear glass bottles distinctive of the beer’s packaging, earned it the nickname “The Champagne of Beers.” So while your friends are drinking their imperial black double IPAs, you can take solace knowing that your Miller High Life is just as classy as a glass of champagne.
 
7. Blatz Beer The fourth of the Milwaukee Beer Barons, Valentin Blatz, opened his brewery next door to City Brewery, owned by John Braun. When Braun died, Blatz married his widow and merged the two breweries. By 1884, Blatz Brewery was the third-largest beer producer in Milwaukee. Today, the American-style lager Blatz is brewed and distributed by the Pabst Brewing Co., proving that even the Milwaukee beer barons can play nice.
 
6. Sprecher Brewery – Black Bavarian First brewed in 1985 alongside the opening of the brewery, the Black Bavarian is one of the flagship beers at Sprecher Brewery, Milwaukee’s first modern craft brewery. This Bavarian-style black lager (or Kulmbacher-style schwarzbier) brings smooth, complex malt flavors with hints of coffee, caramel and chocolate, but isn’t as creamy or sweet as a porter or stout – truly a unique (and award-winning) beer.
 
5. Lakefront Brewery – Klisch You only name one of your beers after your founders if it’s one of your greats. Klisch, named after Russ and Jim Klisch, is a full-bodied, smooth and slightly hoppy Czech pilsner that perfectly complements any of your favorite Milwaukee dishes from a Friday night fish fry to a slice of Milwaukee-style pizza – and that’s the mark of a great Milwaukee beer.
 
4. Milwaukee Brewing Co. – Weekend @ Louie’s Louie’s Demise is the beer that started it all for Milwaukee Brewing Company. Owner Jim McCabe brewed this beer for the first time in his basement in Cedarburg, back when the dream of owning his own microbrewery was just that – a dream. Weekend @ Louie’s, however, takes this beer to the next level with a collaboration with local Milwaukee tea makers, Rishi Tea. Adding Rishi’s Organic Blueberry Rooibos and Hibiscus Tea blends turns this amber ale into a unique, light, fruity, herbal summer beer. And what’s cooler than a Milwaukee collaboration?
 
3. Third Space Brewing – Happy Place Third Space Brewing believes that everyone has three spaces that they exist in: the space where they work, the space where they sleep and the space where they play (and drink!). We think that the third space is our happy place, and this brewery agreed. Happy Place is a Midwest pale ale full of citrus, passion fruit and berry flavors which balance out the hop aromas, making this a full-bodied but very drinkable beer.
 
2. Black Husky Brewing – Sproose IPAs have been the big trend in the brewing industry for the past few years, and everyone seems to think the hoppier, the better! But Black Husky Brewing tries something different with their double IPA, adding in locally harvested spruce tips during the brewing process to give this beer a not-so-subtle pine and juniper taste and scent.
 
1. Good City Brewing – Reward Good City Brewing opened their doors in June of 2016 and won their first national award less than a year later: Brewing News’ National Imperial IPA Championship for their Double IPA “Reward.” One sip of this hoppy, yet deceptively smooth brew and you’ll know why this is the beer that is putting Good City Brewing on the map.
 

 

 
Your guide to Milwaukee’s beer gardens

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Couple with dog at Estabrook Beer Garden
 

Your guide to Milwaukee’s beer gardens
Drinking al fresco has never been more fun!

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.
 
Location Varies
 
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. 

 

 
14 Ways to Salute the 414 this Milwaukee Day

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On April 14 (aka 4/14), Milwaukeeans celebrate the people, places, businesses and spirit that make the city unique. Whether you’re a 414 resident for life or just happen to be in town on this most auspicious day, it’s the perfect excuse to do something Totally Milwaukee! These 14 activities are also great ways to keep the Milwaukee Day spirit alive all year long.
  1. Take a walk on the lakefront.
  2. Drive over the Hoan Bride.
  3. Start your day with a cup of local coffee.
  4. Get a meal at the Milwaukee Public Market that includes products from at least two vendors.
  5. Take a picture with the Bronze Fonz.
  6. Close Wolski’s. (Closings that are completed on 4/14 and closings that begin on 4/14 are both acceptable.)
  7. Watch the wings on the Milwaukee Art Museum open or close.
  8. Try the cheese curds somewhere new. You might find a new favorite!
  9. Listen to some local tunes on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.
  10. Bowl a few frames.
  11. Explore a Milwaukee neighborhood you've never lived in, but might like to.
  12. Order the flavor of the day at the frozen custard stand of your choice.
  13. Take a tour (walking, food, brewery or otherwise) and learn something that you didn’t know before.
  14. Crack open a local beer and toast to Brew City!
 

 

 
5 Milwaukee Bed & Breakfasts Perfect for a Romantic Getaway

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Couple relaxes on the grass on the Milwaukee lakefront in autumn
Fall is the perfect time for a romantic getaway, and a bed & breakfast is the perfect place to get cozy for a special weekend away! Whether you and your sweetie want to enjoy a charming oasis in the heart of downtown or enjoy a calming getaway in a nearby village, Milwaukee has a B&B that will make your heart flutter.
 
Experience Milwaukee’s Irish hospitality at County Clare Inn & Pub. This cozy getaway is in easy walking distance of much of downtown Milwaukee’s popular attractions, from the lakefront festival grounds to the nightlife and shopping of Brady Street. Guests will enjoy complimentary breakfast, parking in a private lot and a luxurious double whirlpool bathtub. The on-site pub and restaurant is the perfect place to end your evening with Irish cuisine and live music every weekend.
 
Just minutes away from downtown, enjoy the romance of the Victorian era at Manderley Bed & Breakfast. The stunning cream city brick Queen Anne Mansion features much of the style of the era with six fireplaces, intricate woodwork, stained glass windows and hand-painted walls. Stay in one of four rooms and dine on handmade breakfasts that feature vegetables from the on-site vegetable garden and even eggs from the backyard chickens!
 
The historic Schuster Mansion Bed & Breakfast is still a testament to the past; your stay includes a guided tour of the mansion’s many stories and treasures. A sumptuous custom homemade breakfast will help you rise in the morning, and fresh baked cookies alongside tea and coffee in the Butler’s Pantry is the perfect snack. For the full experience, make sure to reserve a place at the mansion’s famous Victorian High Tea.
 
Located in charming, historic Cedarburg, the Washington House Inn was originally built in 1886. It served as an inn until the 1920s and was renovated and returned to its original purpose in 1984. Since then, it has served as an elegant, romantic retreat for visitors to Cedarburg. A variety of unique rooms are available for your getaway, including majestic two-level suites. A deluxe continental breakfast can be enjoyed in your own room or in the Gathering Room, and a complimentary wine and cheese social hour is hosted each afternoon.
 
Just a short drive outside the city, you’ll find the beautifully restored Westphal Mansion Inn Bed & Breakfast nestled amongst the scenic beauty of the Kettle Moraine region. Enjoy the charming Old World atmosphere in eight suites, each bearing the name of a great literary figure, alongside modern luxury. The Westphal Mansion Inn is known for elegant four-course breakfasts that feature the best of local farm fresh produce during summer and fall. You’ll also enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese social hour each evening and fresh baked cookies.
 
But what should you do on this romantic getaway? Don't worry - we've got that covered too.
 

 

 
Beer Garden Grub Worth Toasting

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By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Women toasting at The Bavarian Bierhaus
 
The classic German tradition of the beer garden is back in a big way in Milwaukee’s local parks! These community gathering spaces aren’t just a great place to raise a glass – though you’re welcome to bring your own food, it’ll be hard to resist the Bavarian classics and picnic favorites served up alongside steins of beer. So come take a seat at a shared table and enjoy good beer, good friends and good food – prosit!
 
Milwaukee’s newest destination for a German good time is a brewery, beer hall and two beer gardens, all in one! Choose a spot on the full-service Beer Garden patio attached to the Beer Hall to enjoy the complete menu of Bavarian favorites from jaegerschnitzel to bienenstich.
 
Set on the banks of the Milwaukee River, this beer garden features beers imported from the Munich Hofbräuhaus. The daily menu includes brats, hot dogs and giant pretzels, but for a special treat, come for Friday Fish Fry or Saturday Schnitzel (both while supplies last).
 
Located in nearby Wauwatosa next to the TOSA Pool, The Landing serves a changing selection of craft and import beer. In addition to beer garden classics, The Landing also offers “Cranky’s Pizza” from locally beloved doughnut/pizza place, Cranky Al’s. Enjoy a few slices along with your brew!
 
Enjoy a rotating selection of craft beers and even handmade maple root beer on tap at this relaxed beer garden. It also has an impressively broad food menu, serving up small bites like beer cheese nachos, salads, sandwiches, pizza and ice cream alongside the expected wursts. Plus a pig roast every Saturday!
 
Click here for a map of Milwaukee beer gardens - most will stay open into October as weather allows, so come enjoy!
 

 

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