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Thursday, March 29, 2012

By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Fans of our great city - we need your help!

Milwaukee is in the running to host the 2012 Social Media Tourism Symposium, bringing social media professionals from tourism-related organizations like VISIT Milwaukee throughout the country!
You can help us get Milwaukee some AMAZING exposure on social media as a great place to be!
Please vote for us and spread the word to all your connections! Voting is open today only until 10:59pm.

You can vote once per device, so make sure you vote on your work computer, personal computer and your smart phone!

After you voted, please share the contest with all of your friends, family and coworkers. If we win, the next round of voting will take place again on Monday, April 2.

Thank you for voting Milwaukee!

Miller Time

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Friday, March 23, 2012

By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

So, you say it’s been a long week? You say work was like that dream where you’re trying to run - panting and sweating, arms swinging frantically - but your legs are running under water? You say you go home and stare at the plush, green lawn you have to mow - in March?? And, you say, Wisconsin AND Marquette both lost last night?

I say, “It’s Friday! It’s Miller Time!” 

Actually, it’s Miller Time all week in Milwaukee’s Miller Valley - home to MillerCoors and one of the greatest breweries in the world. And It's the only place on the planet where you can meet Miller Brewing Company founder Fredrick Miller himself. He still dwells in the historic Miller Caves (seriously, they’re real caves) some 60 feet below ground level. Created in 1849, the caves kept beer icy cold prior to distribution. In 2008, they were given a hefty million-dollar facelift (Fred got a whole body lift - eat your heart out Joan Rivers) complete with a holographic video of Frederick’s ghost, who emerges from a mural to give visitors a history lesson.

In addition to Beer Caves 101, the one-hour indoor/outdoor guided walking tour of Miller Valley includes an up-close view (thousands and thousands of beers just an arm’s length away - this tour’s not for the faint of heart) of high-speed production lines, the packaging center, a shipping and distribution warehouse many football fields long and, of course, the massive brew house kettles.

Are you thirsty yet? I’m on my second imaginary beer.

Three REAL FREE BEERS (best three consecutive words ever invented) await you at the end of the FREE tour in either the outdoor beer garden or the Bavarian-style Miller Inn - a truly great place to have a beer (is there a bad place?). Thanks to modern-day conglomeration (Miller Brewing is now MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company - i.e. they make LOTS of beer), it’s not just Miller time, it’s Leinenkugel’s time, Blue Moon time, Foster’s time, Coors get the idea.

So, pish-posh to the work week. NCAAs? It’s baseball season! Mother Nature? She’s not so tough.

Today, it’s Miller time.

MillerCoors Brewery Tour
4251 West State Street

Mo Jameson, please

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Admittedly, I haven’t been out for St. Patty’s Day in a couple years. For whatever reason (OK, mostly age), I haven’t been as motivated. Something seems to always come up (oh, brother) or there’s just not much going on (this is troublesome). But, it’s funny how things can change with the weather.

Usually, we’re waiting and waiting for winter to end. This year, it seems like we’ve been waiting and waiting for winter to begin. Now the wait is over and it’s…summer? For St. Patty’s Day? I figured, “How many 70-degree St. Patty’s Days lie ahead in my lifetime (again with the age thing – this is a concern) or how many St. Patty’s Days in general?” Clearly, I need to purchase a sports car and join a gym. STAT.

Eschewing the mid-life crisis, I put the Porsche on hold and told my wife we’re heading downtown to have fun. No, not shopping. Well, OK, shopping for a bit in the Third Ward (I’m sure I can snag a Guinness to go at Café Benelux), then on to Funsville. First stop: the DoubleTree Milwaukee Downtown. Centrally located, easy access in and out and very well equipped for our Plans O’Fun.

Second stop: Mo’s Irish Pub at the intersection of Plankinton and Wisconsin Avenues. Not sure a third stop is even needed – especially with Mo’s latest bit ‘o genius: Jameson Irish Whiskey-glazed entrees. A co-worker and I stopped for a pint last week after work (proper recon is a must for such an important day) and Mo’s gave us a sneak peek at their new Jameson-inspired offerings. Filet, salmon, skewered shrimp and succulent chicken breast entrees all artfully lathered with a Jameson Irish Whiskey glaze that will tempt you to not only lick your fingers, but bite them as well.

Those four bites (yes, we tried them all – it’s a tough job) and Mo’s incredible service (man, are their bartenders good – so friendly and attentive, they’re more like friendtenders) left me wanting more. While I couldn’t save any Guinness (some things are just not done), I did try to leave a little glaze in the corner of my mouth until the 17th, but you know, marriage and all.

Alas, lads and lasses, St. Patty’s Day will soon be here and I will return to Mo’s Irish Pub – with a little more sunshine glazing my face – to eat, drink and be quite merry. Even if it’s not spring. Because no matter the weather, the old Irish blessing always pertains:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again…at Mo’s.

Mo's Irish Pub
142 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Little Green Lies

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Friday, March 09, 2012

By Zack Zupke
Creative Services Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

It’s the day before Milwaukee’s 46th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, presented by The Shamrock Club of Wisconsin, Westown Association and Miller Lite. Today, the Irish are Irish and the non-Irish are, well, preparing to be Irish. Perhaps no little white lie is more acceptable - and expected - than this little green lie.  

Admittedly, I AM a slice of Irish (this admission comes the day before, mind you) and I have partaken in St. Patrick’s day festivities gone by, but never as religiously as those who line Milwaukee’s downtown for the parade and pack the likes of Mo’s Irish Pub and County Clare Irish Inn every March 17th. For those legions, St. Patrick’s Day is spring’s Christmas, an Irish birthday for all. It’s a reason to grab a pint, sing with strangers and proclaim an otherwise absent heritage, but for one day.

But this year in Milwaukee, there’s two days of green celebrations. The parade is Saturday, March 10 at noon and St. Patrick’s Day is one week later – starting well before noon and ending a good 12 hours after. My question is this, lads and lasses: Is it possible for those normally Irish for a day to be Irish for two days?

For this answer, I turn to American satirist P.J. O’Rourke, who said, “I like to do my principal research in bars, where people are more likely to tell the truth or, at least, lie less convincingly than they do in briefings and books.”

So, this St. Patrick’s DAYS, go forth to your bars and pubs not once, but twice. And lie less convincingly to the one you’re toasting. He or she won’t mind. They expect it.

Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade

Milwaukee IndyFest Races into the Milwaukee Mile

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Friday, March 02, 2012

By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
VISIT Milwaukee

Gentlemen, ladies, kids….START YOUR ENGINES! The excitement of IndyCar racing is coming to Milwaukee June 15 and 16 at the Milwaukee Mile at Wisconsin State Fair Park!

Milwaukeeans have been cheering on the checkered flag here for more than a century. The Milwaukee Mile is the oldest continuously operating auto racing facility in the world. Drivers have been negotiating its long and nearly flat corners since 1903 – it’s six years older than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! IndyCar drivers consider it the perfect oval configuration – which means close, hard racing that keeps spectators on the edge of their seats.

It’s appropriate that a racing legend is bringing The IZOD IndyCar Series to this legendary track. Andretti Sports Marketing, led by CEO Michael Andretti, is looking to honor the track’s heritage and celebrate both Milwaukee and the IndyCar. In addition to the race on Saturday afternoon, they plan to incorporate many other family-friendly activities into this Father’s Day weekend event. In addition to the race, Milwaukee IndyFest will offer an IndyCar Fan Village, Family Fun Zone and other activities in the infield. And on Saturday fans can relax after the race and stick around to enjoy a post-race concert.

If the closest you’ve ever been to an IndyCar race is watching it on your TV screen, you need to check it out. The first time I went I came away hooked on the pure adrenaline rush. Open-wheel racing is among the fastest in the world, with cars topping speeds of 200 mph and there’s nothing else on the planet that sounds like the roar of those engines. Watching pit crews change tires or refuel mid-race in less than the time it takes you to read this sentence will leave you in awe of their precision teamwork – critical to maintaining a driver’s competitive edge. If you want to get up close and personal, I recommend purchasing a Weekend Paddock Pass, which allows you to watch as the crews work at top speed. I guarantee it’s an experience you’ll never forget!

Tickets for Milwaukee IndyFest are on sale now and can be ordered through the event website or by calling the State Fair Park Box Office at 414-266-7100.

Milwaukee IndyFest
Wisconsin State Fair Park
June 15-16