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Dear MKE Film Series Taps Into MillerCoors

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By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
VISIT Milwaukee

Latest release goes behind the scenes with an American brewing icon

Frederick J. Miller founded Miller Brewing Company in 1855, using yeast that he carried in his pocket from Europe. Adolph Coors stowed away on a ship to America to realize his dreams of becoming a brewer, tapping his first barrel in Colorado in 1873. “The Right Ingredients” takes an inside look at an American brewing giant, MillerCoors, and follows the 21st-century brewmaster who is passionate about carrying on their legacy.

“In the 1970s I visited the U.S. and Miller Brewing,” said Dr. David Ryder, MillerCoors Vice President of Brewing and Research, also known as chief brewmaster. “I thought it would be a neat job to have someday.” Ryder, who is originally from England, has made a lifelong career in the brewing industry. It’s a journey that has taken him from his native England to Africa, Belgium and France, before he realized his dream at Miller Brewing in 1992. “You can never get bored with brewing because it’s a blend of science, engineering and all sorts of different things,” Ryder said. “You’re always learning something.”

Click below to join Dear MKE’s film crew and Ryder on a behind-the-scenes tour of MillerCoors that includes a visit with Archivist Dave Herrewig to look at vintage memorabilia, a trip 60 feet underground to the Miller Caves, and an introduction to Hans, the piano-playing ghost who can’t get enough of the good times at the Miller Inn. 

Cheers to Milwaukee!

And, of course, beer.


The Dear MKE film series is a first-ever collaborative project that brings together an all-Milwaukee creative team under the direction of VISIT Milwaukee and Hollywood producer Jack Turner, who grew up in Milwaukee.

When complete, the 12-film series and image campaign will paint a picture of Milwaukee and its many facets as told through the stories of Milwaukeeans. The project is designed to dispelold perceptions of Milwaukee, drive brand awareness, entice new talent, attract new businesses, and bring more visitors – and remind locals why we embrace the essence of what makes life good here.

To see an additional 300+ video clips, stories and photos of Milwaukeeans sharing their love, pride and stories about Milwaukee, go to

Dear MKE is on Facebook ( and Twitter (



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 by Margaret Casey
If it’s the third weekend in August, it must be Irish Fest! I know where my family is going to be – joining thousands from the U.S., Canada, Ireland and around the world at the 33rd annual Milwaukee Irish Fest taking place August 15 to18 along Milwaukee’s lakefront. The largest Irish festival in the country, Irish Fest is a family-friendly extravaganza of music, dance, sport, culture and cuisine.
Of course in Ireland, it’s all about the music and Irish Fest delivers on 16 stages at Maier Festival Park. Perennial favorites Makem & Spain Brothers, Gaelic Storm and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers draw a huge following, and contemporary groups like the Screaming Orphans and Goitse will rock the Leinie’s Celtic Rock stage. New to the fest this year are Cutthroat Shamrock, a regional punk/bluegrass band, Creel, the house band at Raglan Road Irish Pub in downtown Walt Disney World, and JPTrio and Niamh Farrell, a young traditional band from Ireland. This year the fest showcases the unique brand of Celtic music rooted in the traditions of Nova Scotia, and Scottish band Manran, which performed at the 2012 London Olympics, will also bring its infectious blend of traditional and contemporary music to the Aer Lingus stage.
Located on the south end of the grounds, Irish Fest’s Cultural Village is so extensive, you may need one of its tour guides to guide you through the Genealogy tent, Literary Corner, Hedge School, Theater, Archives, Harp Stage, Celtic Roots Stage and Moore Street Market. And what’s not to love about the Celtic Canine Area where you get a chance to see some of Ireland's most popular dog breeds and talk to their breeders?
No other festival can claim a Tug-o-War tournament! Don’t miss the brute strength of men’s and women’s teams from around the Midwest competing in various events. And catch the action in the currach races (traditional Irish boats) out on the harbor, including a contest between the Milwaukee Police vs. Fire Department. Did you know that there are 11 teams in the Milwaukee Hurling Club, many sponsored by local Irish bars? They’ll be showing you how it’s done just north of the fest grounds.
Nothing says Irish Fest like curly-haired girls in colorful dresses kicking up their heels in Irish dance.  The Aer Lingus stage and Crossroad area will serve up exceptional dancing from six of our world-class Irish dancing schools, and you can join in the fun yourself at the Dance Pavilion where instructors coach you on the basics of traditional céilí and set dancing.
One of the best festivals for shopping, Irish Fest features more than 90 vendors selling everything from Irish sweaters and clothing to fine art, jewelry, soccer jerseys, traditional Irish musical instruments like Bodhráns (Irish frame drums) and more. Artisans brought over from Ireland, including knitters, clothing designers and basket weavers, will be demonstrating their craft.
Along with favorites like corned beef, Irish stew and baked potatoes, the festival adds new items this year, including Irish-themed gelato (Bailey’s® Irish Cream, Mint & Dark Chocolate) and Paddy’s Chicken (chicken breast glazed in a whiskey sauce). Of course beer is the drink of choice at Irish Fest, but it’s gaining competition from mixed drinks like the Jamorita (margarita made with Jameson® Irish Whiskey) and the Bloody Molly (a Bloody Mary made with Jameson Irish Whiskey). New this year is the Celtic Breeze (Jameson Irish Whiskey with cranberry-apple juice).
So put on your Irish this weekend and head down to the lakefront for loads of fun! And strike up some good “craic” (pronounced “crack”, Irish for “lively chat”) with the person next to you.
Slainté! Cheers….to Irish Fest!
Irish Fest
Thursday, 8/15 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday, 8/16 4 p.m. – midnight
Saturday 8/17 noon to midnight
Sunday, 8/18 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Make Café at the Plaza Your Next Brunch Setting

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

There are many things Milwaukee does right. One of those is brunch. There are dozens of great places to choose from around the city when you’re looking to indulge on a Saturday or Sunday morning – whether that means food or beverages… or better yet, both!

While many of these places are well known, others fly a little under the radar. One such place is the Café at the Plaza, located inside the Plaza Hotel in Milwaukee’s East Town neighborhood.

This charming café has been one of Milwaukee’s hidden gems for the past 70 years. Unlike most restaurants that offer brunch, The Café serves breakfast and lunch every day from 7 am to 2 pm. In addition to a wonderful meal, you also get the chance to see a visually intriguing hotel, with its 1920s-era Art Deco architecture making you feel like any moment Jay Gatsby is going to walk through the door.

On one recent visit, a friend and I dined outside for brunch. Tucked away on a courtyard patio with ivy-lined walls to either side, it almost feels as though you’re enjoying a day in a small European village. Should you choose to sit inside, you’ll have the option to be seated around an old-school dining counter, watching the action in front of you in the open kitchen.

The meal certainly delivered its end of the bargain. Seeing as though it was the weekend, I had to start with a Bloody Mary. Traditionally-flavored, this bloody was not overly spicy, but had just enough zest to help clear out the cobwebs of a Saturday morning. Served with a chaser (standard in these parts) of Miller High Life, I could have found worse ways to start my day.

When my attention turned to the food, I knew that whatever I picked, I would not be unsatisfied. Everything at The Café is made from scratch in-house, using locally-sourced ingredients and products from familiar Milwaukee names like Colectivo, Nueske’s and Rishi. The menu has an excellent variety of options, featuring everything from scrambled eggs with smoked trout or salmon, to a breakfast burrito with chorizo, to a veggie eggs benedict, and plenty in between.

When it came time to order, I went big, ordering the Plaza Pleaser dish of cinnamon French toast with eggs, sausage and bacon. My companion opted for the Egg Sandwich – eggs with cheese and turkey sausage on a croissant – with a side of the can’t-miss rosemary Café potatoes. Both duly delivered, as everything was well prepared and downright tasty. It wasn’t long before hardly a crumb could be found left on either plate.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. After wrapping up our meal and staying for a few minutes to take in the view, we reluctantly arose from our seats and left our table to clear some room for the next lucky diners at The Café. After a great meal, I was ready to tackle the rest of my weekend. I can’t think of a better way to have started.

Café at the Plaza
1007 N. Cass Street

The Wisconsin State Fair is Back!

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By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
VISIT Milwaukee

Our State Fair is a great state fair
Don't miss it don't even be late
(our State Fair is great)
It's dollars to doughnuts at our State Fair
It's the best State Fair in the state

Rodgers & Hammerstein

Wisconsin State Fair is here! Loosen up your pants for the next eleven days, people. It's time to eat.

Anyone up for joining me in beer battered macaroni and cheese bites with Jack cheese and bacon on a stick? Or country fried bacon on a stick with gravy? Or deep fried bacon wrapped tator tots on a stick? No? You prefer sweets? What about cherry pie, root beer float cookies, beer donuts or a chocolate-dipped cruller on a stick?

That’s just the warm up for the Granddaddy of them all….the Cream Puff! There is nothing like watching the progress of a freshly-made Wisconsin State Fair cream puff making its way from the assembly line to the finish line…i.e…. my mouth.

Speaking of finish lines, I can’t wait to watch the racing pigs decked out in competition jerseys as they zoom around the track in pursuit of cookies. This year, the Fair has added aquatic sports in the form of a duck race, which should be super cute as well.

Remember farmer in the dell? You know, quack quack here, moo moo there? There’s no shortage of barnyard buddies to see, from cows to chickens to rabbits to horses, to sheep to goats to….you get the idea.

I never miss the Wisconsin Products Pavilion, which shows you how our state really kicks butter when it comes to treats like cranberries, maple syrup, cherries, sausage, cheese, milk and more.

You’ve gotta wash down those curds with SOMETHING, and the Fair doesn’t disappoint. My vote goes to the Herb’s Super Bucks Milk House, where you can get ice-cold fresh milk flavors such as banana, root beer and cherry vanilla. 

And if you’ve never met an infomercial you didn’t like, you need to check out the Exposition Center. I’m a sucker for a good ShamWow demonstration, and I can honestly say I have never walked out of a Fair without something I absolutely had to have that I never knew I needed.

Ride fans will love the Fair’s midway, dubbed “Spin City.” A word to the wise: head there BEFORE your magnificent, deep-fried food frenzy. Just sayin’.

I typically cap off the night by visiting a few of the many entertainment stages located around the grounds with one overarching goal in mind: to dance long enough so that I can actually re-button my pants.

Wisconsin State Fair
August 1 – 11, 2013

  • 8 am – 11 pm Sunday – Thursday
  • 8 am – 12 am Friday & Saturday
  • 8 am – 10 pm Final Sunday