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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!