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Beer Garden Grub Worth Toasting

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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!
 

 

 
What To Do in Milwaukee On A Budget

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Friday, May 13, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Couple at Hubbard Park Beer Garden
 
The NY Times Frugal Traveler gave two thumbs up to Milwaukee, calling the city “vibrant and cheap,” which, hey – we’ll take it. There are certainly plenty of ways to enjoy the finer things in life in Milwaukee, but it’s also a city where great things come at a great price. These inexpensive or free things to do in Milwaukee are perfect if you’re looking for an easy weekend getaway on a budget or want to save up for a special night out while you're in town (James Beard nominated restaurants, anyone?).
 
Beer gardens
This German tradition is back in a big way in Milwaukee! Beer gardens are springing up at parks all around the city, and they’re the perfect place to hang out when you’re on a budget. Treat yourself to a stein, then take in the atmosphere, the good company and oftentimes live music! Many beer gardens allow visitors to bring their own picnics for extra savings, though there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to resist that giant pretzel once you see it. (Most beer gardens serving in traditional glass steins will charge a glassware deposit, but you’ll get it back before you go!)
 
Lakefront
No, not the brewery…the actual shoreline of Lake Michigan is a great spot to spend your time if you’re short on cash. The stunning views of the lake and the city’s architecture are all free. If you can time your visit right, watch the “wings” of the Milwaukee Art Museum open at 10 a.m., flap at noon or close at 5 p.m. (8 p.m. on Fridays). The trails along the lakefront are great for jogging, biking or just strolling, and if you have a little extra money to spend, you can rent paddleboats, bikes and more.
 
Brewery tours
The MillerCoors brewery tour takes you from the caves where Frederick Miller originally cooled his brews up to today’s high speed production lines and is FREE (that’s right, $0). But your dollar stretches far on any tour in town – $10 will get you a tour and plenty of delicious craft brews at Lakefront Brewery or Milwaukee Brewing Company, and for just $6 you can tour Sprecher Brewery and sample both beers and their popular gourmet sodas.
 
Summer concerts
This one is also totally free! Almost every night of the week, you’ll find free outdoor concerts in parks across the city. Local favorites include Chill on the Hill (Tuesday), River Rhythms (Wednesday) and Jazz in the Park (Thursday). These events vary on their carry-in policies, but enjoying nice weather and free music is always a good time!
 
Free events
From gallery nights and street festivals to museum free days and outdoor movies, there’s almost always something fun and free happening in Milwaukee. Check out the free section of Milwaukee365.com to see what’s on tap while you’re in town.  
 

 

 
Retro Dining & Drinking in Milwaukee

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Friday, April 01, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Cocktail at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

Milwaukee is a city that honors its history, so it should come as no surprise that classic favorites like diners, supper clubs and cocktail lounges are still thriving alongside the innovative restaurants that make up the city's new-school dining scene. If you're looking to party like it's 1938 or just want a killer #ThrowbackThursday post, don't miss these retro-fab dining and drinking establishments while you're in town.

Founded in 1942, Miss Katie’s Diner is a 1950s throwback serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a full cocktail menu. Start off your flashback day with their famous corned beef hash for breakfast.

From the relish tray to frosty ice cream drinks, the supper club is a Wisconsin institution that locals have loved since the 1930s. Get a taste of the classic supper club experience at Five O’Clock Steakhouse, serving up supper club staples like the relish tray, fresh salads prepared tableside and, of course, premium steaks since 1946. Travel & Leisure described this steakhouse as a “classic supper club setting with a Mad Men vibe.” Or try Joey Gerard’s, a new restaurant with nostalgic feel. This Hollywood-style supper club brings traditional favorites to modern families, including an impressive menu of ice cream drinks.

If cocktails sound more tempting, don’t miss Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, a local gem open since 1938. A semifinalist for the James Beard Awards’ “Best Bar Program” (2013), Bryant’s repertoire includes over 450 specialty and classic cocktails, but you won’t see any menus in this stylish, intimate lounge. Instead, let one of the knowledgeable bartenders on staff use your preferences and tastes to guide you to the perfect drink. Up on the East Side, drink in vintage style at Vitucci’s. This cocktail lounge has been family-owned for 80 years!

Want to throw it back even farther? Learn more about Milwaukee's old school bar scene - including the oldest tavern in the city (built in 1850!).

 

 
How to Travel Solo in Milwaukee

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
 
No travel buddy? No problem! More and more travelers are discovering the fun and adventure of traveling solo. It can be intimidating to plan your first unaccompanied trip to a new city, but once you catch the bug it can be hard to find a travel experience that matches the freedom and adventure of going solo! Here are a few tips for what to do alone in Milwaukee.
 
Museums
Museums are the perfect spot to visit as a party of one. How many times have you been entranced by an exhibit or piece of artwork only to be dragged away by an impatient friend (or been the one trying to keep a pokey buddy on the move)? No thanks! When it’s just you, you can enjoy at your own pace. The Milwaukee Art Museum recently completed a full renovation of their galleries and nearly doubled the number of works on view (and added a coffee shop and wine bar – the perfect spot for a little solo chill time!). At the Milwaukee Public Museum, local favorite exhibit “The Streets of Old Milwaukee” is newly updated for a more immersive look into Milwaukee’s past; pop your headphones on and check out the Streets of Old Milwaukee app for ever-changing stories from turn-of-the-century Milwaukeeans.
 
Outdoors
Communing with nature is the perfect one-on-one activity: just you and the great outdoors. And Milwaukee’s urban outdoors are pretty darn great – with Lake Michigan, three rivers, more than 150 state and county parks and more than 130 miles of bike trails, there’s an option for everyone. Rent a kayak to explore Milwaukee’s waterways, hop on a bike (if you didn’t bring one, check out Bublr Bikes, the city’s bikeshare system) or just take a stroll. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (of Central Park fame), Lake Park is a local favorite spot for nature lovers and photographers thanks to waterfalls, stunning stone bridges and historic Northpoint Lighthouse. 
 
Dining
Eating out is often the most intimidating part of a solo trip, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re shy about being alone at a sit-down restaurant, cafes and counter service restaurants are great options. Colectivo Coffee has been handmade in Milwaukee since 1993, and no one will look twice if you’re sitting along with a book or laptop at one of their thirteen local cafes enjoying a cup of coffee, soup, sandwiches or baked goods locally baked at their Troubadour Bakery in Bay View. During the summer, sidle up to a food truck for a delicious meal on the go to be enjoyed in any local park (tip: check Twitter to find out local truck schedules…they tend to travel in packs!). Or get a little braver: many popular local restaurants serve a full menu at the bar (and at some, that’s the only place to get a seat without a reservation!), so belly up for great farm-to-table eats at places like Braise and Wolf Peach, or retro-style counters at Comet Café and Miss Katie’s Diner.
 
Nightlife
If you’re the artsy type, use your solo status to your advantage to pick up some last-minute show tickets; pairs and groups are out of luck when it comes to snagging that one awesome seat that’s left! Milwaukee’s arts and theater scene boasts a Grammy-winning opera company, a world-class symphony, a nationally-acclaimed ballet company and an array of professional dance and theater companies performing at venues all across the metro area. Or if you’re more interested in trying some of Milwaukee’s local libations, a craft cocktail bar is the perfect place for a solo traveler. Like-minded patrons and knowledgeable bartenders make great company. Try Distil, Milwaukee’s House of Bourbon, for carefully crafted cocktails and an impressive spirits list. Or visit the tasting room of Great Lakes Distillery and Central Standard Craft Distillery, where you’ll sip on cocktails made with liquors distilled on-site.
 
What's your favorite solo hangout in Milwaukee?

 

 
How to make a Milwaukee Bloody Mary

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Monday, January 25, 2016

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee
Over the top Bloody Mary from Sobelman's Pub & Grill
 
The Bloody Mary is no joke in Milwaukee. A limp stick of celery as a garnish? Not here. This iconic brunch beverage is turned up to eleven at Milwaukee eateries, topped with everything from mini-burgers to bacon, lobster claws to sushi rolls and everything in between. 
 
Sobelman’s Pub and Grill is famous for their over-the-top Bloody Marys (including the Chicken Fried Bloody Beast pictured above)…learn how to make a classic Sobelman’s Bloody in this video:
 
 
Don’t stop your exploration of Milwaukee’s over-the-top Blood Mary scene here! You can take a walking tour of the Third Ward’s best Bloodys with Milwaukee Food Tours, or check out some of the inventive Bloody Marys at these brunch spots on your own – don’t forget to order a “beer back,” a miniature beer to sip alongside your Bloody.
 
  • Asian ingredients like soy sauce and sake flavor the drinks at Screaming Tuna  – some even come topped with a sushi roll.
  • Home of a famous lobster dinner special, you can still get a lobster claw poking out of your Bloody when you brunch at St. Paul Fish Company in the Milwaukee Public Market.
  • At AJ Bomber’s, your Bloody Mary is basically a burger in a glass, with mustard and “Bomber” sauce in the mix and muenster cheese wrapped in a thin burger patty (and some bacon) to top it off.
  • Try County Clare for some Irish flair – the garnish on this drink includes a house-pickled red potato!
  • Looking for bold flavor? Smyth at the Iron Horse Hotel makes a powerful Bloody featuring horseradish, steak sauce and Guinness.
  • The Lowlands Group is famous for inventive Bloody Marys; you’ll find a variety of exclusive options on the menu at each of their five European-inspired Grand Cafes.
  • Smoke Shack’s signature Bloody Jack is made with Jack Daniels instead of vodka and spiced with barbeque sauce.
  • At the Wicked Hop, your drink comes crowned with a distinctive wreath of mozzarella whips.
The list goes on and on…who serves your favorite Milwaukee Bloody Mary?

 

 
How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Happy New Year! With the year properly underway, now’s the time to take stock: how well are you doing on your resolutions? It’s easy to make a vacation an excuse to indulge in things you wouldn’t at home (and we totally support that!), but you don’t have to forget about your resolutions while you’re traveling. Whatever pledge you made to yourself as 2016 dawned, we rounded up a few ways to help you stick to the most common options while in Milwaukee.
 
Get Active
There’s no reason to skip an outdoor adventure just because of a little chill in the air! Milwaukee was named one of USA Today’s top destinations for urban cross-country skiing, and our award-winning county parks are great for running, walking and biking all year round (I’d maybe leave the rollerblades at home until the ice melts, though.) Plus, Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee’s bike share system, is staying open all through the winter. With a network of more than 20 stations throughout downtown, why not hop on a bike next time you need to get from point A to point B? If outdoors in the winter really isn’t your style, burn some calories inside with a visit to CMP Tactical Lazer Tag, where a multistory cityscape arena takes you inside the heart-pounding action of your favorite video games, or family-friendly Bounce Milwaukee, home to laser tag, inflatable obstacle courses and a rock climbing wall – all open to both kids and adults!
 
Eat Healthier
Sure, Milwaukee may be known for some of our…more indulgent dining options, but there are plenty of great spots that won’t break your resolve. Located right downtown, Colour Palate lets you build your own custom salad or wrap, or pick from menu options like a classic Caesar, quinoa & corn or the Bombay chop. With four locations throughout the area, Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative is a great place for a healthy meal wherever you are. A full-service grocery store specializing in local, organic and natural foods, Outpost also has an in-store café with made-to-order juices and smoothies and an organic soup and salad bar. The Milwaukee Public Market is a must-visit spot; there’s a wealth of delicious vendors inside, but health nuts will make a beeline for the fresh juices, smoothies, salads and sandwiches at The Green Kitchen.
 
Learn Something New
You promised yourself you’d pick up some fresh knowledge in the new year – commendable! A brewery tour is classic Milwaukee fun that’s educational too; check out the high-speed production lines of an industry giant on the free tour at MillerCoors, or get a taste (literally) of craft brews at local microbreweries like Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Brewing Company and Sprecher Brewing Company. For a more hands-on approach, why not try a cooking class? Head into the kitchen with Chef Michael Feker at his culinary studio, get some training at Braise Culinary School or stop by Superior Equipment & Supply for classes for all ages.
 
Travel More
Hey, this one is a no-brainer: come to Milwaukee! We’ve been named one of the hotspots to visit in 2016 in The Boston Globe, so what are you waiting for? Check out our itineraries for tons of vacation inspiration for foodies, families, beer connoisseurs, couples and more to jumpstart your planning. See you in 2016!
 

 

 
Weekend Getaways: Milwaukee for Beer Lovers

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Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Expedia partnered up with VISIT Milwaukee to showcase the best beer-inspired spots in MKE as part of our three-part series.

Home to some of the original big dogs—Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz and Miller—Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is said to be the city that built beer. It’s a town that revolves around what’s on tap, and a place where brew selections change with the seasons.

Here at Expedia.com, we wanted to know the best ways to get a taste of the beer scene, so we teamed up with VISIT Milwaukee. We gathered some of the top places to go in town to sip and learn about the city’s brewing history, so if your ears perk up at the mere sound of a beer cracking open, this list was made with you in mind:

 

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Quench Your Thirst

Let’s face it, the options are practically endless when it comes to the best places to knock back a few. There are plenty of watering holes around town, but if you want something authentic, head to Milwaukee Brewing Co. Kick back at the Open House with a round of Little Bittas or Polish Moons, or take the “Beer in Hand” tour where you have the opportunity to try different brews, sample the ingredients and learn about the brewing process.

Still feeling thirsty? Swing by Lakefront Brewery for a tour and a flight. Featuring both the nation’s first organic beer and gluten-free beer, this innovative craft beer maker is well worth the stop. Choose from the year-round lagers and ales, switch it up with the seasonals or go all out and sample them all.

 

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Chow Down

Some like to say there’s a sandwich at the bottom of every beer, but we don’t suggest relying on that theory. Instead, pair your brews with some solid grub at the Uber Tap Room and Cheese Bar, which is committed to upholding the state’s love of cheese and the city’s brew history. Cheese platters, mac ’n’ cheese and grilled cheese selections dominate the menu, but you can also order bratwurst, hot dogs and pretzels. Wash it all down with a local Lakefront IPA or the Oakey Dokey pale ale from Sheboygan.

As long as you’re sipping some brewskis, why not nosh on some beer-infused fare? Inspired by the practice in Belgium and Northern France, Milwaukee Beer Bistro cooks all of its cuisine with barley pop. If beer-brined chicken wings and sandwiches served on beer rolls are making you thirsty—don’t worry—they serve more than 55 bottles and cans and 13 selections on tap.

 

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Step into the Past

There are various brew-based attractions in town for when you’re not in the mood for a mug. Explore the city’s beer heritage around the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery. The Pabst brewery opened in 1844, and it became the largest brewer in America between the late 19th and mid-20th century. Take the “Beer History Tour,” and mosey through the Blue Ribbon Hall and The Great Hall, while uncovering PBR’s past.

For another taste of the city’s history, visit MillerCoors Milwaukee Brewery. Here you can embark on a tour of Miller Valley and discover 155 years of brewing history. Learn about Frederick Miller—the man behind the beer can—and check out the distribution warehouse. At the end of the tour, swing by Miller Inn for some samples of a fresh batch.

 

Milwaukee for Beer Lovers
Photo Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

Put Your Feet up

Can’t bear to part with the beer scene when it’s time to rest up? Thanks to The Brewhouse Inn & Suites, you don’t have to. At this hotel, you can sleep soundly on the grounds of the original Pabst Brewing Company, which closed in 1996. Reserve a room and admire the two-story, stained glass window of King Gambrinus enjoying a beer, which was commissioned by Frederick Pabst, the brewer himself.

In order to enjoy a brew-inspired vacation in Milwaukee, you don’t have to be a beer connoisseur. Simply arrive in the city with an open mind and willing taste buds.

Written by Chloe Mulliner

 
Milwaukee’s Old-School Bar Scene

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Old-School Bar Scene

The readers of SAVEUR, in our humble opinion, have pretty good taste. So we’re thrilled that they chose Milwaukee as a runner-up for “Destination-Worthy Old-School Bar Scene” in the magazine’s inaugural Good Taste Awards. And sharing a category with Dublin, Ireland and Budapest, Hungary means we’re in great company. Obviously these readers know all about Milwaukee’s great bar history, but do you?
 
Milwaukee’s bar scene is built on a history of tied houses. In the late 19th century, breweries would form exclusive contracts with bar owners, helping them open their business for the right to be the only brew flowing from their taps. Thanks to Milwaukee’s local breweries, tied houses flourished across the city; their connection to the breweries changed after Prohibition, but some of these original corner taverns are still thriving today, many still bearing some mark of the brewery they were once “tied” to.
 
Raise a glass to the past in one (or more) of Milwaukee’s great historic bars. Here are just a few of the old-school bars that should be on your list:
  • Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge: First opened as a Miller Brewing tied house in 1936, in 1938 owner Bryant Sharp gave up beer in favor of cocktails, making Bryant’s Milwaukee’s first cocktail lounge. Sharp is also credited with the invention of the Pink Squirrel and the Banshee.
  • Wolski’s: Opened in 1908, Wolski’s still maintains much of the tavern’s original interior, including the back bar, but it’s best known for the infamous “I Closed Wolski’s” bumper stickers that have been spotted all around the world, from Paris to Japan.
  • Holler House: Home to the oldest certified bowling alleys in the country, this bar opened in 1908 and is still run by the original owner’s daughter-in-law. Call ahead if you want to bowl so some neighborhood kids can come be pinsetters.
  • Uptowner: Originally a Schlitz tied house, the Uptowner has been continuously operating since 1884, the longest of any bar in the city (they made it through Prohibition by serving “medicinal alcohol”).
  • Landmark 1850 Inn: Built as a stage coach stop between Milwaukee and Racine in 1850, Landmark 1850 is the oldest tavern in the city. Today it’s fully renovated, but still maintains its historic charm.
  • Historic White House Tavern: Another Schlitz tied house, this bar was founded in 1891. Today, the original wood floor, main bar and some original 1890’s décor remains in use.
Looking for more history (and drinking)? Click here for more places to experience beer history in Milwaukee. If it’s just the drinking you’re after, you can find unique bars old and new here. Cheers!
 

 

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