German Heritage

Milwaukee is home to one of the nation’s largest German American populations. It’s quite apparent when looking at our incredible brewing history. German immigrants started making roots here in the late 1850s, but the first signs of German settlement date back to the 1830s. A significant portion of people migrated from Bavaria who are known for their lively Oktoberfest celebrations. Celebrate the immense German heritage that we have right here in MKE.

a family taking a selfie with a selfie stick in traditional German attire on festival grounds

Cultural Institutions

Best Place at Historic Pabst Brewery
The historic gem, Best Place at Historic Pabst Brewery celebrates the history of Pabst with architecture that will make the building’s German heritage proud to say “Prost.”

Fun Beer Tours – Devil’s Trinity Beer History Tour
Learn about the unique beer history of Milwaukee of the late 1800s through the Prohibition era. Devil’s Trinity Beer History Tour by Fun Beer Tours travels through the historic Brown Bottle Pub, scenic RiverWalk, stops in Deer District and ends in the Pabst Brewery complex.

German American Societies
The German American Societies of Milwaukee was formed to provide a meeting place for representatives of German music, dance, cultural and educational societies in Southeastern Wisconsin. They discuss events, promotions and concerns of those member German organizations

German Fest Milwaukee
Established in 1981, German Fest Milwaukee keeps German culture alive and well with an annual celebration taking place the last full weekend in July at Henry Maier Festival Park.

Grohmann Museum
Donated to the Milwaukee School of Engineering by Eckhart G. Grohmann, the Grohmann Museum's collection is the most extensive of its kind in the world. Many of the works reflect early industrialization in Germany.

Historic Milwaukee - German Heritage Private Tour
Take Historic Milwaukee Inc.'s guided tour of the city's German heritage. You will walk along Old World Third Street and North Fourth Street through Milwaukee's former German district still marked today by magnificent 19th century buildings.

Miller Valley
Experience over 160 years of brewing history with a modern-day twist. Learn about the incredible history with a Miller Brewery Tour and commemorate your time there with a stop in the brewery shop.

Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum houses one of the most important collections of German Expressionists in the country, including more than 450 prints, paintings, and drawings. The collection includes German masters such as Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Käthe Kollwitz and Gabriele Münter.
Milwaukee Public Museum
The Milwaukee Public Museum has recreated a European Village with immigrant homes and shops from 1875 to 1925. Be sure to stop by the Deutsches Haus for a glimpse inside a German home.
Old World Wisconsin
Take a step back in time and learn what Wisconsin was like back in the day. At Old World Wisconsin learn at your own pace, either on foot or by complimentary tram, and discover a rich tapestry of immigrant stories with a full day of fun hands-on activities for the whole family!

Pabst Mansion
The Thuringian Captain Frederick Pabst (1836-1904) arrived in Milwaukee with his family in 1848. During his successful career as a brewer, sea captain, real estate agent, philanthropist, and patron of the arts, he commissioned the construction of a mansion in the Flemish Renaissance style, which was completed in 1892. Today the magnificent, historic Pabst Mansion serves as a museum.
Schlitz Park
Schlitz Park is where historic brewing meets modern business. Grab something to drink at the Brown Bottle or enjoy the sights of the RiverWalk.

Turner Hall
Named for the German word for "gymnast", Turner Hall is a historic German-American athletic club built in 1882 that now serves as an event venue.

Wisconsin Chapter of German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC)
The GACC Midwest, Wisconsin Chapter is devoted to the improvement of investment and trade relations between Germany and Wisconsin. This chapter is the exclusive representative of GACC Midwest in Wisconsin.

German Bier & Cuisine

Celebrate Oktoberfest

Autumn in Milwaukee means Oktoberfest and these celebrations are not hard to find in the Brew City. Join in the Oktoberfest fun as these locations:

Explore Where Unique Unites

Discover the many ways our different cultures, heritages and experiences, make Milwaukee such a Great Place on a Great Lake.