Beer Town to Brew City
Once known as the "Beer Capital of the World" due to its many breweries (Miller, Schlitz, Pabst and Blatz, to name a few), Milwaukee is now a leader in the ever-evolving art of craft brewing thanks to inventive, local brewers who offer a wide variety of distinctive brews. Whether you take a tasting tour, relax at one of the area's many beer gardens, hop on the Beer Titans History bus tour, or simply grab a cold pick-six to share at a tailgate or BBQ, "Brew City" is sure to serve up a "hoppy" experience! We don’t have room to list all that the region has to offer, so we recommend you see visitmilwaukee.org/beer-brewing to explore what's on tap!
The Pabst Legacy
Captain Frederick Pabst, the world-famous 19th century beer baron, had a major impact on Milwaukee. He built the ornate Pabst Theater, which remains Milwaukee's most elegant performance venue. His former brewery has been transformed into restaurant, office and residential space. Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery (901 W. Juneau Ave.) offers a history tour that begins and ends in the cozy Sternewirt guest center, once the brewery's tasting room. The Vintage Gift Shop is filled with iconic beer ephemera. The Pabst Mansion, located at 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave., offers stunning interiors and elegant furnishings. Holiday tours are especially memorable. Hours, prices and information available at: bestplacemilwaukee.com and pabstmansion.com.
You can probably talk yourself into a tour at any of the dozens of craft breweries in the region, but there are some more formal tours at the region's larger breweries that you might want to know about:
- MillerCoors: Free, one-hour walking tour allows guests to experience an up-close look at the brewhouse, packaging center and historical caves. Tours conclude at the historic Miller Inn, where guests can relax and enjoy frosty beer samples (if 21 or older). 4251 W. State St., Milwaukee. Telephone: (414) 931-BEER. millercoors.com
- Lakefront Brewery: Engaging tours through a historic landmark on the Milwaukee River. Check the website for daily tour times. Private tours available for large groups. 1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee. Telephone: (414) 372-8800. lakefrontbrewery.com
- Milwaukee Brewing Company: "Beer-in-hand" tours include samples of year-round flavors, current seasonal offerings, and, most likely, a treat or two. Friday and Saturday afternoon tours are $10 and include a pint glass and beer token. Reservations suggested. 613 S. Second St., Milwaukee. Telephone: (414) 226-2337. mkebrewing.com
- Sprecher Brewing Company: Learn how the brewers make their award-winning beers and gourmet sodas. Guided tours 4 p.m. weekdays and multiple times on weekends (please check website); $5 (over age 21), $3 (under age 21). Reservations required. 701 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale. Telephone: (414) 964-BREW. sprecherbrewery.com
Craft Brew Events
- Food and Froth Fest: Milwaukee Public Museum (February 16)
- Crafts & Drafts Spring Beer Festival: Serb Hall, Milwaukee (May 5)
- Firkin Fest: Cathedral Square, Milwaukee (June 8)
- Beer Barons' World of Beer Festival: Schwabenhof Pavilion,Menomonee Falls (June 22)
- Milwaukee Brewfest: McKinley Park, Milwaukee Lakefront (July 27)
- Great Lakes Brew Fest: Racine Zoological Gardens, Racine (Sept. 14)