Blog Post Type: Cities Less Traveled
Not many people think, “Oooh, Milwaukee. That’d make a great vacation!” It’s been an industrial center of the nation since the 1800s, with an abundance of railroads, dilapidated buildings, and manufacturing plants. Over the past couple of decades though, the city has seen a revitalization of culture and influx of beard-sporting hipsters. In recent years, the city has seen the addition of the Milwaukee Riverwalk, an internationally acclaimed addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, as well as many new skyscrapers, condos, hotels and apartments lining the popular lake- and riverfront.
Perhaps what the city is best known for is its breweries, of which there are many! It is home to the big hitters, such as MillerCoors and Pabst Brewing Company, but there are numerous microbreweries and brewpubs to enjoy as well. Most, if not all, offer tours of the facilities as well, which can definitely make for a fun and informative experience. Below you’ll find some of the more unique or popular breweries available for tours or meals.
For only $8, you are given your choice of a Pabst or Schlitz and then guided through the historic grounds of the Blue Ribbon Hall. Following that you are taken to the Great Hall, the site of the former headquarters. Afterwards, you get to visit the office of “Captain Pabst” and then the tour finally finishes back in the Guest Center. This entire tour is just dripping in history, and you’ll get a real sense of it all as you saunter through the iconic buildings.
Lakefront has one of the highest-rated and most popular tours available in Milwaukee. At $8, you are given a souvenir pint glass, four 6-ounce pours of beer, and a fun high-energy tour of the property. There are dozens of tour times available each day. In addition to the normal tour, there are mini-tours, technical tours, and private tours available. You’ll have to take part yourself to learn what “choosing a queen” exactly means at the end of the tour!
I’ve had the chance to tour this brewery myself, and it is one of my favorite memories from my visit to Milwaukee. We were given hard hats and eye protection and our guide was very knowledgeable. We walked through the old buildings and admired the architecture, learned how the beer was produced over 150 years ago, and stared in awe at the high-speed production of the beer today. As one of the largest producers of beer in the nation today, it was quite amazing to witness the efficiency of the entire operation.
Originally a brewpub, the company expanded into a full brewery in 1997 and has been growing rapidly since. The brewery is located in an old building that has been completely remodeled in downtown Milwaukee on 2nd Street. For just $10 you’ll get a tour, MKE Brewing pint glass, a token for a beer afterwards, as well as beer samples along the actual tour. Reservations are encouraged; however, walk-ins are just as welcome.