Lately, I feel my only inspiration for my blogs has been food and sharing recipes. Although worth blogging about (and the fact I love food), I feel that I have be lacking in sharing other fun things we’ve done recently. Well that is about to change. This post will focus on something Milwaukee is known for and majority of Wisconsinites have a high appreciation for: BEER.
A couple weekends ago Camp Carroll hosted several of my family members; my parents, aunt, uncle and cousin for the entire weekend. You see my aunt and uncle have planted themselves way the hell up north; they are about a half hour south of Superior, WI. It is about a six hour drive between us, which makes me sad because they are awesome and we love hanging out with them but they are very happy there so I can’t be too mad. So we have made a tradition to find a weekend in the summer for them to come visit us in the Brew City.
So what do we do?! How can I make their time here worth it (besides having to hang out with us)?? What can we do that they won’t be able to do back home, up nort’?
The past few years they have come down the weekend of the Milwaukee Brewfest. We have gotten beautiful weather, sampled some awesome beers and overall had a helluva time. However, our experience last year was just okay and finished on a sour note which turned us off from visiting again this year and that it didn’t match up schedule-wise. Maybe we’ll try again next year…
Anyway, our goal was for our family to enjoy themselves and to experience some fun things Milwaukee has to offer.
And so beer was the theme for the weekend: Brewers’ game and brewery tours.
Friday Night: Play Ball!
A request of my aunt was that we see a Brewers’ game. So we headed to the game on Friday night. She wanted the whole experience; driving there, tailgating and catching a ballgame. But OH.MY.GOSH. was it sweltering hot. Tailgating in 90+ degrees, hot and humid weather was brutal, but the Crew got a win and seeing my family happy was TOTALLY worth it.
Saturday: Brewery Tours!
Prior to everyone visiting, I had sent an email informing them of some of the tours that we could participate in. I wanted them to take a look and provide their preferences on which ones to do!
- Lakefront Brewery
- Milwaukee Brewing Company
- Sprecher Brewery
- Great Lakes Distillery
- Pabst Brewery
The votes were in. Tour One…
Well we were late in reserving tickets online, for both tours (whoops!). This is something I do NOT recommend as the tours fill-up quickly. We headed to Lakefront early and managed to get on the 12:50p tour; tours are offered every 25 minutes on Saturdays. Lakefront and MKE Brewing sell half their tickets online and the other half for first come, first serve walk-ins. So it is highly recommended to buy your tickets in advance (or get their early if you have time to spare) AND check their schedules. Lakefront does do weddings and other private events. So do your due diligence to ensure they are offering tours for the date you want to swing by.
The Lakefront tour is reasonably priced at $7 which includes the tour itself (duh), a souvenir pint glass (or $2 off merchandise in their gift shop. NOT good on beer, boo.), four 6-oz pours of beer and a history lesson. It is worth noting that it IS a kid-friendly tour as well.
My husband and I have been on this tour several times so we knew what to expect; the humor, the history, when we could fill up for beer again. 🙂 I don’t want to go into too much detail because I really hope you make it to this historic site and tour this brewery for yourself.
But, I will share my personal favorite beer they currently have tapped: Wisconsinite. I don’t drink much beer anymore, not because I don’t want to but because of health reasons (let’s not go there), but I do enjoy this beer and what it stands for. Very much.
And if you’re curious on the other beers they brew, here is more information on the beers and Lakefront. And as always, visit them on the web.
After the tour finished, we all grabbed our last beer from their covered tent right on the river. Beautiful weather, beautiful company and a great venue.
Beers were cashed and onto the next tour.
Annnnnnd Tour Two…
I was excited for this tour as Bryan and I hadn’t been on it yet. I have heard so many good things, we just hadn’t gotten our butts there. It was an experience I got to share with my aunt, uncle and parents. Good times.
Their tour is $10 which includes the tour (obviously), an MKE Brewing pint glass, beer (lots of it, more than Lakefront) and a token for more beer.
We arrived just before 3:00p and were originally told they didn’t have any more openings until their Open House at 5:00p. This goes to show that you need to get there EARLY for their walk-in tickets orrrrrr buy in advance. I will admit our overall planning was poor, but the Beer Gods were looking down on us and the guy checking people in stated there was a mistake and he COULD get us on the 3:00p tour. Yay us!
In brief, there are four spots the tour guides speak at. Before we head to each location, you are able to fill-up on beer. You also get to drink beer before and after your tour until they say last call for your tour time. You get to drink a lot of beer! Cheers. Again, I wont’ go into much detail about this tour in hopes you will get a chance to head down there and experience it for yourself.
I believe the tour lasted about an hour (that is a best guess considering the amount of beer consumed) and then we had about 30 MORE minutes to drink MORE beer. And prior to leaving, we attempted to hula hoop (you have to go on the tour to understand this). I have to say my hula hooping skills are actually quite good, even after drinking as much beer as I did.
My Opinion: Overall, I personally liked the MKE Brewing Tour over Lakefront. For me, I liked the amount of beer you got to try and the different beers they had available. I am not saying at all that Lakefront is not worth trying because it is. However, I preferred the energy and the upbeat atmosphere at MKE Brewing Co. Maybe the people on the Lakefront ruined it for me? Or maybe it was the tour guide; a little over-the-top-hyped-up for my liking. But hey, that’s just me and maybe it was just that particular day.
But I would have to say the day was a success. For us not buying tickets in advance, we were still able to tour two of the most popular breweries this city has to offer. As for the other places mentioned, we’ll have to save those for our get together next year!
Bottom’s Up Milwaukee. -g