Milwaukee, home of the big names in beer (such as: Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz), is arguably the go to for the top shelf American Midwest brewery experience. Milwaukee’s history traces over 175 years of brewing (and drinking) some of America’s finest beers. There is no wonder that this old city has earned itself the badge of honor: ‘Brew City’!
However, with all these big names that we wear so proudly, I’d like to take it up a notch for my beer sommeliers who are looking to try some real craft brews from this time-honored city. If you’re tired of the Sprecher and Miller Brewery Tours, I’ve decided to list 5 of my own favorite breweries and microbreweries in the Milwaukee Metropolitan area that you just might want to make a pit stop at… or take a pub crawl through them all!
5. Big Head Brewing Co.
Walking into Big Head Brewing Company, you’re going to love the industrial style tasting roomand their ever-rotating menu. A rotating menu, you say? That means if you don’t find something you love on the first visit, the return value is worth it! Settle back with a classic ale over a quick game of cornhole or spice it up and try Big Head’s War Head sour brew for a nostalgic kick back to your school days. You’ll find Big Head in Wauwatosa, on the outskirt of the Milwaukee County area.
4. Black Husky Brewing
Next, Black Husky Brewing holds a special place in my heart. Located in the Riverwest neighborhood on the East Side of Milwaukee, Black Husky was originally from the greater northern Wisconsin which is evident from the woodsy décor of their Milwaukee taproom.
With each of the brews named after the huskies that the Wisconsin family had as companions, this brewery will constantly make you feel like one of the pack. My recommendation? If you have the chance, grab Black Husky’s Dogfather, an American Pale Ale, and settle into their patio seating for a nice end-of-day pint!
3. Urban Harvest Brewery
Moving closer to the southside of Milwaukee, if you’re looking for a diverse taste of small-batch beers, look no further than Urban Harvest Brewery. Urban Harvest boasts of fresh, handcrafted brews and it certainly shows!
With a spacious and rustic style taproom,this brewery is bound to keep you coming to try every one of their seasonal and rotating beers. Take a sip of Urban Harvest’s year-round American Amber, Olde Towne Amber on a Saturday nightfor a gentle finish while watching the Mojo Dojo Comedy Show.
2. Lakefront Brewery
The true soul of Milwaukee is Lakefront Brewery. Naming many of its brews after the surrounding neighborhoods (Check out their amber lager: Riverwest Stein), you can find this brewery situated perfectly on the river in downtown Milwaukee. Lakefront is beyond a classic in the Milwaukee area, so if you only have time to stop at one brewery: Lakefront takes the cheese. Speaking of cheese, be sure to stop down on a Monday for half off cheese curds with your hops!
1. Milwaukee Brewing Co.
As obvious as it might seem, no list would be perfectly complete without a solid mention of Milwaukee Brewing Company. With a philosophy that stays true to its roots, MKE Brewing uses local ingredients to keep their environment sustainable and fuel some of the most quality brews that Milwaukee can offer. You can find their breweries on both 2nd and 9th Street in downtown Milwaukee.
Not finding any one brewery speaking to you? Try ‘Milwaukee Ale House’
Located on the river, heart of Milwaukee on Water Street, come here if you’d like to try a variety. You’ll find some of the above listed breweries, in addition to some other Wisconsin classics!
Cheers and Happy Brewing!