Landmark 1850 Inn
S. Howell Ave., ph: 414-769-1850
Upon your departure from the Milwaukee airport, your first stop should
be the Landmark 1850 Inn. This historic beer hall is right across
the street from the airport, is loaded with charm, and has 50 taps of
great beer. Diane and Don (pictured above) are two wonderful
friends who grew up in Milwaukee and introduced us to the
Landmark. This is Milwaukee's oldest tavern and is even on the
city's registry of historic places.
Port of Hamburg
S. Howell Ave., ph: 414-747-9444
You'll find the Port of Hamburg pub just a couple of blocks from the
Landmark 1850 Inn. The building looks a bit like a trailer from
the outside, but inside you will be pleased with a wonderful beer
selection that includes many hard-to-find German and European imports.
Hooligan's Super Bar
E. North Ave., ph: 414-273-5230
Hooligan's boasts a big draft and bottled beer selection along with
good pub food. This sports bar is a popular meeting place for the
younger crowd and even has video trivia. Order your food and beer
at the counters.
North Farwell Ave., ph: 414-278-8770
Great beer and bowling - what a concept! Just a few blocks walk
from Hooligan's, you'll find the old Landmark bowling alley. This
place offers multiple bars that mostly look like they came from the
1970s, but the beer selection includes some very interesting regional
microbrews and delicious imports.
N. Farwell Ave., ph: 414-272-1775
Von Trier is very old
school German. There is a pleasant outdoor beer garden out back
and lots of German beers and food items from which to choose. The
wall murals and collection of old German tavern items are fascinating.
W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, WI
The Sprecher microbrewery is just a short drive from downtown
Milwaukee. They produce some outstanding ales and lagers (and are
famous for their soda pops too). Sprecher has fun tours on
Fridays at 4 PM and Saturdays at 1, 2, and 3 PM - reservations are
required for the tour. Call the number above to reserve your tour
spot. Be ready to share the German-style tasting room at the end
of tour with lots of rowdy kids on sugar highs from the sodas.
N. Commerce Street, ph: 414-372-8800
Lakefront is a microbrewery located along the Milwaukee River near
downtown. Lakefront was begun in 1987 by Russ Klisch (pictured above)
with only sixty barrels of production sold exclusively to taverns
within rolling distance of the brewery. Beers include: Pumpkin, Cream
City Pale, Belgian White, Cattail Mild, Riverwest Stein, Snake Chaser
Stout, and a seasonal Oktoberfest. Tours are offered on Fridays and
Saturdays for $5 per person, and Lakefront also conducts a big fish fry
for the 6 and 7 PM tours on Fridays - for fish fry info call
Onopa Brewing Company
East Center St.
This cool bohemian brewpub features loud music, a beer patio off to the
right side of the main bar, and a bistro stand in the back where
customers may order appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and pizza. We
sampled their Bouzards Special Bitter, Wet Willy Wheat, Bottom Brackett
Brown Ale, and Bourbon Oatmeal Stout. All the house beers were
interesting but a bit sweet and under attenuated.
Milwaukee Ale House
North Water St., ph: 414-226-2337
The photo is of the back entrance of this excellent brewpub. If
you have a boat on the Milwaukee River, you can pull up to a small dock
under the banner and head into the Milwaukee Ale House for a
beer. The bar is decorated with mugs hanging all over and has a
rotating cask ale special that is usually well maintained and
presented. We enjoyed these house brews: Downtown Lites Honey Ale
(wheat and Wisconsin honey), Session Ale (very light and drinkable),
Solomon Juneau (golden ale with Saaz hops), Pull Chain Pail Ale
(Cascade and Kent Goldings hops), Sheepshead Stout (made with nine
malts), and Louie's Demise (malty amber beer with floral German hops
and dark toast hints).
N. Plankinton Avenue, ph: 414-276-3030
Rock Bottom in Milwaukee is also located right on the Milwaukee River
and has a big outdoor patio where patrons can watch the watercraft
glide by. This brewpub has several decent house beers and a
really nice food menu filled with interesting appetizers and
entrees. Their Brown Ale and Stout were our favorite house
Water Street Brewery
N. Water Street, ph: 414-272-1195
Just a few blocks walk from Rock Bottom (near the Pabst Theatre and
Milwaukee Center) is Water Street brewpub. We tasted several nice
beers made by brewer George Bluvas III: Honey Lager Light, Bavarian
Weiss (complex, authentic flavors), Munich Lager (good German malt
quality), Water Street Amber, Pale Ale, and Old World
Oktoberfest. Seasonals are offered that include an Irish Stout,
Doppelbock, Scottish Brown, Belgian Wit, and Black Lager. Steaks,
fish, pork, sandwiches, pastas, and salads highlight the menu.
E. Juneau Ave., ph: 414-289-0700
The Harp is a fun little Irish Pub located in an old part of downtown
Milwaukee. It has a great pint of Guinness and a relaxing deck
that overlooks the river.
Miller Plank-Road Brewery Tour
West State Street, ph: 414-931-BEER
Miller Brewing is now the second largest beer producer in the United
States. Free walking tours of its Milwaukee property begin at the Girl
in the Moon Gift Shop and end at their Bavarian-style Miller Inn, with
free samples for guests of appropriate age. Participants get to visit
the main brewery, packaging area, shipping department, and the Miller
Caves Museum that is loaded with murals and historic displays. Even if
the beer is very mainstream, the tour is worthwhile. Tours are
generally available from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. daily.
Milwaukee Oktoberfest / Bavarian Inn
Heidelberg Park, ph: 414-964-0300
Milwaukee's annual Oktoberfest celebration takes place on the three
weekends after Labor Day, and is run by five German clubs in the
city. This excellent celebration has food, music, and a good
selection of German beers. Old Heidelberg park is the grounds for
the event and also is home to the Bavarian Inn banquet center and
Ludwig's Bar. Click
here for all the information on this wonderful event.
Milwaukee Pubs to Visit...
- Palm Tavern, 2989 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, ph:
414-744-0393. Some Belgian Ales available.
- Roman's Pub, 3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.,
ph: 414-481-3396. Great beer selection and
- Wolski's Tavern, 1836
N. Pulaski, ph: 414-276-8130.
Tucked away on Milwaukee's lower east side is the old Wolski's
They feature many of the fine beers from Lakefront on their selection
of drafts and have darts, popcorn, games, and live music on some nights.