Miller Time Pub, Milwaukee

Brew City

From Beer Capital of the World to Craft Beer Incubator

Only one city can claim to be the “Beer Capital of the World” and that city is Milwaukee. Once home to Miller, Schlitz, Pabst and Blatz breweries (to name a few), Milwaukee is now a leader in the ever-evolving art of craft brewing. Whether you opt for a tasting tour, relax at one of the area’s many beer gardens (be sure to visit “Milwaukee’s Original Biergarten” at Old Heidelberg Park!); hop on the Beer Titans History bus tour; ride on the East Troy Beer Tasting Train; brew your own beer (check out beerbarons.org); imbibe in Athletic Brewing’s active-lifestyle, non-alcoholic, lower-calorie alternative craft beer (athleticbrewing.com); join in the froth frenzy of Oktoberfest celebrations; take a class at Third Space Brewing’s popular Beer School (thirdspacebrewing.com); 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 Beer Baron Legacy

Beer is embedded deep in Milwaukee’s history, architecture and culture. Captain Frederick Pabst built the ornate Pabst Theater, which has been heralded as the city’s most elegant performance venue. The former Pabst brewing grounds have been transformed into a restaurant, boutique hotel, offices and residential space, while his former home, the Pabst Mansion (pabstmansion.com), now serves as a house museum showcasing the home’s exceptional craftsmanship, original furnishings, and a brilliant fine arts collection. Holiday tours are especially memorable. Many of the city’s beer barons – including Frederick Pabst, Joseph Schlitz, Jacob Best and Valentin Blatz– were laid to rest at historic Forest Home Cemetery on the city’s south side.

Brewery Tours

You can probably talk yourself into a tour at any of the dozens of craft breweries in the region, but there are some tours worth knowing about:

  • Coors: One-hour walking tour allows guests to experience an up-close look at the Molson brewhouse, packaging center and historical caves. Tours conclude at the historic Miller Inn, where adult guests can enjoy frosty samples. 4251 W. State St., Milwaukee. Telephone: (414) 931-BEER. millercoors.com
  • Lakefront Brewery: Award-winning food and engaging tours through a historic landmark alongside the Milwaukee River. Check the website for daily tour times. Private tours and catering available for large groups. 1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee. Telephone: (414) 372-8800. lakefrontbrewery.com
  • Milwaukee Brewing Company: Enjoy your favorite MKE staple beers, sip a seasonal brew, and be the first to try a new or experimental recipe. 1128 N. 9th St., Milwaukee. Telephone: (414) 226-2337. mkebrewing.com
  • Sprecher Brewing Company: Tour Milwaukee’s original craft brewery, known locally for its selection of beers and nationally for its root beer. 701 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale. Telephone: (414) 964-BREW. sprecherbrewery.com

Craft Brew Events

  • Arts, Crafts & Drafts: The Corners of Brookfield (June 11-12)
  • World of Beer Festival: Schwabenhof Pavilion, Menomonee Falls (June)
  • Milwaukee Brewfest: McKinley Park, Milwaukee Lakefront (July 30)
  • Great Lakes Brew Fest: Harbor Park, Kenosha (September)

Distilleries & Wineries

Beer may dominate Milwaukee’s history, but the region is also home to many established wineries and up-and-coming craft distilleries.

Spirited Options

For The Love of Wine