I might have arrived to Milwaukee, but I think more aptly the place should consider a rebrand. Milwaukee or MilwauBEER – you beer the judge!
Now this city doesn’t get a whole lot of international traffic, so if you visit, and I recommend you do, be prepared to answer one very simple question… repeatedly –
WHY did YOU come to Milwaukee?
Easy question, and for me a very easy answer consisting of only three words, and for those words Milwaukee deliverers in spades. But there is just so much else going on that I was definitely leaving wanting to stay.
Beer and Motorcycles
That should be all you need to know, and for me that was enough.
But just in case not here’s ten reasons why Milwaukee might just be my new favourite US city….
And in no particular order (other than this is how my trip went);
How’s a FREE tour of the Miller-Coors distillery and three FREE BEERS along the way sound? Pretty bloody terrific if you ask me. Even if you hate beer the sheer scale of this place and the rate that they can put beer into a bottle (hint, it’s about 1000* quicker than Bob Hawk could get it out) is dumbfounding.
Tours leave every 20-30 minutes, just turn up to the visitors center, signup and brace yourself for a great time.
Unordinary If you take a tour departing after 13:00 on a Friday afternoon by the time you reach the tasting garden a band will be set-up and playing. Howzat!
2. Milwaukee Brewing Company
How this place is not number on Trip Advisor is beyond me.
Heres the deal, and ALL for only 12USD.
- Book a tour time online (or don’t go as there will no more spots wen you arrive). You also want to book a late tour, or more to the point the very last one of the a day…..
- Arrive and check-in 30 minutes before your tour time. You then get a coloured wrist band so they know your schedule and you then have 30 minutes of tasting – at your own pace as FAST or slow as you want, with what ever you want from whats currently on tap. But there are two caveats;
- The first ‘taste’ is a full pint, then rest are half pint pours, in the pint glass, which they fill to about ¾.
- And you can only taste one of the three offerings that are over 8% (but actually you CAN taste all three easily enough…. and far more than once too).
- At your scheduled tour time they call you over to one side to watch an introductory video. Sufficient notice is given to get a refill on the way.
- Now this is the first reason why you should book as late in the day as possible; the further they might get behind schedule the longer that first 30minutes becomes. I booked the last slot of the dat at 7PM, and that first 30 minutes was, well lets just say very, VERY generous.
- After the video you have 5 minutes to get another refill and then off to part one-of-three tour segments, between each of-course allowing enough time to get a refill. Hey the tour guide need hydration too!
- Once the tour is over you then get the rest of your two hour booking window for more tasting, on average 30-45 minutes… or maybe, just maybe a whole lot longer…..
- Now here’s the second reason why you want the last tour; well, being the last tour all other groups had finished there final tasting by the time you get to your so the place really empty’s out, further, some of your tour will also jsut have there lst tastings and leave. So by this time the staff are also getting thirsty and ready for an Beer (or at least another one) so it’s a great opportunity to find out a little more about the place and talk to the staff, all of which are super terrific people. And it’s at this point (well at least it was for ME) that the final tasting session seemed to progress just a little later into the night than planned. As an added bonus additional 8%+ beer tastings were again offered which, given my particular affection for their Esporesso Chocolate Milk Stout was very, VERY well received.
But be warned, there is some use of profanity on the tour (which I of-course took particular offence to), and what-ever you do don’t talk amongst yourselves on the tour –
F* off back to the bar if you don’t want to listen.
BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER (how is that even possible?)
- At checkin you get a token for another beer at select pubs in the area, or if you choose it can be redeemed for a second 8%+ beer during the tastings (mine was redeemed on the way home!).
- If you complete the tour (some don’t, and actually you don’t even need to start the tour as once you pay up they don’t care if you just stand at the bar and drink for two hours, and LOCALS DO), then you can get another 8%+ beer.
Now here’s the real kicker – everyone I talked to over the evening was either a local, or had been brought their by a local.
This pace really is Milwaukees best kept secret for Beer aficionados.
Oh, and you get to keep your pint glass.
Find out more here.
4. Wisconsin Cheese Shop
Where in the world do you need a license to make cheese in an industry thats more regulated than alcohol production? WISCONSIN, that where!
So you know they take it seriously.
And where does all that Cheese meet? Right here at the Wisconsin Cheese Shop where you can sample 20-30 different Cheeses and then browse from another 150 or so.
The Cheese Flight
Well that’s it for part one, hope you join me for part two where we find out what would make me ride a bus for one hour EACH WAY just to get an Ice Cream (but not just any ‘cream), why I’d visit a place where you definitely won’t meet women (as it’s a real sausage factory), why Ice Cream and Beer works and where you can get them bot for FREE (and YES, it’s actually does work)! ….And maybe also find out what happened to number three if I can remember what it was.
Part two coming to a blog near you soon (unless I visit another Micro-Brewery and forget that also).