Top Five Destinations of Milwaukee
For a guy that spent every summer in Wisconsin while growing up, I know very little about the state east of I-90. I look at a map of the state and have some remembrances of places like Baraboo, Marshfield, Tomah, Hayward and Ladysmith, but Green Bay or Milwaukee? Surprisingly, I have no clue, so my blank part of my knowledge extends to Appleton, Oshkosh and Sheboygan too. (I could name Wisconsin towns all day. Ojibwa, Superior, Eau Claire. Ok, ok, I’ll stop.)
So, when I decided to figure out what I would do if I went to Milwaukee, I basically started with a blank slate. I had no clue what I should explore. I went to the Milwaukee tourism site and nothing at all jumped out. Then, as I searched, names kept jumping out at me. Familiar names that I had seen many, many times. The beer stein appeared above my head and I realized that if I travel to Milwaukee, there’s only one thing that should be on the top of my mind and eventually in my belly. Beer.
I think it says a lot about marketing that the first beer related thing that popped into my head from my favorite sport, did not come from the team name, but rather the park name. Brewers is just another team name like Red Sox, Cubs or Mariners, but Miller Park means Miller Beer and Bernie Brewer sliding into a beer after every home run.
Though the idea of beer sorbet lollipops that Sprecher Brewery served at the Wisconsin State Fair intrigue me, I don’t find that nearly as interesting as a reserve tasting tour. For $15, you get 10 samples of different beers paired with an artisan cheese. This kind of event just screams Wisconsin to me.
I think if you have visited Portland in the past ten years and gone rafting or attended a house party, you’ve probably consumed a Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s what Portlanders do after the Deschutes, Rogue and other microbrews are all empty. Because I like visiting Portland, I have fond thoughts of Pabst. Therefore, to visit the Pabst Mansion and see the history of the family behind this brew seems like a very good idea.
For half the price of the Sprecher tour, only $7 at the Lakefront Brewery gets you a souvenir pint glass and 24 ounces of beer. In celebration of the new NBC show “Animal Practice,” I’d suggest using all 24 ounces to drink the Wheat Monkey Ale.
Sure, I could have said the Milwaukee Brewing Company, or one of the bigger breweries in town, but as a fly-fisherman, I love a good stonefly, so therefore, I have to go visit the Stonefly Brewery. When I first sidle up to the bar, I see myself ordering the deep-fried bacon and the Moustache Ride Pale Ale and then maybe the deep-fried pickles and the Star Destroyer Stout. Looking at the beer and appetizer choices, I see myself at that bar for a while.
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."