Feb 27, 2015

Milwaukee Part II

Picking up from where Caitlin left off, after Lakefront Brewery our crew headed to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart to turn in our "free beer coupon" from Lakefront.  If you go on the tour they give you a coupon for an ADDITIONAL free beer at a local bar to be used on the day of your tour.  I'm not really sure if anyone in our group NEEDED another beer, but the bar/cheese store was full of free samples and Marquette Basketball fans, so it was fun.  We also had the LARGEST pretzel I've ever seen; it was easily split among the 7 of us and came with delicious cheese dip.

The Cheese Mart also has a great selection of cheese themed gifts
After replenishing our bodies with carbs and cheese samples, we took an UBER (yes, Milwaukee has Uber!) to the Milwaukee Brewing Company (MKE). There is also a Milwaukee Ale House, affiliated with MKE that serves their beer and also serves delicious food; I've been there on my last two journeys to Milwaukee, it is in the historic Third Ward.  The MKE building that we went to is where they make the beer and do their tours.  
Being old Milwaukee pros and having been enough brewery tours that we should all know where beer comes from by now, we opted out of signing up for a tour and instead signed up for the two hour open house that happens every Saturday night from 5-7.  For $15 you get a pint glass to take home with you, and unlimited beer samples to be drunk out of said pint glass.  You also get 2 tickets for the heavier, stronger (higher alcohol content!) beers.  This is a great deal and I would highly recommend it.  All of MKE's beers are delicious and it is an interesting way to try new beers, talk to the bartenders and interact with the local Milwaukee folk.  All of the people that we talked to were very impressed that we had already done the Lakefront tour and were still drinking beer...perhaps this should have been a sign that that was a lot of beer for 7 girls, but we continued to drink.
This is the crew
I had been advised to try Louie's Demise, so that was the first beer I had.  At the open house, your first glass of beer is a full pint and the rest are half pours, probably to deter overdrinking but also to encourage trying everything.  Which I think I almost accomplished...I used my tickets to try the Winter Ale (tasted like an oatmeal raisin cookie @ 10%!!!) and Hop Freak, a very hoppy double IPA.

MKE also gives you a coupon/token (a poker chip!) for another free beer once you leave their establishment, and we had some time to kill before dinner, so we took a local's advice and went to "The Irish Bar".  Try explaining that to your Uber driver...he told us there were probably 100 Irish bars in the area, but we wanted to go to THE Irish Bar.

For dinner we went to Cafe Centraal at Kinnickinnic (so fun to say out loud) in the Bay View neighborhood.  This place has an excellent selection of beers (especially Belgian ones) and a delicious menu to help us soak up all of the beer we had consumed throughout the day.  Around the corner from Centraal is Sugar Maple, a small bar that also had a great beer selection (I'm sensing a theme in Milwaukee...); 60 American craft beers on tap.

All in all, we drank entirely too much beer in Milwaukee but it was so very fun.  If you're looking to get out of Chicago for a short weekend trip, I'd highly recommend Milwaukee's breweries and cheese establishments.  Maybe one day we will try to visit in the summer when we can take in what I've heard is a very nice waterfront and actually drink outside?

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