There’s always something to celebrate in Milwaukee. And I’m not just talking about the music, food and art festivals that fill the summer, or the azure views of Lake Michigan, or even the city’s beer-steeped history. I’m talking about the jovial bands of people walking the streets of downtown every time I visit – bachelorette parties (so many bachelorette parties!), bachelor parties, wedding parties, father-daughter dances. Really, any occasion is good there to pack the flask and break out the party gear.
I understand why they choose the Brew City. My husband and I love making weekend trips here from our home in Chicago. It’s small enough that it’s easy to get around and feels safe, but big enough that we discover a new neighborhood, quirky shop, restaurant or bar every visit. While the drinking-and-dining scene has long moved beyond its beer-and-brats reputation, you can still find plenty of that beer and those brats (including in craft and artisanal forms), along with frozen custard and squeaky cheese curds galore. (It’s the Dairy State for a reason.) Plus, it’s affordable (compared with Chicago prices) and there’s truth to that whole Midwestern kindness thing. Don’t put on airs and it’s likely that you will be welcomed with open arms.
When in Brew City, do as the Brew Citizens do and raise a pint. A quenching place to start is Pabst Milwaukee Brewery and Taproom, which is one of the newest craft breweries to open in the city and sits in an old Gothic Revival Church that also formerly served as a Pabst-owned bar and restaurant. “New” and “Pabst” sound contradictory, considering that the Pabst name has deep history in Milwaukee, dating to the 19th century. But it moved its brewing operations out of town in the 1990s. And the latest incarnation isn’t brewing hipster PBR (although you can buy that…