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Milwaukee, Wisconsin is known as one of the great beer cities in America, with dozens of local craft breweries and a well-established brewing history. If you’re new to the area or to craft beer in general, you can take a brewery tour to check out a few with the help of an experienced guide. But if you’d rather explore the Milwaukee brewery scene on your own, here are some of the most highly recommended spots to start with!
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MobCraft Beer has a taproom in Milwaukee where it serves flagship beers, crowdsourced beers, special releases, and beers from its Wild and Sour Program. This spacious taproom is a fun place to be with outdoor seating, games, and a dog-friendly space on the patio. It’s located at the corner of 5th and Virginia in Milwaukee and typically open on Mondays through Thursdays from 3-10pm, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 11pm, and Sundays from noon to 10pm. To learn more about MobCraft join one of the brewery’s 30 to 45-minute tours, which includes a pint glass to keep, two complimentary pints, and coupons. There’s a rewards program and event space here at MobCraft as well.
The Eagle Park Brewing & Distilling Company has a Milwaukee location that’s at 823 East Hamilton Street. It’s on the Lower East Side of the city and in a historic brick building that was built in 1920 as a Gallun Tannery garage. This Milwaukee craft beverage destination is open on weekdays from 3-10pm, Saturdays from 11am to 10pm, and Sundays from 11am to 9pm. Some of the unique offerings at this establishment are the Blue Raspberry Lemonade Kooler, Double Blackberry Lemon Gose, and Double Raspberry Slush. In addition to craft beer, Eagle Park also makes vodka, gin, bourbon, and a vanilla cheesecake cream liqueur.
To experience this brewery, you can visit the urban taproom at Good City Brewing on Milwaukee’s East Side, the Deer District location in the downtown Entertainment Block, or the Wauwatosa location outside of the city and in the heart of the Mayfair Collection. The motto of this brewery is “seek the good,” which combines the founders’ commitment to making excellent beer and supporting the local community. It works with nonprofit partners in Milwaukee and organizes monthly service projects on Saturday mornings. There’s even a podcast that tells the stories of people who are making Milwaukee a great place to live.
A popular brew spot in town is the Urban Harvest Brewing Company, which has been around since 2016 and has a neighborhood taproom that offers handcrafted beers in small batches. There is a core menu of beers here and also unique special releases and seasonal offerings. The taproom has an outdoor sidewalk beer garden that’s open when the weather is nice. You can stop by the taproom on Thursdays and Fridays from 4-9pm and on Saturdays from 1-8pm. To learn more about the brewing process here, you can schedule a private tour with tastings and that is guided by the owners or head brewer.
Chris Ivanovich and Jenny Higgins created Wizard Works Brewing with their unique combination of brewing and magician experience. The brewery is in the heart of Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward and offers a friendly and welcoming environment. Some of the beers you may find on draft here include the Golden Butterfly Blueberry Acai Sour, Abracadabra IPA, First Rabbit Porter, and Hofzinser wheat beer. The brewery is closed on Mondays, but open on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4-8pm, Fridays from 2-9pm, Saturdays from noon to 10pm, and Sundays from noon to 6pm.
Broken Bat Brewing Co. used to be located in the historic Third Ward area of Milwaukee but moved to the Walkers Point neighborhood in 2020. This is a unique, baseball-themed brewery that actually has an indoor wiffleball field! The tap room offers plenty of seating and multiple TVs for watching whatever game is on during your visit. Some beer offerings include the Ugly Finder hazy IPA, Czech Swing pilsner, and Bermuda Triangle maple porter. In the past, this brewery has hosted comedy shows, local markets, and workout classes. It is open Mondays through Thursdays from 3-10pm, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 10pm, and Sundays from noon to 7pm.
Gathering Place Brewing Company is designed to bring together people to celebrate the vibrant and unique community of Milwaukee. It often hosts events, such as homebrew competitions, beer festivals, gallery nights, and dog-friendly happy hours. Gathering Place has a tap room that is closed on Tuesdays, but open on the other weekdays from 4-10pm, on Saturdays from 2-10pm, and on Sundays from 2-6pm. You can take a 30 to 40-minute tour of the brewery any Saturday at either 3pm or 3:45pm for $10 per person.
Check out this urban farmhouse brewery when you’re in Milwaukee to try great beers with a focus on barrel aging and blending. 1840 Brewing Company offers ales, lagers, stouts, and sours, some of which take over 24 months to make with this high level of detail and precision! The brewery is named after the year 1840, which celebrates Milwaukee’s rich brewing heritage and the year of the first commercial brewery opening in town. In addition to the brews, you can also order pizza and tater tots from Flourchild and Tots on the Street here. The brewery is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-10pm, Fridays from 3-10pm, Saturdays from noon to 10pm, and Sundays from noon to 8pm.
Locals and visitors love Third Space Brewing, which is west of downtown and part of the redevelopment in a downtown corridor. Milwaukee natives Kevin Wright and Andy Gehl founded this brewery, which opened in 2016 and has been named one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the nation. It has a Pints with a Purpose program that raises awareness and funds for local nonprofit organizations. Third Space has a dog-friendly beer garden, partnership with Triciclo Peru food truck that serves empanadas onsite, and even beer school classes offered on the last Thursday of every month.
Since 2015, Dead Bird Brewing Co. has been serving up craft beers with unique and locally sourced ingredients. It has several non-alcoholic brewed drinks in addition to the beer. Dead Bird Brewing offers an online form to complete for group reservations, catering, and private parties if you’re celebrating something special. On Saturdays from 5-8pm, this brewery typically hosts live music performances. There’s even a Bumper Shuffle League that you can join for a bit of fun and competition with your friends!
Vennture Brew Co. is a unique Milwaukee destination because it specializes in both beer and coffee. Jake Rohde, Simon McConico, and Rob Gustafson created this company that combines the best of a bar and a coffee shop. It has been open since 2018 and opens early to start serving coffee at 5am on weekdays and 6am on weekends. The space stays open until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and until 8pm every other day of the week. Coffee offerings include espresso, pour-over coffees, and cold brews. Beers are often made with interesting ingredients and flavor combinations, such as Fruity Pebbles, pie crust, raspberries, lemons, and a variety of hops.
Lakefront Brewery is one of the most well-established beer destinations in Milwaukee and has been operating since 1987. This is a popular place to book a brewery tour, which lasts about 45 minutes, costs $12 to $13, and includes two pints of beer in a souvenir pint glass. There’s a patio here with beer service available and the CurdWagon for patio dining. The brewery hosts trivia events on Wednesdays and fish fry events on Fridays. Lakefront Brewery strives to be an eco-friendly craft beer producer and has won many awards over the years.
Located in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee, Enlightened Brewing Co. is a highly rated local spot with a taproom that’s open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-10pm, Fridays from 3pm to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon to 7pm. Some year-round beers to try are the Cream City Brix cream ale and Kettle Logic amber ale. Seasonal, Rough Draught Series, and guest tap beers are also available and listed with descriptions on the brewery website.
Three cousins created Component Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, which has a fun and inviting space that helps visitors feel like family. Some of the classic brews you’ll find here are the Mosaic Theory American IPA, Three Steeples pale lager, and Rose’s Sour ale. This brewery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but open on the other weekdays from 4-10pm, Saturdays from 1-10pm, and Sundays from 1-6pm. In addition to onsite consumption, the brewery also offers beer to go via online ordering and curbside pickup. It is located at 2018 S. 1st Street, #169 in Milwaukee.