Broken Bat Brewing, Milwaukee

Broken Bat Brewery

Broken Bat windowBroken Bat Brewery includes – as you might guess – a lot of baseball themes with its hand crafted beers. Originally opened in April 2017 in Milwaukee’s bustling Third Ward, it moved into a larger space a few blocks south, over the Milwaukee River, in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward/Walker’s Point neighborhood in April 2020. Founded by friends Tim Pauly and Dan McElwee, they describe the name as “In baseball, when a bat breaks, it’s something unexpected. And that’s essentially what our beer is going to be like, what the brewery is: something different, unexpected.”

Broken Bat’s beers include our favorite, their Straight Chedd Apricot Pale Ale, with the Harry Cherry Tart Cherry Hefeweizen a close second. There’s also the Golden Sombrero Pilsner, the Ugly Finder IPA, Climb the Wall Farmhouse Ale, the Corre Corre Mexican Lager, the 755 (in salute of Hank Aaron) “King” Imperial Stout, and limited editions like the occasional Light Tower Power, a Chardonnay barrel-aged Imperial Farmhouse Ale. Pictures depicting the origins of their beer names line the walls, and if you’re a baseball card fan you’ll want to make multiple trips to the restroom.

Our favorite is their Straight Chedd Apricot Pale Ale, which is unique in a number of ways. How often do you see apricot in beer in the first place? This became the first beer Broken Bat Brewery began to offer in cans, which you can purchase to-go from the Tap Room or at an increasing variety of retailers in the Milwaukee area. They’re available in multiples of up to four cans. Watch for other varieties of their beer to become available in cans soon as they continue to grow.

Broken Bat Brewery’s Tap Room is open Monday-Saturday Noon – 10pm and Sundays Noon – 6pm, with additional hours based on select Brewers – and sometimes other – games. Broken Bat is also dog-friendly and welcomes your pooch with dog treats and Brewers-themed water bowls.

Broken Bat Brewing bat mug

Broken Bat Brewing’s “Mug Club” is basically a bat – not a broken one – that you drink out of. The bat, weighted down for minimal spilling potential, holds 12 ounces. Mug Club members pay the 10-ounce price and every 5th beer is free.

You’ll find Broken Bat Brewery in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward/Walkers Point district, right along Highway 32., which is Pittsburgh Street along that stretch. It’s reached via Highway 32 southbound/Milwaukee Street or nearby Water Street from downtown and the Historic Third Ward, or via northbound 1st Street (also Highway 32) from Walkers Point and the city’s south side. I-43/94 and I-794 are close by for easy access, as are Highways 38, 59, and 145.

Broken Bat Brewery menu and taps

Broken Bat Brewery Address:

135 E. Pittsburgh Avenue (Highway 32)
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 316-9197
Website

 




 

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US Bank Tower, Milwaukee

US Bank Tower, Milwaukee

The US Bank Tower has been Wisconsin’s tallest building since 1973. Once Milwaukee’s tallest by far for decades, several newer 30 story-plus buildings give it some company and created a fuller skyline that the US Bank Tower highlights rather than dominates.

The US Bank Tower rises 42 stories; it is 601 feet from street level to the roof.  The cross-bracing horizontal rows at floors 2-3, 16-17 and 41-42 give the building its distinctive look. Constructed from 1971-1973, it’s still the tallest office tower between St. Paul and Chicago (the cities, not the nearby streets.) It has 5,000 windows and encompasses 1.3 million square feet of space – mostly offices. A lower atrium features shops, places for workers to eat and drink, and connections to nearby buildings via several skywalks.

US Bank Tower with the Milwaukee skyline from Discovery World

Milwaukee’s skyline is growing, but the US Bank Tower remains the city’s tallest.

The US Bank Tower can be seen from 25 miles out in Lake Michigan. From the road, you can spot it from I-41/94 at the Milwaukee-Racine County line coming in from Chicago. It can even be seen from I-41 southbound near Highway 60 way out in Slinger, where elevation offers a long vantage point to downtown, especially when there are few leaves on the trees.

State Trunk Tour Tidbit:

When Allan H. (“Bud”) Selig was Commissioner of Major League Baseball, he maintained his office in the tower (33rd floor, if we remember correctly), so in a sense the headquarters of MLB was in Milwaukee for two decades.

 

The US Bank Tower used to have a public observation deck on the 41st floor but it was closed to protect peregrine falcons, which have a hacking box up there for birthing and nesting.

US Bank Tower view of Art Museum to Lake Michigan

From the 40th floor of the US Bank Tower, you can easily see the Milwaukee Art Museum’s distinctive “wings” and quite a ways out into Lake Michigan.

The US Bank Tower is easy to spot, of course. The building is close to a ton of key attractions in Milwaukee, including Discovery World, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Summerfest and Henry Maier Festival Park, the Historic Third Ward, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and many more. The view it from I-794 and the Hoan Bridge is part of a fantastic city skyline view. U.S. 18/Michigan Street literally runs under the building’s atrium, and Highway 32/Milwaukee Street is just a few blocks away. I-43, I-94, and Highways 38, 57, 59, and 145 all come within a mile of the building.

Address:
777 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Website

Miller Park

Miller Park is home to the Milwaukee Brewers and the only stadium in North America with a fan-shaped convertible roof. The roof can open or close in about 10 minutes and – along with the panels in the outfield capable of blocking the lake breeze – allows the ballpark to be heated up to 30 degrees warmer than the conditions outside. After all, Wisconsin weather conditions can be suspect in April, May, and September – and hopefully it’ll be an issue for the Brewers more often in October, too.

Completed in 2001, Miller Park officially has a capacity of 41,900 for baseball although on numerous occasions, standing room-only crowds have allowed attendance to peak over 45,000. Concerts and other sporting events ranging from bowling tournaments to international soccer/futbol matches have also brought huge crowds. The stadium weighs half a million tons, 12,000 tons of which are from the roof, which spans 600 feet and covers nearly 11 acres. Inside, the roof reaches as high as 200 feet over the playing field; outside, the highest arch over the roof reaches as high as a 30-story building.

Miller Park, father and sonNatural grass flourishes under the retractable roof; large glass panels on the sides let plenty of light in and occasionally create some shadow challenges during games. One of many traditions brought over from Milwaukee County Stadium – the previous home of the Brewers – is the Klements Sausage Race, where five “sausages” compete in a foot race during the middle of the 6th inning and Brewers fans place bets on who wins: the Polish, the Brat, the Italian, the Hot Dog, or the Chorizo. It’s not uncommon for national sports reporters to note the winner of the Sausage Race when recapping Brewers games.

Plenty of kids’ activities can keep them occupied beyond the game, while a “loop” around the ballpark is a must. You can walk all the way around Miller Park on the lower level, taking in views of the field and the game from every angle.

State Trunk Tour Tidbit:
The first “no-hitter” in Miller Park history was thrown on September 14, 2008 by the Chicago Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano… against the Houston Astros. The two teams were using Miller Park due to Hurricane Ike’s arrival in Houston. Miller Park also hosted a Cleveland Indians-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim series in April, 2007 when snowstorms in Cleveland forced a relocation of their series – one of many reasons why having the roof paid off!

Miller Park offers tours of the facility on most days during baseball season when there isn’t already a home game taking place. Check here for dates and pricing.

Miller Park from the Highway 175 bridge over I-94 in Milwaukee.Miller Park is easy to spot, of course, and sits at the junction of I-94 and Highway 175 in the city of Milwaukee, about three miles west of downtown. Highway 59/National Avenue is just to the south and U.S. 18/Bluemound road is just to the north.

Address:
One Brewers Way
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 902-4000
Website




Urban Harvest Brewing Company

Urban Harvest Brewing Company opened in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point neighborhood in April 2016. They brew several small batches of lagers and ales per week and offer a taproom Thursday through Saturday for sampling.

Beers they craft on a fairly regular basis include their 414 Golden Ale, Black Puppy Pale Ale, their Falls Pilsner, Who the HELLES Alice? (a straw-blond light Czech lager), H.C. IPA, Nookie Nookie (Chinook Citra Pale Ale), PriBock, Olde Towne Amber, Corkscrew IPA, an Espresso Amber, and the interestingly-locally-named Ach Ya Der Hey-Fe Weizen.

Seasonals and specials include brews like their Wicket Summer Wheat, Blood Orange Wheat, Festive Gourds Pumpkin Ale, a Maple Brown, Weizenbock, their Chocolate Whiskey Stout, some bourbon barrel-aged varieties, and more.

Urban Harvest Brewing Company's tap roomYou’ll find Urban Harvest Brewing’s taproom along 5th Street (Highway 38), just south of Highway 59/National Avenue. I-43/94 soars by within a block, and Highway 32/1st Street is just four blocks to the east. Another fairly new craft brewery, Brenner Brewing, is just a few blocks to the north. Near Urban Harvest Brewing are sights like the Harley-Davidson Museum, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, St. Josephat’s Basilica, and more. Downtown Milwaukee is about one mile north.

Hours:
Thursday 4-9pm
Friday 2-10pm
Saturday 2-10pm

Address:
1024 S. 5th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Website



Milwaukee Public Market from across Water Street

Milwaukee Public Market


Milwaukee Public Market from the top levelConsidered one of “America’s Best Public Markets,” the Milwaukee Public Market opened in 2005 and offers a variety of one-of-a-kind, high quality artisan & ethnic products, fresh produce and prepared foods, beer and wine from crafters all over the world, demo kitchens, and even places to pick up fresh-cut flowers and goofy Milwaukee-themed clothing, such as a t-shirt with a bottle opener embedded in it – we found that at Brew City Beer Gear.

Independent merchants make up the Milwaukee Public Market, an indoor venue complemented by its Outdoor Urban Market along with craft fairs during the summer months. The MPM itself crowns the north end of the vibrant Historic Third Ward neighborhood, right along St. Paul Avenue between Water and Broadway and literally nuzzling up against I-794, under which parking is available. The new Milwaukee Streetcar System, known as “The Hop,” is being constructed along this corner; the Public Market will undoubtedly be a key stop along this new route.

You can get everything from fresh fish at St. Paul Fish Company to exotic spices at the Spice House, prepared soups, scratch-made specialty chocolates – and much more. The meat and deli counters at Foltz’s Family Market and West Allis Cheese & Sausage offer anything you could want. For vegans, On the Bus features everything from avocado toast and seitan sandwiches to take-home vegan ingredients for meal prep. Margarita Paradise offers Mexican fare and ingredients; Aladdin has you taken care of on the Mediterranean side. Kehr’s Candy Kitchen is a continuation of a long-traditional shop in the city with specialty chocolates and treats; while C. Adams offers incredible bakery across the way. Thai-namite offers fresh sushi, sashimi and similar fare while the Soup & Stock Market creates new concoctions every way. Bring any food to Thief Wine and sip a variety of wines from around the world at their counter while you enjoy, or peruse bottles to bring home. Brew City Beer Gear covers you with your favorite Wisconsin and Milwaukee t-shirts, hoodies, even socks – with creative messages. Plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants flank the Market in the Third Ward, which has become a prime boutique shopping destination for people from as far away as Chicago.

The Milwaukee Public Market is open seven days a week. Hours are 10am-8pm Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm Saturday, and 10am-6pm Sunday. Early morning coffee lovers can grab a fresh cup as early as 7am on weekdays at Anodyne Coffee, and wine enthusiasts can enjoy extended hours until 9pm Thursday-Saturday nights at Thief Wine in the middle of the Market.

I-794 is one easy way to reach the Milwaukee Public Market via exits to St. Paul or Jackson Street south; Highway 32 flanks its east side as Broadway, U.S. 18/Michigan Avenue is just two blocks north, and Highways 38, 59, and 145 all get you close.

Milwaukee Public Market Address:

400 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 336-1111
Website




Milwaukee Public Market towards Brew City Beer Gear

Pettit National Ice Center

Pettit National Ice Center


A truly world-class facility, the Pettit National Ice Center features a 400-meter speedskating oval that serves as only one of two official U.S. Olympic training facilities in the United States. The oval surrounds two international-size ice rinks, popular for hockey players. The Pettit opened in 1993, welcomes about 425,000 visitors annually, brings in speedskaters from all over the world. The facility has hosted competitions like the National Short and Long Track Speed Skating Championships, the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships, and the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Time Trials. Local Gold medal champions Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen first skated the rink and aspiring Olympians continue to use the Pettit for training.

westallis-pettit-statue

And yes, YOU can skate at the Pettit! You can even run around the outside of the speedskating oval, as a 0.28-mile running track lines the outside – it’s a popular runners’ destination in winter. Check here for times.

What other cool facts can we say about the Pettit National Ice Center?

– The Pettit features 97,000 sq ft of ice between the Oval and two international sized hockey rinks

– It has been said that If you divided all the ice in the Pettit Center into one- inch sections you would have a total of 13 million ice cubes!

– 99 miles of piping cools the Olympic Oval and the two international sized hockey rinks.

– The ice actually gets painted so it appears so white – 2,000 gallons of mixed ice paint are used every year.

– The Run-Walk Track is a little over a quarter mile for a lap, a little under four laps for a mile and just over 94 laps for a full marathon which we actually host every January! The marathon weekend welcomes over 800 participants in a variety of distances.

You’ll find the Pettit along Highway 181/84th Street at I-94, just north of Highway 59/Greenfield Avenue, south of U.S. 18/Bluemound Road, and east of I-41/U.S. 45/I-894 on the Milwaukee-West Allis border.

Address:
500 S. 84th Street (Highway 181)
Milwaukee, WI 53214
(414) 266-0100
Website

 

Enlightened Brewing Company


Enlightened Brewing started in 2014, setting up shop in the Lincoln Warehouse complex, a 1928-era building on 1st Street in Milwaukee that one served as an A&P grocery distribution center. The Twisted Path Distillery and Bittercube, a specialty maker of bitters, are also in the building and Horny Goat Brewing is right across the street; the Kinnickinnic River runs along the side. This is definitely a craft beer-loving area of town, and it’s easy to get to: Highway 32 is just to the east, Highway 38 is just to the south and west, and I-94/43 is a few blocks west.

Their beers include their A Priori Pale Ale, their 53207 (a California Common style, also their zip code), Dark Matters Black Wheat, Sustained Thought Stout, From the Roots Dark Ale, Leap of Faith Gose, an American Wild Ale named Heather, an English Mild Ale called Polly Baker’s Porridge, a Farmhouse Saison called Amour de Soi, and The Luminary, a Belgian Blonde.

Enlightened is very much in the “nanobrewery” category but is growing; as of March, 2016 they’re in the process of preparing to open a new tap room and are targeting late spring/early summer for that opening. Their Facebook page will have the latest updates – and we’ll be there sampling soon!

Address:
2018 S. 1st Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207
(414) 744-2018
Website

Milwaukee Brewing Company


Milwaukee Brewing, which almost sounds redundant, started in 1997 with the opening of Milwaukee Ale House on Water Street in the city’s Historic Third Ward district. Demand grew, and eventually the main brewery had to move south into the Walkers Point neighborhood along 2nd Street, one block west of Highway 32, three blocks north of Highway 59, and three blocks east of Highway 38.

The 2nd Street Brewery for Milwaukee Brewing Company kegged its first beer in 2007 and installed the first “micro-canning” system in Wisconsin a few years later. The brewery proudly implements a long list of “green initiatives” that include using the Milwaukee Ale House’s waste vegetable oil to help power the brewery’s heating needs.

Milwaukee Brewing Company (often abbreviated as “MKE”, the city’s airport code) produces a number of popular brews including flagship Louie’s Demise, an amber ale; Polish Moon, a stout named after the nearby iconic Allen-Bradley clock (ask for the story); the Hop Happy IPA; Booyah, a saison-style ale named after popular Flemish-Belgian-inspired stew; Outboard, a cream ale noting the invention of the outboard motor by local resident Ole Evinrude back in the day; and Litta Bitta, a Belgian Wit. Plenty of other seasonals and “herb-in legends” are also produced by the brewery, including a tea-infused wheat beer called O-Gii.

Tours are “beer-in-hand” and run every half hour from 4-6:30pm Fridays and 1-4pm on Saturdays, with a 5pm “open house” lasting two-hours that go even more in-depth and usually becomes a fun social convener.

Address:
613 S. 2nd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 226-2337
Website

Ice Caves at the Miller Brewery Tour, Milwaukee

Miller Brewery Tour

One of the largest and most popular brewery tours in the nation, the Miller Brewery Tour covers the grounds of MillerCoors’ Miller Brewing plant, Wisconsin’s largest with an output of over 10 million barrels per year.  The brewery sits on land purchased by Frederick Miller back in 1855 and fermentation has been happening here ever since.

Beers such as Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft, and Milwaukee’s Best have been churned out for decades here; with mergers and acquisitions, Leinenkugel’s and Coors products are brewed in the Miller Brewery, as well as a ton of “old school” brands by contract: Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, Old Style, and more all still exist as brands but are brewed by Miller.

Miller Brewery Tour kettlesThe Miller Brewery Tour begins at the Visitor Center along State Street, which of course includes a large gift shop along with historic exhibits on Miller’s history here, from its humble beginnings in 1855 to being MillerCoors today, one of the largest breweries in the country and part of Molson Coors (there were a lot of parent company changes from 2002 to 2016.) After a 15-minute film describing the company, its history, and art of macro-beer brewing, the tour hits State Street for a walk to the Brewhouse. An optional stair climb offers a view from above of the shiny copper brew kettles. Then the tour heads back across the street to the Miller Inn, a Bavarian-style bar where free samples are offered. Next stop is the historic Miller caves, where beer was chilled with ice cut from area lakes before mechanical refrigeration made the process a bit easier. Next up is a look from above at the bottling and canning lines (you’ll hear “Laverne & Shirley” references on this part of the tour as sure as you’ll hear “Caddyshack” references on golf courses) where statistics on how many cans and bottles get filled per minute – it’s rather staggering – and how they deal with short fills, etc. are covered. A walk-through of the shipping and distribution warehouse follows. This massive shipping area is larger than four football fields, and you’ll frequently see forklifts plying the aisles hustling that beer into ready trucks. The tour then heads back to the Visitor Center to wrap up with additional samples, outdoors when weather permits and inside otherwise. And of course, that’s right next to the Gift Shop.

Tours cost $10 and include a souvenir glass and beer samples along the tour. If you’re not of legal drinking age, well, they’re free – but you don’t get beer.

Residents and anyone else with a Wisconsin state-issued ID get half off, so for state residents the tour is $5.

In winter, tours run six days a week (closed Sundays) from 10am to 3:30pm, kicking off every half hour. In summer, tours run 10-6 Monday-Wednesday and 10am – 7pm Thursday-Saturday. On Sundays in summer, there are no tours but the beer garden is open from 10am to 4:30pm. Call 414-931-BEER for details or go here for the latest updates.

In December, you can enjoy the "Holiday Lights" on a Miller Brewery Tour.

“Miller Valley” lights up with an animated display during the holidays. It can be part of the Miller Brewery Tour, or you can just drive by on State Street.

Miller Brewery Tour and Visitors Center Address:

4251 W. State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53208
414-931-2337
Website

You can access State Street easily from the Highway 175 freeway, just about a mile north of I-94 and Miller Park. Follow State Street east just a few blocks and you’ll see the Visitors Center right there. U.S. 18 is also right there, passing by via Wisconsin Avenue with a view of the whole complex from the bridge leapfrogging the Menomonee River and “Miller Valley.” You can access Miller’s Visitor Center from U.S. 18 via Highway 175’s connections to State Street or by connecting directly to State via 35th Street, which U.S. 18 follows between Highland Boulevard and Wisconsin Avenue.

Miller Brewery Tour




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Lakefront Brewery


Lakefront Brewery is actually on Milwaukee’s riverfront, and dating back to 1987 they’ve been one of the most popular breweries in Milwaukee. Their tour has been rated among the best in America! Their Beer Hall also whips up a terrific Friday Fish Fry; live entertainment is not uncommon, and it’s a popular place for weddings and other events.

milwaukee_lakefrontbrewery01

Beers brewed by Lakefront include their Riverwest Stein Amber Lager, named for the neighborhood just to the north of the brewery; Fixed Gear, an American IPA; the Bridge Burner Imperial Amber Ale, after 19th century bridge-burning incidents along the Milwaukee River; the Extended Play IPA; a stout brewed with coffee called Fuel Cafe, named for a former popular coffee shop in town; the Eastside Dark; Kilsch Pilsner, named for its founder; and New Grist, a pioneering gluten-free pilsner-style beer brewed with sorghum that was the first gluten-free beer granted label approval by the U.S. government. There are many others that are seasonals or limited-edition specials, too.

The brewery is located in a 1908 former coal-fired power plant that powered the city’s interurban lines of the day. You’ll find it along Commerce Street, where the presence of the Holton Street Bridge above and Larry, Moe, and Curly out front make it unmistakeable. Tours are available on the hour and you can buy tickets there or online in advance. You’ll not only find brewing equipment and learn about their beers, you’ll probably spot the old Bernie’s Chalet from Milwaukee County Stadium and witness a brief show at the end related to “Laverne & Shirley.” Yes, take this tour.

Address:
1872 N. Commerce Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 372-8800
Website