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Lakefront Brewery

1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

When a brewery hosts one of America’s top-rated brew tours, you know you’re in for an experience. But don’t let the jokes and eccentrics fool you: Lakefront is serious about brewing. Sit down in their massive German-style beer hall (perhaps with a pint and a soft pretzel), and you’ll see what all the Milwaukee fuss is about.

Lakefront sits right on the Milwaukee River, housed in a massive old power plant that emulates the epic beer halls in Germany. You can sip on classic lagers and ales, munch on their Friday fish fry, and bop to polka music. But their famous brewery tour is the real highlight. It begins with beer tasting and you’ll get four 8-ounce pours throughout your backstage exploration. Tour tickets do sell out, so book yours in advance—tickets are sold online and are non-refundable.

  • The tour lasts 45 minutes and includes drinks and a souvenir glass.

  • Lakefront is the nation’s first certified organic brewery, producing both the country’s oldest certified organic beer (Organic E.S.B.) and the first government-certified, gluten-free beer (New Grist).

  • The riverfront patio and beer garden are open during warmer weather.

Most visitors will drive to Lakefront Brewery; parking is available onsite. That being said, the brewery’s just off the Holton Street Bridge, which offers pedestrian access to the Beerline Trail, the Oak Leaf Trail, and Riverwalk Way, which will take you along parts of Brewer’s Hill, the Riverwalk District, and the Lower East Side. If you can, walk and enjoy your pint guilt-free.

Though Lakefront Brewery is typically open daily, it often closes around 9pm. If you want to have the most epic experience, book a Friday afternoon tour, then sit down in the massive beer hall to a traditional German fish fry (or soft pretzel), a frothy lager, and enjoy the live music. The cheese curds are worth an order, too.

Beyond just offering you a drink from the first moment, all tour guides are encouraged to joke as much as possible—and to go off-script. You might hear your guide say that Lakefront sells “as much beer in one year as Miller spills in one day,” or someone in your group will be prompted to put a glove on a beer in the bottling line. That’s a reference to Laverne & Shirley, TV gals who worked at a fictional Milwaukee brewery.


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