Breaking Our Rules
When we travel we always look for the first Brewery that is open. Whether it is one we had planned to go to or one that we swing by to kill an hour. We find it fortunate when we discover a location that opens at 10 a.m. as most open up around 11 to 12. This trip we were not so lucky. Despite this, we hoofed it off to a local liquor store and stoked up for the trip home. 110 lbs of beer later and we were beginning to question our sanity and the integrity of our luggage.
The clock struck 11 a.m. and we found ourselves at Sprecher Brewery just north of downtown Milwaukee, WI on Friday. We had plans to meet up with the amazing people of Travel Wisconsin and Visit Milwaukee for lunch so the goal here was to not get too “imbibed”. Well… if you preface the start of our day with that, you know the exact opposite happened.
We started with something simple. This brewery does have an indoor German themed beer hall, so why not have a Pilsner and an Oktoberfest. They went down way too easy and we felt like we had accomplished our goal. Nearing the end of the pints while conversing with the staff (we were the only ones at the brewery), they learned of our purpose here and brought out two bottles of beer that would thwart our original plans.
The Czar Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels and the Commando Scotch Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Glassy eyed we accepted, how can you turn down such generosity? We sipped slowly as conversation evolved and carried not realizing we soon drank both bottles within 20 minutes. They just went down way too smooth for the 10% ABV each were. Not wanting to be late for our lunch date we said our goodbyes and headed to Lakefront Brewery raving about our experience at Sprecher the entire way.
Lunch at Lakefront Brewery in the aptly named “Brewer’s Hill” neighborhood is a must stop for anyone visiting the City. It is the second oldest craft brewery in the city next to Water Street Brewery. Opened in 1987 their location features a massive indoor beer garden. Upon entering we were in awe of the facility and greeted by Kathryn Whitlock (of Travel Wisonsin) and Claire Koenig (of Visit Milwaukee). They were some of the nicest people we have met in our travels.
We do have one rule when traveling to breweries. One beer only per location. We already broke that rule and the rule of nothing over 10% abv this morning. So what was the harm in breaking them again? Two incredibly solid “Eye”PAs and two Cask poured IPAs were indulged upon and it was only an hour after we had gotten there. It is quite amazing how quickly beer disappears when we are having great conversation about the history of the city from two incredibly knowledgeable and passionate people.
We were already 4 beers into our day and it was barely the afternoon. We realized quickly we needed to slow down, but after looking at our itinerary we understood that today was a day for breaking rules. We still had 4 more breweries to visit that day.