Beer (and food) Guide to Milwaukee
the Milwaukee River as it wends through the city, and sure enough,
where there's water, there's a brewery. From the Milwaukee Ale House
in the Third Ward, to Rock Bottom Brewery, the venerable Water Street
Brewery, Lakefront Brewery on Commerce St., and Sprecher Brewery farther
north in suburban Glendale, the riverfront is a magnet for micros.
(Another brewpub, Onopa, is a mere 1.5 miles from the river...)
downtown eating and drinking venues worth visiting include Eagan's,
for a lobster BLT sandwich and a pint; Coquette Café, for a
Wisconsin-brewed biere de garde named Rendezvous to go along with
a warming dish of cassoulet; yummy (but pricy) steaks at Mo's on Plankinton
Ave, all near the many casual pubs and sports bars lining Water Street.
But drive just a few miles from downtown's big bar district to find
neighborhood beer spots that reflect more of the city's ethnic character.
the new Miller Park and the Pettit Ice Arena, the Midwest's training
center for Olympic speed skating, is the West Allis landmark, Benno's,
a multi-tap with 30 draft lines. In spring, look for many bocks and
maibocks on tap: Fox River, Sprecher, Capitol, New Glarus, and more.
Nearby, Crawdaddy's shines as one of the finest Louisiana-Cajun restaurants,
and is packed with a lunch crowd by 11:30 am, and dinner crowd by
6:00 p.m. most evenings. The draft beer selection features mainstream
classics such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Samuel Adams, but it's
worth the stop for delectable etouffee.
Brady Street strip is the closest to a real "restaurant row"
that Milwaukee has to offer - from Dancing Ganesha (Indian), to Cempazuchi
(regional Mexican), great Greek gyros at the Apollo Cafe, to Spanish
tapas at the Hi Hat Lounge, Brady St. is the place to find spicy ethnic
food. And Nomad World Pub is the place to drink--its contract brew
with Lakefront, a ruddy lager, augments the fine lineup of domestic
and imports on draft. Feel like a cigar instead? Head to the Up &Under
Pub, which also offers live music (mostly blues/jazz). Just a few
blocks north of Brady is Wolski's, a great place for pool and late-night
pints, and The Tasting Room, offering an idiosyncratic selection of
craft brews and alternative/rock music.
to North Avenue for quiet Von Trier's, an atmospheric German bierhall,
for Sprecher and German imports - or dive down into the Landmark Lanes,
a bowling alley-taproom for those who savor the drinking ambiance
of a 1970s era basement rec room. Hooligan's is one of the city's
craft beer bastions with 32 taps, including a full line-up of Lakefront
brews and Gray's Oatmeal Stout on draft, plus good lunches from one
of the smallest bar kitchens you'll ever see in operation.
Brewing Co., just a bit west and north of Hooligans, features housemade
ales and a roster of guest taps that can include Medocino Brewing's
Red Seal Ale or Great Dane's stout. Nestle into its selection of cozy
couches and armchairs, all circa 1960s relics. Breweriana collectors
will enjoy the array of American Can Co. samples culled from the family
collection of co-owner Marc "Luther" Paul.
if you're staying at any of the hotels close to the Mitchell Airport,
don't miss the Landmark 1850 Inn or Roman's Pub, two multi-taps that
help make the south side of Milwaukee one of the best neighborhoods
in which to live-and drink.
7413 W. Greenfield Ave., (414) 453-9094
Coquette Café, 316 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 291-2655
Crawdaddy's, 6414 W. Greenfield Ave., (414) 778-2228
Dancing Ganesha, 1692 N. Van Buren at Brady St., (414) 220-0202
Eagan's, 1030 N. Water St., (414)271-6900
Hi Hat Lounge, 1701 N. Arlington Place at Brady St., (414) 225-9330
Hooligan's, 2017 E. North Ave., (414) 273-5230
Landmark Lanes, 2220 N. Farwell Ave. (414) 278-8770
Landmark 1850 Inn, 5905 S. Howell Ave. (414) 769-1850
Mo's: A Place for Steaks, 720 N. Plankinton, (414) 272-0720
Nomad World Pub, 1401 E. Brady St., (414) 224-8111
Onopa Brewing Co., 735 E. Center St., (414) 264-3630
Roman's Pub, 3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 481-3396
Tasting Room, 1100 E. Kane Place, (414) 277-9118
Up & Under Pub, 1216 E. Brady St., (414) 276-2677
Von Trier's, 2235 N. Farwell, (414) 272-1775
Wolski's, 1836 N. Pulaski, (414) 276-8130
more Milwaukee restaurant reviews, visit www.onmilwaukee.com,
www.jsonline.com. Lucy Saunders
lives to eat, and thinks of beer as food. She is a freelance food
and beer writer based in Shorewood, WI.