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Beverage Tours

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Apr. 9, 2010
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Great Lakes Distillery

616 W. Virginia St.

(414) 431-8683


When Great Lakes Distillery began producing its award-winning Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka in 2006, it was the first Wisconsin distillery to open its doors since Prohibition. Visitors who take the free 45-minute tour of the company’s Menomonee River Valley distillery learn how Great Lakes produces citrus and honey-flavored vodka, gin, absinthe, pumpkin seasonal spirit and grappa, a brandy made from the solid remains of the winemaking process. The welcoming craft distillery has a comfortable tasting room in which to sample the goods, as well as a gift shop with spirits and souvenirs. (Sarah Biondich)

Lakefront Brewery

1872 N. Commerce St.

(414) 372-8800


Brothers Russ and Jim Klisch started brewing beer as a hobby, but Lakefront Brewery Inc. has grown into a full-fledged brewery. Located in the building that housed the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Co., Lakefront Brewery crafts a wide selection of local brews. The brewery tours offer a chance to sample classic and new beers—not to mention a lesson in brewing. The Lakefront Palm Garden restaurant also offers one of the city’s best Friday fish fries. (Emilee Weier)

Miller Brewery Tour

4251 W. State St.

(414) 931-BEER


About as far from a microbrewery as you can get, the Miller Brewery Tour exhibits beer making and distribution at the global level. Requisite for first-time visitors, the Miller Brewery Tour begins with a multimedia show at the Visitor Center on State Street, followed by a walking tour of the mammoth production facilities. It’s a truly fascinating story that follows the evolution of Frederick Miller’s small Plank Road Brewery into the behemoth of today. The tour concludes in a Bavarian-style rathskeller where samples of the product are provided to those over 21 years of age. (Brian Muilenburg)

Sprecher Brewery

701 W. Glendale Ave.

(414) 964-2739


Sprecher offers the city’s most family-friendly brewery tour, since beer samples wait until after the tour and the brewery provides kids (as well as adults) unlimited samples of its eight gourmet sodas. They even host occasional soda-only tours. Regular tours route through the brewery’s aging cellar, bottling line and warehouse, and include four beer samples and a souvenir tasting glass afterward—a bargain at just $4 per person, and even less for seniors, children and veterans. (Evan Rytlewski)


Photo: Miller Brewery | by Betsy Hern


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