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Beer, Food, History at Brewhouse Inn and Jackson's Pub

Jun. 6, 2017
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The former site of the Pabst Brewery is in the news again as plans are unveiled for new condos and apartments. Already anchoring development in that city within a city—a district of turreted Teutonic castles and imposing crenellated strongholds—is the Brewhouse Inn and Suites along with its restaurant and bar, Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, 1203 N. 10th St.

The Brewhouse Inn boasts impressive, one-of-a-kind suites carved out of the fortress-like brewery. Dominating the lobby and public spaces are giant copper brewing kettles where workmen once labored with hops and grains alongside beautiful countertops made from crushed beer bottles and tables fashioned from repurposed plank floorboards. Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, formerly a warehouse where wheat and barely were stored, provides room service for guests and catering for events at the Brewhouse.

Although tucked away inside the Pabst district, Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub attracts a lively crowd for lunch, dinner and drinks. Housed under 20-foot ceilings and with a patio attached, its inventive bar menu includes a variety of soups and attractively served salads, appetizers, sandwiches and wraps. The portions can be described as “old Milwaukee” and are geared toward a city with a big appetite. Appetizers include a giant hot pretzel served warm with horseradish and hot cheese dipping sauces and dusted with salt. It’s large enough to feed a family.

Not surprisingly, given the building’s past, the Pub sells Pabst Blue Ribbon in cans, bottles and on tap. But they also serve Leinenkugel, Miller, Lakefront and other tap beers plus an enviable list of 60 bottled craft beers. Although it seems heretical to refuse a beer in such a setting, wine and cocktails are also served.

While the Brewhouse Inn and Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub are full of history, they aren’t museums. The old brewery buildings have been put to new uses in a rapidly developing destination zone at the edge of Downtown. 

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