conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


Beer gardens


June 2013


Thereís no better place to be than Milwaukee in summer, when beer, food, music and fun are served up under the sun and stars at the cityís signature beer gardens. Itís a German tradition with a few new twists, so raise a mug and Prosit!

>>Where to Go

Last summerís debut of the Estabrook Beer Garden in Estabrook Park was an epic hit. Inspired by Munichís public beer gardens, it features brews imported from the Munich Hofbrauhaus. Bring your own stein, or rent one for a $5 deposit. Sit at a communal table, munch on a giant baked pretzel and enjoy performances by music legend Sigmund Snopek. The beer garden opens daily at noon and last call is at 9 p.m. Bring cash, as credit cards are not accepted. 4600 Estabrook Drive,

For a nautically themed beer garden experience, drop anchor at Port of Call Bistro & Beer Garden overlooking the Milwaukee River. If you just donít feel like itís a beer garden without some German fare, order the Usinger sausage sampler or beer-battered cheese curds. Create your own floating beer garden by renting a pontoon through nearby Edelweiss Cruises, just up the Riverwalk. 106 W. Wells St., (414) 273-7678,

Got a Brewers game or Summerfest on your warm-weather agenda? Drop by the beer garden at the Milwaukee Brat House. Enjoy a brew before the game or the festival, and theyíll shuttle you to the park. In a neighborhood brimming with Gemutlichkeit, soak up the hospitality in the garden out back, where a big-screen TV makes you feel at home. With 14 beers on draught, and 30 varieties of bottled beer, tourists still make the place one of the top sellers of Schlitz in the state. 1013 Old World Third St., (414) 273-8709

When youíre looking for a cozy beer garden in the heart of Milwaukee, head over to Von Trier, an East Side landmark for more than 30 years. Ivy-covered brick walls and wrought-iron grille work frame a secluded oasis and provide a romantic, Old World backdrop for quiet conversation. A diverse crowd and a selection of nearly 100 beers keep it all intriguing. 2235 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 272-1775,

Participate in an authentic Oktoberfest celebration in Glendale at Old Heidelberg Park, site of the former Bavarian Inn. The Friends of the Bavarian Soccer Club organization now owns the 15-acre complex, and hosts whatís billed as the "most authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest in the Midwest" for the four weekends following Labor Day. Immerse yourself in Bavarian culture, with traditional German brass bands, yodeling and folk dancing. The menu features spanferkel, pit-roasted chicken, fancy tortes and strudel. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki blesses the event and taps the ceremonial first keg on Sept. 15. 700 W. Lexington Blvd., Glendale,


This story ran in the June 2013 issue of: