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Friday, Nov. 16, 2012

A New Milwaukee Tradition: Lakefront Brewery

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Bay View, Riverwest, the East Side—these Milwaukee neighborhoods also have another thing in common besides geographical location—they all have Lakefront Brewery beers named after them. In addition to Bay View Brown, Riverwest Stein and East Side Dark are the IPA, Pumpkin, Oktoberfest, Fixed Gear and many more delicious drinks from this hometown brewery.

Started in 1987 by brothers Jim and Russ Klisch—Lakefront Brewery began as an interest in brewing beer to a now full scale production line. The brothers opened their first location in the Riverwest neighborhood at 818 E. Chambers Avenue in Milwaukee. The first barrel of beer was served to the Gorden Park Pub.

A little over 10 years later, production grew to 3000 barrels a year and the brothers needed to find a bigger location. The brewery moved to its current location at 1730 Commerce Street. The original building was constructed in 1908 for the Milwaukee Electric and Light Company and was preserved by the brothers Klisch with their new brewery. As once would expect, a larger building increased the production of the brothers unique and tasty beers.

The Lakefront Brewery building is also known for its visitor tours. As many Milwaukeeans know, these tours are fun and as unique as the beers themselves! The staff tour guides are informative and entertaining and offer many samples of beer along the way. For the $7 admission, visitors receive a souvenir Lakefront Brewery pint glass and four 6 ounce samples during and after the tour. The Palm Garden allows for visitors to taste the brews while they are there with many different local varieties of the products available.

In the brewery, visitors may see Bernie Brewer’s Chalet. The wooden Chalet was part of the Milwaukee Brewers old County Stadium were the famous mascot would entertain the crowd during games. The brothers bought it when the baseball team built a new stadium and incorporated the home into their building.

Just a short distance from downtown, Lakefront Brewery—while a relatively new business—has already placed itself on the short list of things to do in Milwaukee. A trip to this brewery is sure to delight visitors with good beer, great jokes and a sense of Milwaukee tradition.
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