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Jul 19, 2011 05:05 PM

Which Brewery to go to for one night in Milwaukee?

I'm going to the Bon Iver concert on Friday night in Milwaukee and I've seen recommendations on the board for several breweries near downtown. I love a good brewery-pub (since I'm from Chicago, I love both Piece and Revolution) since there's almost nothing better to me than a delicious meal washed down with beer. Can anyone tell me the difference between these places I've read about?
The popular contenders seem to be :

Water Street Brewery
Lakefront Brewery
Rockbottom Resturant and Brewery (this I'm not so much excited about since there's already one in Chicago)
Milwaukee Ale House

I'll also be staying at the aLoft near Old World St & Juneau, so proximity is marginally important. Thanks ahead of time!

Water Street Brewery
1101 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Milwaukee Ale House
233 N Water St Stop 1, Milwaukee, WI 53202

The Old World Cafe'
1331 N Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

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  1. Water Street Brewery: Food is good (not great), but I am not real excited about their beers. Atmosphere is probably the least "fun" out of the list. Not my first choice to send you to.
    Lakefront Brewery: Very fun place, but not a brew pub. They give brewery tours and then on Friday nights you can do their fish fry. It's not the best fish fry in the city, but it is good and it is a neat Milwaukee experience.
    Rock Bottom: Yes, a chain...but they do have a really great outdoor patio on the river. Have always had good luck with their food. They do a nice job with the beer, but it's not particularly unique compared to other RBs.
    Milwaukee Ale House: They have made changes in their kitchen and I haven't eaten there since, but I think this is a solid choice for a great Milwaukee atmosphere. Also on the river. It's in a cool, old saddlery building. You can also take a Friday night brewery tour at their brewery (3/4 mi. down the road). We recently did this and it was great, but I'm not sure if you are looking for a tour.

    An added suggestion:
    Hinterland also offers their own beer. The food is definitely more foodie than brewpub--but they always have good small plate offerings. You could definitely plan to visit both Hinterland and Ale House as they are basically across the street from each other. Ale House has half price pints before 7, so I'd start there.

    Water Street Brewery
    1101 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

    Milwaukee Ale House
    233 N Water St Stop 1, Milwaukee, WI 53202

    Ale House
    1600 Avenue A, Springfield, MI 49037

    1 Reply
    1. re: bte576

      I second the suggestion of The Hinterland on Erie st.
      The Hinterland also runs specials and their beer is outstanding.

    2. Depending on when you get into town (and how much drinking you want to do!), you could probably do the tour at Lakefront and then hit one of the other places to eat. If you only have time for one place though, my vote goes to Milwaukee Ale House. They have a lovely outdoor patio on the river and I've always found their food to be some of the best compared to the other MKE brew pubs. Also, their house-made Pullchain Pail Ale is really really tasty.

      Have fun at the concert! The percussionist from Bon Iver is a high school acquaintance of mine and I'm super disappointed I'm not able to make to their show this time around to see them play.