What do you do when you have a day to spend in Milwaukee? Google Travel Guide may tell you to go to museums and discovery centers, but what do the Lyons do? Seek out brewery tours, find cheese curds and go to a baseball game! We’re in Wisconsin, so let’s go, Brewers!
Miller Brewing Co. has a great tour and we would highly recommend it. Not because they hand you a beer first thing (but that is a good reason), and not because they hand your three more beers during the 80 min tour (all good reasons), but because they actually take you through the facility and you walk all over the place, from their original storage caves from the 1800’s, to the high-speed production line of today. Miller merged with Coors a couple of years ago (much to Lisa’s dismay) but they also have many other labels that they brew in this and other facilities, including Blue Moon, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Fosters, and others we’ll quiz you about after we get back.
After the tour, we definitely checked out the merch in the gift shop, where we got new coasters and glasses for Jim’s man cave collection and Lisa got a new shirt with the Miller Girl in the Moon logo on it. She was so proud of it and put it on right away. It would be great for the game. Except everywhere we went, people asked, “Did you take the brewery tour?” “How was the brewery tour?” “Did you like the brewery tour?” So much for fitting in and not looking like a tourist!
We next had a late lunch (mac and cheese, of course) to help burn off the brews from the tour, and then we explored some of historic downtown Milwaukee. We have to say, this town is CLEAN and the people are super friendly. Everywhere we went, someone wants to tell us something (probably because of Lisa’s shirt screaming to the world that we’re tourists and don’t know anything about Wisconsin). They have a riverwalk, where we found the Bronze Fonz, as well as a beautiful lakeshore park where Jim almost crashed a wedding on the pier. It really is a beautiful town, even before spring has sprung.
Then it was off to Miller Park where the Brewers were playing the Chicago Cubs in a big rivalry game. As we quickly learned (from everyone around us — they’re so friendly here!), the Brewers are considered a small town team and Chicago is a big city team. “It’s a matter of super mathematics,” said the local guy next to Jim. Chicagoans spill into Milwaukee from 90 miles away to get seat at a Cubs game that they can’t get in Chicago. Half the stadium were Cubbies fans. And they are loud, vocal, and sometimes pretty rude. But we’ll say the Brewers fans are danged loyal. And they all wear Brewers gear. Lots of it. The game was high scoring (13-10 Brewers) and there were so many homeruns (5-tied the franchise record!) in the big, covered park. It was a lot of fun.
If you ever get to Miller Park, you’ve gotta go see “The Selig Experience,” a cool high-tech show under the bleachers that tells the story of the Brewers and their owner, Bud Selig. It even has a hologram appearance by Bud himself. It is very cool. If you weren’t a Brewers fan before you saw the 15-minute show, you’ll definitely be one afterwards.
Finally, we promised cheese curds and here they are! If you haven’t had these fried nuggets of goodness, you simply must! You should’ve seen the looks on peoples faces when we said we’ve never heard of them. Cheese curds don’t fit into any healthy diet anywhere, but go to Wisconsin to try them. Some people season them with powdered seasonings, like ranch or sriracha, but the lady at the stand told us to try them plain. Yum!
Tomorrow we head west again and leave our little big city behind, on the shores of Lake Michigan, with all its cheese and some of its beer. We have no idea where we’ll be tomorrow night, but we’ll remember having a great time in Milwaukee.