Miller Time!

Trip Start Feb 09, 2010
Trip End Mar 17, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Tuesday, February 16, 2010

(written by Justin)
Determined to get more out of our days since the sun drops at 5pm here, today we got up early (for us) and arrived at Miller Valley right around 10:30am.  Apparently being the only beer drinkers dedicated enough to arrive for the 11am tour on a Tuesday morning, we had our very own personal tour of the entire brewery complex.  Similar to Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, it was like its own little brewery town with dozens of buildings scattered all over with various singular purposes.  Perhaps jaded by the fact that we were the only people on the tour, I enjoyed this tour more than any other we have been on; I was able to get all the questions I ever had off of my chest and ended with great conversation at the beer inn following the tour. 

Lots of talks with locals have pointed to Milwaukee being an "okay" place to live, with the upside being the supposed local charm/general niceness and the obvious downside being the climate.  So far we have had no real demonstration of any especially polite or helpful people that haven't been paid to be, but maybe by the time we leave the state we'll see it. 

The main reason we put Wisconsin on our list is because it is home to Kohler, one of Jessica's ideal design companies.  A couple hours drive from Milwaukee, Kohler Wisconsin (yes it has its own town) is just south of Sheboygan which is a fairly large suburban town.  We made it to Kohler and discovered that they have a large three story design center/museum ran by the company and they even offer a three hour tour every morning at 8:30am.  We stayed until close and signed up for the big factory tour tomorrow...bright and early! 

(written by Jessica)

Justin's itching to go snowmobiling. He looked into it a little bit last night, but it looks like we'll have to head to northern Wisconsin before we can find any place that rents snowmobiles. That will be exciting!

Off to the Miller brewery! We get there at 11am and are the only people there so far for a tour. We suspect we might get a personal tour, and we're right. This already makes the tour more enjoyable than the Budweiser tour we had. The main things I take away from these two tours (besides the different histories): Miller uses corn and Budweiser uses rice. Hmm.. I thought the four main ingredients of beer are malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. Some breweries might add spices or fruit, but you never hear of them boasting about adding corn or rice to enhance the flavor.

After lunch we head to Kohler to check out the well-known manufacturer of attractive sinks and faucets. When we get there, we drive around Kohler, which is actually a town based around and named for the company. We happen to drive by a building called the "Design Center" and I excitedly think it might be where the industrial designers and engineers work. It turns out the center is a 3-story building with 2 levels of product displays and showrooms, and a museum level. Well, it's still cool. We head downstairs to the museum and learn all about the history of John Michael Kohler from Austria and the company he founded. It's closing time as we finish up looking through the museum, so we decide to return tomorrow to look at the other levels. As we're heading out the door past the front desk, we find out about a factory tour we can take for free. We plan to be there at 8:15 the next morning.
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David Dunbar Buick on

Did you know that the Flxible Clipper coach in the Miller museum is powered by a straight-8 Buick engine?

Erin on

Jessca you should send them your resume!

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