A Day in Milwaukee

Trip Start Sep 23, 2012
Trip End Sep 30, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Thursday, September 27, 2012

We got up about 8:00 and went to breakfast in the lobby.  It was quite a spread with cereal, yogurt, fruit, juices, omelets, bagel toppers, bacon, hot oatmeal, muffins and waffles.  Derek and I got bagel toppers which were half a bagel with eggs, cheese, and bits of bacon on top.  Larry got an omelet.  After breakfast Derek had a shower etc.  At 9:45 we went out to discover Milwaukee.  First we walked all the way to the Lake on Wisconsin Ave.  At the end was a big orange scupture that lead to a  plaza that led to a bridge over the road along the lake.  At the end of the bridge was the Milwaukee Art Museum which is shaped like a big ship heading out into Lake Michigan.  We walked around the Art Museum and at 10:00 the fountains came on and wings started moving out from the building,  It took about 5 minutes for the wings to be completely opened and then they went back in place.  It was amazing.  We walked along the lake for a while but it was windy and cold so we decided to head for the River Walk where we could at least escape the wind. 

So we walked Mason Ave west until we reached the River Walk.  We picked up a brochure on all the River Sculptures along the walk.  We decided to head south first and walked all the way down to St. Paul Avenue.  We didn't continue on down to the Historic 3rd Ward.  We headed back north, finding as many of the scuptures as we could along the way.  We had to change sides many times due to construction projects all along the way.  Everywhere we turned there were sidewalks, bridges and streets closed due to construction.  I guess that means Milwaukee has some money to do those things  We walked by the Rock Bottom Brewery but didn't stop as it is a nationwide chain and not a local brewery. 

We ended up at the Water Street Brewery for lunch. Inside it was mostly a restaurant but very well decorated with memorabilia for a brewery:  50,000 cans, 6,000 arranged in wood frame displays, 11,100 beer tap knobs and handles, 2,300 coasters, 825 bottle and can openers, 10 original Wisconsin Brewery lithographs, 200 server trays, 25 exterior corner signs, and lots of other stuff.  There were copper tanks in the entrance way.  Larry got their Weiss beer, Derek got their Octoberfest and I got Raspberry Weiss.  They were all three good.  We all got the same lunch:  Usinger bratwurst (more later) and house-made chips - potato, sweet potato and yam.  It was all very good.

When we life there we headed further north to the Lakeshore Brewery.  We got there at 1:10 just after the first tour of the day took off.  So we paid $7 each for our tour and received an 8 oz plastic glass with four tokens in it.  Each token was for a free beer.  The glass was to be turned in at the end of the tour for a free pint glass.  We also got coupons for free beers at several local pubs,  There were five beers on tap: Wheat Monkey Ale, Fixed Gear American Red Ale, Wisconsinite Summer Weiss, Snake Chaser Irish Style Stout and Pumpkin Lager.  Derek and Larry got to taste them all as I gave them each 1 of my tokens.  I used my other two tokens to get a bottle of Golden Maple Root Beer - a golden colored root beer with a maple flavor.  Yum!

Our tour guide was Evan Koepnick, I remember his last name because he wanted us to give him feed back via email.  Of all the tours this was the most entertaining.  Two minutes before the start of the tour he announced a warning to fill your glasses and use the bathroom and hug your friend.  When the tour started he took us in a room where we could see all the brewing apparatus through some windows and proceeded to tell us the history of Lakeshore Brewing and the History of Beer while toasting us in about every language.  He was drinking as he gave the tour.  He was funny and informative and got everyone participating.  He gave out more tokens for free beer to people who answered questions or helped him demonstrate things.  There were a lot of sexual overtones to his presentation and a lot of misdirection that ended up being hilarious.  When he finished the histories he took us back into the tasting room for more beer. Then we went down onto the brewiing floor where he explained all the equipment and processes in a way that made it the most informative and thorough tour we have taken while still being funny. He couldn't take us into the bottling/packaging section because they were in production. We got to look in and then he proceeded to tell us how they fill the kegs - again hilarious with lots of participation. At the end of the tour Larry and Derek still had two tokens left. When they finished those we turned our glasses in for our free pint glasses. Derek also bought a t-shirt and a tin sign.

When we left the brewery we walked back along 3rd Street.  We came to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart.  I found a "cheese head" for the son of a friend who is a Packer's Fan.  Karen, you can tell Carol it is for her son.  Next we stopped at Usinger's Deli where they had a lot of different meats.  We got some Beer Sausage to take home.  At this point we were right across the street from where we ate last night and right beside it was The Milwaukee Brat House, one of the places we could get free beers.  As it happened, they had three beers on tap that hadn't been on tap at the brewery. We ordered all three even though I wasn't drinking any of them. Larry and Derek stayed there to drink their sample size beers and I walked the 4 or 5 blocks back to the hotel. I read until they returned. 

We all rested for a little bit and then tried to decide where to eat for supper. Since we had already taken over 24,000 steps today according to my pedometer, we opted for the closest place after checking it out on Trip Advisor: Mo's Irish Pub just a half a block away. It was a good choice. Larry and Derek had Spotted Cow, New Glarus beer. I stuck with water. Derek had Mo's Burger with corned beef, swiss with Killarney Sauce and fries. Larry had a Mo's Reuben Boxtie which is a reuben wrapped in a potato pancake instead of on rye bread, and covered with a 4 cheese sauce. I opted for the grilled three cheese BLT and roasted tomato soup. It was all excellent. We came back to the room, checked email, blogged and went to bed.
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