On my recent trip to Milwaukee for the Women in Travel Summit, Visit Milwaukee hosted me on the Milwaukee Food & City Tours Craft Breweries & Cocktails Bus tour. Milwaukee is known as the home of brewing giants like Miller, but this tour focuses on small craft breweries and distilleries before they become famous. The four-hour tour includes transportation and a flight of beers, pint, or cocktail at each stop, as well as the opportunity to meet with the brewers and distillers to learn the stories behind their products.
First stop: Dock18 Cocktail Lab
Located in the historic Lincoln Warehouse in the Bay View neighborhood, Dock18 Cocktail Lab is a collaboration between Twisted Path Distillery and Bittercube. The small, dark cocktail lounge has a mad scientist vibe, and each tour group is treated to a different custom cocktail--in our case, a tropical mix of matcha-infused gin, dark rum, Mahalo blend bitters, hibiscus, and pineapple, lemon, and lime juices. Our stop also featured a spirits tasting (vodka, light rum, dark rum, and gin) behind the scenes at Twisted Path Distillery and a sampling of bitters at Bittercube.
Second stop: Enlightened Brewing Company
Enlightened Brewing Company is also housed in the Lincoln Warehouse, and features a cheery bright-green taproom with lots of natural light. Since the brewery's founder is a former philosopher, many of the beers are named for philosophical concepts, like A Priori Pale Ale and Te Ipsum American Pale Ale. I enjoyed the Ardennite, a smooth Belgian ale.
Third stop: Good City Brewing
At Good City Brewing, I opted for a pint of En Fleur, a light and citrusy seasonal session Saison. The polished taproom in the Eastside neighborhood feels more like a restaurant, with an extensive food menu intentionally designed to pair with the beers.
Fourth stop: Third Space Brewing
Named after the social realm beyond work and home, the industrial-chic tap room at Third Space Brewing makes for a fun hangout. I sampled two beers: the Madame Grisette, a refreshing, slightly citrusy Belgian Farmhouse Ale; and my favorite beer of the tour, the Java Blanca Coffee Cream Ale--it has an amazingly rich coffee flavor.
Fifth stop: Urban Harvest Brewing Company
Housed in a former performance theater in the Walker's Point neighborhood, Urban Harvest Brewing Company is the city's smallest brewery (they have a two-barrel system!). My beer flight included the brewery's signature Black Puppy Pale Ale, Old Towne Amber, Cork Screw IPA (a "gateway IPA"), and my favorite, the Ach Ya Der Hey-Fe Weizen, a traditional German beer with a banana note at the start and a spicy finish.
Further reading: Milwaukee Pizza Bus Tour with Milwaukee Food & City Tours
If you enjoyed this post, pin it!