The Milwaukee beer scene is one a kind. Wisconsin is one of those places that lives in the imaginations of Americans largely in the form of caricature. Full of cheese curd eating, beer loving, Harley riders, the state rarely gets the respect it deserves.
In reality, Wisconsin is all of those things and so much more. I grew up 90 minutes south of Milwaukee but it might as well have been a totally different country. Chicago is Midwestern in the way that non-alcoholic beer is beer, in name only.
Wisconsin, on the other hand, is pure Midwest. From Friday night fish frys to the homey environs of supper clubs and a relatively laid back sense of community and good spiritedness, Wisconsin is the heart of the Midwest for me.
So today I’m excited that in the latest episode of Beer Travelers we’re making our way to one of the great overlooked gems in the American craft beer scene: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We can’t wait to explore the Milwaukee beer scene with you.
To help lead us through this town’s glorious and storied beer scene we have two fantastic local guides. Chris Drosner is a long-time beer writer and editor covering Wisconsin and Milwaukee specifically. He’s written the Beer Baron column for the Wisconsin State Journal, the daily newspaper in the capital city of Madison. And it’s through this column that I first got to know Chris and his take on the Madtown and greater Wisconsin beer scenes. More recently, Chris moved to Milwaukee, where he is now the executive editor of Milwaukee Magazine.
Joining Chris to help us on our tour of Brew City this week is Bobby Tanzillo, the senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com, where he writes about beer, whiskey, history, and architecture. He’s the author of a half dozen history books, including several about beer and its history in Milwaukee. And he’s a great resource for all the beer happenings in the city.
While Chris and Bobby compete for scoops on the latest beer news in Milwaukee, it’s clear they have a deep respect for one another and they are the perfect pair to help us navigate this jewel on Lake Michigan.