*This is the one-hundred and twenty-seventh post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*

Lakefront Brewery
1872 N Commerce St
Milwaukee, WI 53212
(414) 372-8800
Visit date: Too many times to count. Let’s say 10/01/2017.

Quick Hits:
1) How many different beers?
17 of their own on tap, more in bottles.

2) How long operational?
1987 in Riverwest, current location since around 2000.

3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Sibling rivalry.

4) Distribution?
A lot. Available all over the country. Well over 33,000 bbls/year.

5) What sets you apart?
The iconic brewery tour.

6) How did you get your name?
Milwaukee is on the lakefront (though the brewery never has been).

Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. All photos by Joe Powell and friends for The Squeaky Curd.

Lakefront Brewery didn’t invent the brewery tour: they perfected it. The brewery itself, started by brothers Russ and Jim Klisch in a small converted Riverwest-bakery, is a Milwaukee institution. In fact, only Miller, Sprecher, and Pabst have been around longer in this town.

The current location, an old coal-fired power plant, is a gorgeous, cavernous beer hall constantly filled to the brim with people, polka, and pours. We’ve been on their $10 tour so many times that this post is literally filled with photos from 7 different trips. There’s a reason we, and what seems like the rest of Milwaukee, keep coming back.

Riverwest Stein Amber Lager
Legendary in these here parts, this flagship Amber is a mainstay in most Milwaukeean’s fridges for good reason: smooth, malty, heavy on taste but light in body.

While you’re waiting for the tour to begin, feel free to grab a beer using one of your 4 tokens or indulge in their classic beer-battered fish fry. Once your time is called, make sure you have a full pour before heading through the door.

Eastside Dark Lager
A gateway-dark beer if I’ve ever had one. Nearly perfect in its balance of chocolaty, nutty character and easy drink-ability.

Russ Klisch, Lakefront Brewery owner, raising a toast to kick off his own tour.

The back-bar area where you congregate is a good spot to meet some new friends before you head downstairs for history and humor.

Fixed Gear American Red IPA
A shock to my system when Lakefront quietly converted their malty Red Ale into a spicier Red IPA, but one of the better beers you hop-heads are going to encounter.

As you sip and look around, tour guides regale you with a tried-and-true script full of stories, zingers, and the occasional refill.

El Wisco Mexican Lager
Pop a lime slice down the bottle neck and get ready for a fiesta in your mouth. A bit tart, very light, and downright refreshing every time.

Don’t miss a photo-op with Bernie’s giant beer stein, originally from the Brewers’ County Stadium.

New Grist Gluten-Free Pilsner
America’s first gluten-free beer, this Pilsner-esque brew is defintiely a bit different, bubbly and satisfying enough for any occasion.

A Bung King is crowned.

Once you’ve run through a few of Lakefront’s more…unique…tour traditions, take your remaining tokens and beer out back to their riverfront beer garden.

A bit buttery, a bit bready, a bit rough on the tongue, but engaging and inviting for a light beer.

It’s impossible to accurately portray the excitement surrounding Lakefront Brewery’s on-site tours, or the Miller-like familiarity which their lineup of beers now hold in the hearts and bellies of Milwaukeeans. There is no excuse to not make this a must-see when you’re in town, or in our case, one of your regular brewery hangouts.

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