*This is the twenty-fourth post in an on-going chronicle dubbed the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour. Follow the journey here.*
Miller Brewing Company
4251 W State St
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Visit date: 09/11/15
1) How many different beers?
2) How long operational?
3) Why? (here, this, etc)
Was a brewer in Germany, bought Plank Road Brewery.
10 million barrels per year at this one location (of 9).
5) What sets you apart?
“Quality, Uncompromising and Unchanging.”
6) How did you get your name?
Named for founder Frederick Miller.
You knew it was coming, the granddaddy of them all: Miller Brewing. Known as MillerCoors since a merger in 2008, Fredrick Miller’s masterpiece has been in downtown Milwaukee for exactly 160 years. Miller was one of the original four powerhouses that gave this town the moniker Brew City.
This history of Milwaukee and Miller are intertwined, which is more than I can capture in 414 words; take a trip around the city and you’ll see the story unfold through the company’s dominant presence, which continues to grow, throughout the city.
Miller Brewing Company’s tour is offered 6 days a week and is completely free. Starting near the gift shop, there’s a short video with the Girl In The Moon recapping the previous 160 years. Your two tours guides will then take you on a walking tour through a bottling line, packaging area, storage facility, brewing space, and finally the historic caves.
MillerCoors is a giant in the beer industry, and they do this daily: it’s a tour well-done. The best part of the whole trip is undoubtedly the free beer. On a beautiful Friday afternoon the outdoor beer garden was packed full of folks enjoying the 6 different choices (you get to try three).
Fredrick Miller’s 1855 Lager
This beer is one of the best I’ve ever had from Miller: imagine if the iconic Miller Lite were maltier and dissuaded chugging. It’s been brewed in honor of the 160th anniversary, and is only available for sale at the brewery. I liked it so much I got it twice on the tour.
Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager
This beer has been around for a couple of years now, and is one of Miller’s attempts at capturing the craft-beer drinking market. It’s like a creamy Amber, but with a light-beer aftertaste.
Though the epitome of a macro-beer, Miller Brewing in Milwaukee’s Miller Valley is a living, breathing history lesson that continues to define our city. It’s as worthy a stop on the Great Wisconsin Brewery Tour as any one-barrel operation down the street.