There’s a reason Milwaukee is Brew City. If there’s one thing we get right, it’s brewing amazing beer. Though our history with breweries goes way, way back—starting with Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz Brewing in the 1800s—our modern breweries are growing by the dozen. We still pop open good ol’ PBR from time to time, but here are the 17 best breweries, both new and old, big and small, that you simply must visit.
1. Miller Brewing Company
For 160 years, Miller has been Milwaukee's brewing icon. In 1855, Frederick Miller came here with a special brewer's yeast and a vision to make profoundly good beer in the profoundly good city of Milwaukee. To this day, they use the same yeast he brought and still produce all of the big Miller beers right here in the 414. Tours are available throughout the week to see all of the magic happen. If you're heading through the Miller Valley, you can even smell yeast in the air.
The Miller Brewery is located at 4251 W. State Street, Milwaukee.
2. Lakefront Brewery
Lakefront Brewery may very well be MKE's most-loved brewery these days. The popular Brewer's Hill company started as a microbrewery in 1987 and rapidly grew to the iconic name it is today. You can find their beers all over the city, but if you take their $10 tour, it includes four beer tastings and a souvenir glass. Lakefront is a Milwaukee must-see.
Lakefront Brewery is located at 1872 N. Commerce Street, Milwaukee.
3. Sprecher Brewery
Sprecher is a classic, old-school Wisconsin brewing company. Many know them for their delicious root beer, but their (alcoholic) brews are great too. Whether you're a drinker or not, they have both brewery tours and handcrafted soda tours! There's something about the Sprecher experience that just feels like Wisconsin.
Sprecher Brewery is located at 701 W. Glendale Avenue, Glendale.
4. Milwaukee Brewing Company
Milwaukee Brewing Co. is a brewer in the heart of Walker's Point, bringing new efforts in sustainable brewing to the city. They focus on using local ingredients and "green brewing." This means they're committed to conscious efforts to conserve water and energy, as well as using recyclable packaging. MKE Brewing is using classic brewing style and making it more sustainable for the modern era. Not only that, their beer is unique and delicious, and the tour of their 2nd Street brewery is a ton of fun!
Milwaukee Brewing Company is located at 613 S. 2nd Street, Milwaukee.
5. Brenner Brewing Company
Owned by the incredibly friendly and passionate Mike Brenner, Brenner Brewing is an awesome art-oriented craft brewer in Walker's Point. Brenner is dedicated to art, the community, and has developed a volunteering program called "Cheers To Volunteers," that matches up like-minded volunteers with local nonprofits. This is one brewery that's making delicious brews
and making moves in our community.
Brenner Brewing Company is located at 706 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee.
6. Good City Brewing
Good City just opened last year and is moving up in the ranks of Milwaukee breweries! They have great vibes, and even better brews. They often host live music and have a rooftop patio for those east side summer nights.
Good City Brewing is located at 2108 N. Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee.
7. Pabst Brewery
Everyone knows Pabst, but after closing for many years, they've recently reopened as a craft brewery. Located in an old church on Juneau Avenue downtown, Pabst has been revamped and is making a comeback!
Pabst Brewing Milwaukee is located at 1037 W. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee.
8. Third Space Brewing
Two Milwaukee natives - Kevin and Andy - met at summer camp as kids in Wisconsin and grew up with a passion for the community. Now they brew incredible craft beer and have a tap room with tours and a beer garden in the summer, where you might even find a food truck or two!
Third Space Brewing is located at 1505 W. St. Paul Avenue, Milwaukee.
9. Urban Harvest Brewing Company
Urban Harvest is one of the coolest microbreweries in Milwaukee. They're located on the seemingly low-key 5th Street, but any time spent at Urban is always a good time. Go to taste their crafted brews or plan to go when there's a comedy or theatre show, as they have a stage in the back.
Urban Harvest is located at 1024 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee.
10. Company Brewing
Company Brewing is located in the great neighborhood of Riverwest. Along with their refreshing beers on tap, they offer some delicious food and always have live music. This is the place to be any weekend of the year!
Company Brewing is located at 735 E. Center Street, Milwaukee.
2016 was a good year for Milwaukee breweries, and MobCraft proves this fact. Opened just last year, this Walker's Point craft brewery is the first completely crowdsourced brewery! The dream to build MobCraft started in 2012 and it's awesome to see them open and flourishing! They even let the locals submit ideas for their brews and make custom crafted beer!
MobCraft Beer is located at 505 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee.
12. Broken Bat Brewing Company
Broken Bat is the Third Ward's newest addition. This brewery is Milwaukee's first baseball-themed sports bar that also brews their own beer. They're named "broken bat" because a bat breaking in baseball is unexpected... and so is their beer. This is definitely a unique new spot in Milwaukee's downtown to hit up!
Broken Bat Brewing is located at 231 E. Buffalo Street (Lower Level), Milwaukee.
13. Enlightened Brewing Company
This gem of a brewery is located in Bay View. They like to keep things simple and create genuinely good beers for you to enjoy! Enlightened is a great spot to sit back and think about life over a cold drink.
Enlightened Brewing Company is located at 2018 S. 1st Street, Milwaukee.
14. District 14
D14 is an awesome little microbrewery in the heart of Bay View. This spot offers some really unique small batches of beer (think coffee, fruit, etc.) They also have a patio, which is all you need in a bar in the summer!
District 14 is located at 2273 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee.
15. City Lights Brewing Company
Located in the historic Milwaukee Water Works building, this brewery takes note from big brewers such as Miller and Schlitz as they launched City Lights. Now, they're dedicated to bringing you good beer and they keep it as fresh as possible by only using cans.
City Lights Brewing Company is located at 2200 W. Mount Vernon Avenue, Milwaukee.
16. Black Husky Brewing
Black Husky started as a small cabin in the woods! The family named the brewery after their son's sled dog. Since then, they've named their beers after dogs they've had in the kennel. Now they've grown up and operate out of Riverwest, but still bottle all of their beer by hand! They have an awesome patio and dogs are welcome (if well-behaved and kept on a leash).
Black Husky Brewing is located at 909 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee.
17. Big Head Brewing Company
This little brewery in Wauwatosa serves up some truly great beer. Try the Raspberry Cream Ale or Belgian Dark in their classic taproom.
Big Head Brewing is located at 6204 W. State Street, Wauwatosa.
Have you enjoyed a cold beer from all of these Milwaukee breweries? Which is your favorite? Let us know below!