Beer is Milwaukee's thing, right? We live in Beerwaukee, or something? Brewery tours, pedal taverns, all those "per capita" statistics about beer and our friendly city: beer should be listed as a founder of our city alongside Juneau, Kilbourn, and Walker.
How many Milwaukee brewery tours have YOU been on? My count puts the possibility at seven, but that includes a distillery tour (why not!).
I haven't been on that many, so when my greatest friends called me up last week with an invite to do the Lakefront Brewery tour, I was excited to go. It's become an iconic tour to take in MIlwaukee, and I can hardly believe I hadn't done it until now.
I learned a lot about Milwaukee, the brew business, beer in general, and most importantly, I had a lot of laughs because we had the BEST tour guide ever: Adam. He says he has the best job in Milwaukee, and I believe him. It's work, no doubt about that, but you're working while people are out for one reason: to have a good time.
The tour isn't about customer service, selling a product, or working with people and their crazy (...although at the same time it is kind of about all of those things).
The tour isn't even about talking to a person: it's about teaching people about the brewery, a short history about beer, and a short history of MIlwaukee. It's about loving beer.
And Adam, our tour guide, totally loves beer. And that is clearly why he loves his job.
So the building is enormous and filled with brewery equipment. If their beer production increased, I don't think they would have room to grow. All the equipment is so different than the equipment I'm used to being surrounded with at my own job.
Up until last week, all I ever got to enjoy of this place was the exterior: a cream city brick building which was once a coal-fired power plant, the Three Stooges which were once tops of fermenting lids, all next to the marsupial bridge which crosses over the Milwaukee River.
After the tour we got more beer and had the fish fry. And this is all inside the brewery!
There was a band of two men playing polka music on accordions, and we danced and we ate and we drank and we had a good time.
I laughed so hard dancing that I just couldn't breathe anymore. I would highly suggest doing the tour after a LONG day at work, like I did, because it felt so good to laugh and have a beer with friends.
Curious about my list of seven tours to take?
P.S. My only piece of advice for your tours: Don't get trapped behind tall people!