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Local Beer advice?

Baltimore, Maryland
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Local Beer advice?

We will be in Milwaukee for a 3 day weekend the 17th-19th of July.

Three quick questions..

1. Where should we stay in the city to maximize our access to good local beer?

2. We are both 30 and are looking to find non-pretentious breweries, brewpubs, and bars to visit... there are so many to choose from!!

Recommendations?

3. It looks like we will need a car to get around from other posts I have read. Is parking bad downtown?

Thanks for the help! I can't wait to taste some local suds!

Milwaukee
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1. Re: Local Beer advice?

If you stay downtown, you'll have access to Lakefront Brewery, Water Street Brewery, Milwaukee Ale House, Rock Bottom Brewery and a couple more. Horny Goat, which is newer, and VERY tasty is just south of Downtown as well. If you head west, Delafield Brewhaus is awesome and has some very good beer as well. If you're just at a bar, get yourself a Spotted Cow, or another beer from New Glarus Brewing Company. Another in state brew that is produced by Capital Brewery is Island Wheat...made with wheat from Washington Island in Door County.

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Lakefront Brewery
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Water Street Brewery
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Door County
Door County
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Baltimore, Maryland
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2. Re: Local Beer advice?

Wow. Thanks for the great beer recommendations! I will add them to the list.

If I stay downtown, do most hotels offer free parking?

Milwaukee
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3. Re: Local Beer advice?

I can't answer that for sure, but I know at least some of them charge a daily fee.

Edited: 01 July 2010, 17:43
Milwaukee
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4. Re: Local Beer advice?

Most, if not all downtown hotels charge a fairly hefty fee for overnight parking. If you want to be close to downtown with free parking you could try the Ambassador Hotel. It's about a mile west of downtown.

The main hotel is an art deco treasure, but there is an annex across the street that is more moderately priced.

Also check the Best Western Inn Towne that would give you a good downtown location and may be a little cheaper than most other downtown hotels. It's a decent place to stay.

If you have a designated driver you could stay in an airport area hotel with free parking and cheaper than downtown locations.

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Ambassador Hotel
Ambassador Hotel
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Milwaukee, WI
Baltimore, Maryland
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5. Re: Local Beer advice?

I guess that begs the question: do we need a car at all?

It seems from this forum that an airport cab ride is $30 to downtown. Double that and we are at $60.

The rental car might be $25 a day, but add in parking charges...

So would you:

A) Stay downtown and pay more for a room, avoid the car.

B) Stay 1 mile or so out of town, get a car, and free parking.

C) Stay downtown and pay more for a room, get the car - go out of town for a day..

I would love some input! Thanks!

Milwaukee
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6. Re: Local Beer advice?

If it were me, I would stay far enough away to get free parking, and then either take transit downtown, or even walk. Then you also have the option to go where you want if you don't want to go downtown. Worst case...you take the car downtown, have too much to drink and have to cab it back to the hotel.......

Saint Louis...
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7. Re: Local Beer advice?

pltyps - What hotel are you staying at? Usually on their website it says if they charge for parking or not. We were going to stay at 'Aloft' - one of the Starwood properties downtown and they charged at least $20 / night - so we decided to stay out in Brookfield at the Sheraton which has free parking and cheaper rooms. We figured we'd just drive into downtown for the activities down there.

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Brookfield
Brookfield
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Milwaukee
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8. Re: Local Beer advice?

Have you looked at hotel prices for your specific dates?

If you are going to make a decision based on hotel prices I think the place to start is to compare prices for your specific dates.

One other option, since you are open to different locations, is you could try to snag a Priceline bid. If you get a low enough bid accepted on Priceline maybe a downtown hotel would be affordable even with a charge for parking.

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: Local Beer advice?

You are in luck, very little in Milwaukee is pretentious, especially anything relating to beer.

Don't miss Sprecher Brewing, a short drive north of downtown in suburban Glendale. Here is a link to tours: http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/tours.php

Miller Brewing has tours, while the beer isn't as good as Sprecher, it is still entertaining. If schedule allows, go on a weekday when the workers are actually there, it's a lot more interesting than on the weekend when it is a ghost town.

Otherwise Lakefront Brewery (previously mentioned), on the north edge of downtown along the Milwaukee river is an excellent choice, and for brew pubs Milwaukee Ale House is good and Rock Bottom (also both previously mentioned) are OK and Water St Brewery (perhaps better food than beer, it's been a while since I've been) not too bad. A bar with a lot of local brews on tap is: wisconsincheesemart.com/the_cheese_bar.php

No hotels in central Milwaukee have free parking as far as I know. The Ambassador a bit west of downtown does have this, but it is a better fit for people who are OK with driving everywhere, which if you are going to be in the breweries and bars the whole time then that is probably not you. Parking rates are semi-reasonable in Milwaukee except for hotels which gouge guests, typically at overnight rates of $18-25. I would absolutely NOT stay in the burbs if beer is your main priority, If money is an issue, priceline a downtown hotel for cheap and walk, bus or cab it.

Another option might be the County Clare Inn (romantic, not recommended unless you are a couple!), which sometimes has web specials with free parking and breakfast and is walking distance to 3 or 4 of the places I mentioned. (though not super short walks, but it beats a DUI!)

In terms of best located hotel for all of the above,definitely it is the Intercontinental. Staying there, and being 30 years old and presumably full of energy, unless you just hate walking, you can do all of the above by either walking, bus or short cab ride except for Miller and Sprecher breweries. While you could bus to Miller I would not particularly recommend it. For Sprecher, I think you absolutely need a car. I'd drive to Miller or Sprecher during the day and dump the car off before things get too ugly, then enjoy the bars and brew pubs.

Also, if money really is an issue you can take the 80 bus from the airport to downtown, it goes up 6th st which would put you within a few blocks of several downtown hotels though the hotels it goes right by are just a bit west of those hotels with ideal locations by the river. You'd have to pack light for this to be practical, and I doubt it's worth the headache unless money is really tight.

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Glendale
Glendale
Wisconsin
Milwaukee Ale House
Milwaukee Ale House
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Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee, WI
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10. Re: Local Beer advice?

All good suggestions so far. I'll add a couple.

Stonefly Brewing is a short ride north of downtown. Their Four Wolves English Ale just won best of show at Firkin Fest a few weeks ago.

Three Dachshunds beers are sold only at one place in Cudahy, south of town. Also good stuff. You'll be driving here for sure.

The Motor restaurant at the Harley museum has a custom beer called Motor Oil, and should be selling a special Evel Knievel brew in conjunction with a special exhibit. No charge to enter the restaurant, and they have outdoor seating if you want to sit outside.

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Cudahy
Cudahy
Wisconsin