Food Adventures: Milwaukee's Beer Scene

Milwaukee's beer culture is legendary: It once had more than 80 breweries and was the largest beer-producing town in the world. Today, the city has a thriving microbrewery scene, and the best way to celebrate it is by boat. By: Robert Lillegard

Rock Bottom Brewery
Photo: Kevin Miyazaki

Riverwalk Boat Tours' Sunday Brewery Tour meanders through the heart of town via the Milwaukee River, where you'll tour and sip at three breweries: Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Ale House, and Rock Bottom Brewery.

Begin your tour at Lakefront, where brothers Russ and Jim Klisch fought so hard about who brewed better beer that they called it a draw and opened their nationally known brewery. Sample the Wisconsinite, a summer Weiss made with 100% Wisconsin-grown grain and an indigenous yeast strain. Next up is the Milwaukee Ale House, where you can grab a mug of Sheepshead Stout, a roasty chocolate, Irish-style stout. Round out your trip at Rock Bottom with a pint of Iron Horse Pilsner, a tribute to the Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

After a leisurely four hours, you'll certainly be ready for some food. Stop by Sanford Restaurant, where chef Justin Aprahamian (a 2013 James Beard finalist for Best Chef Midwest) takes a particular interest in beer and food matchups, including pairing menus with several varieties of beer that Aprahamian has cellar-aged. A recent dinner paired a Belgian-style abbey ale with local lamb and turnips in a pumpernickel reduction.

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