Milwaukee has been known for brewing beer. And though the city’s brewing heyday has passed, remnants of that unrivaled production remain. Heck, the city might always be known as Brew Town. I mention this because, founded around 177 years ago, vestiges of the Pabst Brewing company, which lie in Milwaukee’s Brewery District, attest to the city’s claim to fame.
I apologize, I was under the wrong impression. A few weeks back, I wrote an overview of Milwaukee, claiming the city had two historic brewery tours luring people to their factories. I stand corrected, the Pabst tour, which I took yesterday, is not a brewery tour. It’s more like a history lesson, one that starts out in the 77 year old Blue Ribbon Hall
and winds up in a small tap room.
The historic 1858 building, known as Best Place, is the setting for this enlightening story.
What did I take away from the tour? Not much…mainly, years back, factory workers were awarded beer breaks. It was in their union contract, I’m not kidding. But actually, the tour is a great overview of the Best family’s role in Milwaukee’s brewing scene, how the company became known as Pabst, Frederick Pabst’s persona, why Milwaukee became a brewing hotspot and the company’s survival during prohibition. There’s also info on the more modern times of the company.
One also catches a glimpse of Frederick Pabst’s office.
After that, as we sauntered along the streets, we found ourselves surrounded by antique buildings from the brewery’s past.
This brewery building is actually pretty cool.
Here’s a little drinking spot,
This is one of the Pabst beer gardens
and the famed bottling department’s shell
Not to mention, the Milwaukee Brewing Company, set in a trendy building, featured some fun polka music…the scene was absolutely vibrant.
Our stop in Milwaukee’s Brewery District was fairly brief. Yet, during our visit, I was left appreciating souls who lived across nearly two centuries. Along with that, a vibrant buzz resonated along the streets and in the beer gardens. And as the sounds of live music invigorated the grounds, I imagined a Victorian Age Milwaukee- a city rising to brewing prominence.