Back in June 2015, I visited Milwaukee, Wisconsin for my first time to attend BlogHouse. I didn’t really know what to expect from the city, and to be honest I hadn’t really heard much about Milwaukee to begin with. I even had to look at a map to see exactly where it was (I know, embarrassing). Anyway, in my weekend in Milwaukee I was blown away by the city. I had great food, so much fun exploring and fantastic craft beer (you know how much I love that). Even being there for only a few days, I still felt like there was so much more I could’ve explored.
One of my highlights from my time in Milwaukee was the Bikes, Brats and Beers Tour that was run by the Harley Davidson Museum, in conjunction with Milwaukee Food & City Tours. This tour was around 3.5 hours and started by loading a small bus which brought us to the museum for an exclusive visit and lesson in American history. Now I’m not much of a museum fan, in fact, I usually avoid them, but this one was actually interesting. I loved checking out all the colourful bikes and seeing the progression between the bike styles from 1903 to today. They even have the oldest bike with serial number one and one that washed up on Canadian shores after the Japan tsunami in 2011 (read more on that here).
After taking a look at the over 400 bikes in the Harley Davidson Museum, you’ll head back on the bus to taste (and learn about) Milwaukee’s beer and food culture. Our tour guides were fantastic and filled us with knowledge about the city, and like I said, usually I get bored with historical things but they kept it fun and interesting. We traveled through Menomonee, Miller Valley and downtown Milwaukee where we learned about key “beer” points of interest like Miller Park, Miller Brewing Company, mansions of Milwaukee beer barons, Pabst Brewery Complex, and more. You could seriously spend a whole week here going between all the different breweries and points of interest. And most of the breweries are located near the Milwaukee River because they used/use ice from the river to keep their beer cold.
Along the tour we made two stops (aside from the museum), but usually you’d have three if you weren’t on a private tour like us. The first stop is usually Usinger’s Famous Sausage Shop where you’d try the famous brats (bratwurst sausage). With the largest German population west of Berlin, there’s no doubt that these are probably super delicious. Our first stop was at Wisconsin Cheese Mart where we tried the classic Wisconsin cheeses (and of course more beer). This cheese mart has over 150 types of cheeses to try and buy, and we even ordered some famous cheese curds in their Uber Tap Room & Cheese Bar.
Our final stop on our food, beer and bikes adventure was my favourite of all the stops, Lakefront Brewery, where we took a tour of this massive and fun brewery. What I loved about it the most was their guides. All their tour guides are comedians (literally), which means they make the tour wildly entertaining. On your visit you get two sample beers and a souvenir glass to take home with you and the tour ends in a big party room, with of course, a bar of beer. Lakefront’s beer was delicious and the tour was fantastic. Even if you don’t want to do all of the above, I at least recommend getting on one of these for $10 USD.
Overall my experience on the Bikes, Brats & Beers Tour was fantastic. I find when visiting cities these can be a big hit or miss, but this one did not disappoint. I left the tour with a lot of memories, a full belly, a newfound love for Milwaukee beer and knowledge on what makes this city so great.
To learn more about the tour and get yourself on one, click here. Tickets are $60 USD and tours run on Thursday’s at 3pm and Sunday’s at 11am.
Disclaimer: This tour was part of a press trip through Blog House and Visit Milwaukee. I only recommend places and experiences that I enjoyed, and think other travelers would love. All opinions in this piece are my own and 110% honest.