Milwaukee Area and Beer

September 04, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

For our time in East Central Wisconsin, we save Milwaukee for last and traveled down from Fond du Lac on Labor Day weekend for some history in German immigration, beer and more.  Hover over the images for more information, or click to go to the gallery. 

Our first stop was Germantown's Dheinsville Settlement, which dates back to 1842.

Dheinsville, WI - BarnDheinsville, WI - BarnPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Dheinsville, WI - Barn SiloDheinsville, WI - Barn SiloBarn and Silo around the Dheinsviille Settlement just outside Germantown, WI. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Dheinsville, WI - CemeteryDheinsville, WI - CemeteryDheinsville, WI may look like a ghost town, but still has several businesses operating. This is their cemetery dating back to the 1850's behind the 1862 Christ Church.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Dheinsville, WI - Christ Church MuseumDheinsville, WI - Christ Church MuseumThe Christ Church in Dheinsville was built in 1862 and serves as a museum today. Dheinsville - Germantown Mutual Ins Co 1870Dheinsville - Germantown Mutual Ins Co 1870The Germantown Mutual Insurance company was established in 1870 in Dheinsville.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Dheinsville - Silo BellDheinsville - Silo BellDheinsville Settlement was established in 1842 by the Philip Dhein family. It is Germantown's oldest crossroads settlement that contains original half timber buildings, reflecting the architecture of the immigrants from the Hunsruck area of Germany that came here.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

After Dheinsville we made a quick pass through Menomonee Falls

Menomonee Falls - Bank Memories FlowersMenomonee Falls - Bank Memories FlowersThe Bank of Memories & Flowers in Menomonee Falls. A suburb of Milwaukee, this town was established in 1892 on the Menomonee River, which the city has damned creating a water fall. The downtown area has kept it's historic charm despite the influx of population from the city over the years.


Photo by Kathy Weiser Alexander.
Menomonee Falls - WaterfallMenomonee Falls - WaterfallA suburb of Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls was established in 1892 on the Menomonee River, which the city has damned creating a water fall. The downtown area has kept it's historic charm despite the influx of population from the city over the years.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Finally we pushed on to our primary destination, Milwaukee, with it's rich history dating back to the early 1800's.  Enjoy the views and hover over each for more information. 

Milwaukee - Art MuseumMilwaukee - Art MuseumMilwaukee's Art Museum on Lake Michigan serves over 350,000 visitors a year and displays over 30,000 works of art. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander Milwaukee - ArchitectureMilwaukee - ArchitectureDoors, above a door? Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander Milwaukee - BeachMilwaukee - BeachWe toured a bit of Milwaukee on Labor Day weekend, and despite fog off Lake Michigan, there were plenty of beach goers.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee - Beach VolleyballMilwaukee - Beach VolleyballMilwaukee and surrounding area residents enjoy the beach on Labor Day weekend.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee - Downtown FogMilwaukee - Downtown FogMilwaukee's downtown skyscrapers peaked in and out of the fog during our visit. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander Milwaukee, WI - Harley Davidson Corporate CampusMilwaukee, WI - Harley Davidson Corporate CampusAt the turn of the 20th Century, young 20 year old William S. Harely teamed up with childhood friend Arthur Davidson in their home town of Milwaukee to work on an engine designed to use on a regular bicyle frame. After it was finished in 1903, they discovered it didn't have enough power to make it up steep hills, so they built a better one, this one with a bigger engine and loop-frame design that would be in the forefront of future motorcycle designs. Thus was the beginning of Harley Davidson Motor Company.

Today, Harley Davidson employs 6,000 and is still headquarted in Milwaukee where the company began.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Harley Davidson Corporate Campus-2Milwaukee, WI - Harley Davidson Corporate Campus-2At the turn of the 20th Century, young 20 year old William S. Harely teamed up with childhood friend Arthur Davidson in their home town of Milwaukee to work on an engine designed to use on a regular bicyle frame. After it was finished in 1903, they discovered it didn't have enough power to make it up steep hills, so they built a better one, this one with a bigger engine and loop-frame design that would be in the forefront of future motorcycle designs. Thus was the beginning of Harley Davidson Motor Company.

Today, Harley Davidson employs 6,000 and is still headquartered in Milwaukee where the company began.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Lake Michigan - Jet ToyMilwaukee, WI - Lake Michigan - Jet ToyKathy captures a person riding some kind of jet toy in Lake Michigan during the Labor Day weekend celebration in Milwaukee. Milwaukee, WI - Miller BinsMilwaukee, WI - Miller BinsFrederick Miller brewed his first barrel of beer in America in 1855. Hailing from a family of politicians in Germany, Miller came from wealth. He learned the trade from an Uncle in France, working in several aspects of the brewery, gaining knowledge along the way.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee - Miller ValleyMilwaukee - Miller ValleyFrederick Miller, his wife Josephine and young son Joseph, migrated to America during unrest in Germany in 1854, and after spending a year in New York City he ventured out to find a new home for his family.

Shortly after his arrival in Milwaukee, he paid $8,000 for the Plank-Road Brewery, which at the time was west of Milwaukee. Because Frederick Miller's first brewery was so far from town, he opened a boarding house next door for his unmarried employees.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Miller High LifeMilwaukee, WI - Miller High LifeBy 1857 Frederick Miller opened a new beer hall on Water Street in Milwaukee, and in 1864 he built a new brewery on land purchased near Bismark in the Dakota Territory. Bum luck though as Dakota Territory went dry by law the day before it was to open.

Frederick Miller went through several personal hardships during his time as a beer king in Milwaukee. He lost his wife Josephine in 1860, then after remarrying, lost several children with his new wife Lisette. Other children from that marriage though would go on to lead Miller Brewing Company into the 1960's.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Miller Brewing Visitors Center-BusMilwaukee, WI - Miller Brewing Visitors Center-BusIn 1966, the Miller family sold most of their stock to W.R. Grace Company. Phillip Morris Inc. purchased the company in 1969 and the rest of the stock a year later.

Photo by Dave Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Miller ParkMilwaukee, WI - Miller ParkBuilt in 2001, Miller Park replaced Milwaukee County Stadium and is home to the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. Miller Brewing made a $40 Million dollar deal to sponsor the stadium through 2020.

Photo by Dave Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Miller Park-2Milwaukee, WI - Miller Park-2The Miller Park Stadium built in 2001 has North America's only fan shaped retractable roof, which can open in less than 10 minutes. Glass in the roof allows for natural grass on the ball field.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Building DoorMilwaukee, WI - Pabst Building DoorJacob Best founded the Empire Brewery in 1844, and later the Best and Company brewery. They produced 300 barrels of Best Select lager in their first year. His son Phillip took control in 1860, starting the Phillip Best Company brewery on Chestnut Street Hill in Milwaukee.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst AlleyMilwaukee, WI - Pabst AlleyIn 1863, Phillip Best's Son-In-Law Frederick Pabst, a steamboat captain, bought a share in Phillip Best Brewing. The company began bottling in 1875 under the name Best Select, and by that time it was the nations second largest brewer. Captain Pabst also took over as President of the company.

These buildings that used to house the Pabst Brewery appear to be slated for demolition. Photo by Dave Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst BreweryMilwaukee, WI - Pabst BreweryIn 1882, having earned awards at U.S. and international competitions, Frederick Pabst begins hand-tying a blue silk ribbon around the neck of each Best Select beer to identify it as a first place winner. In 1889 Pabst renames the company in honor of himself and Pabst Brewing Company is born. With sales increasing, the company purchased nearly one million feet of silk ribbon by 1892, which workers all tied by hand to the bottles.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Brewery AlleyMilwaukee, WI - Pabst Brewery AlleyIn 1895, when patrons keep asking bartenders for the beer with the blue ribbon, the phrase "Blue Ribbon" is added to the Best Select name on the label. In 1898 the beer's name is officially changed to Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Touches of color in Kathy's image of the Alley between buildings at the old Pabst Brewery.
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Brewing PubMilwaukee, WI - Pabst Brewing PubFrederick Pabst died in 1904, leaving the company to his sons Frederick Jr. adn Gustav. The practice of putting a blue ribbon on each bottle didn't end until a silk shortage during World War I.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst LanternMilwaukee, WI - Pabst LanternDuring Prohibition, Pabst Brewing switched to cheese, soft drinks and malt extract to stay in business. After Prohibition ended, Pabst sold the cheese operation to Kraft and went back to making Beer, and putting silk blue ribbons on the bottles. In 1935 they cracked the export market by developing keg-lined Tap-a-Cans, becoming one of the first to offer beer in a can.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst SignMilwaukee, WI - Pabst SignThrough the purchase of other breweries, by the late 1940's Pabst had operations throughout the country. The blue ribbon was officially removed and became part of the label in 1950. By 1960 the company was producing 4.7 million barrels of beer, which more than doubled just 10 years later. At it's peak in 1977 the company sold 18 million barrels.

We wonder what will happen to the Pabst Sign once the old Brewery is removed?

Photo by Dave Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Pabst WelcomeMilwaukee, WI - Pabst WelcomeIn 1985 Paul Kalmanowitz buys Pabst for $63 Million. It was under his leadership that the flagship brewery in Milwaukee closed. He also ended all advertising for the beer. In 2010, the Metropoulus family acquired the company, which is currently headquartered in Los Angeles.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Schlitz Brew HouseMilwaukee, WI - Schlitz Brew HouseGerman immigrant August Krug began brewing beer in the basement of his Milwaukee resteraunt in 1849. The next year Krug hired 20 year old Joseph Schlitz to manage his restaurant and brewery's bookkeeping.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Schlitz Building at Schlitz ParkMilwaukee, WI - Schlitz Building at Schlitz ParkBy 1853 what Krug started in the restaurant basement was producing 300 barrels of beer a year. Jospeph Schlitz took over the brewery when Krug passed away in 1856, and just three years later was selling about 2,000 barrels a year under the name Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Schlitz ParkMilwaukee, WI - Schlitz Park"The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous" was how Schlitz Beer was described after Jospeph Schlitz sent hundreds of barrels of beer to Chigago in support of the city after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.


Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Schlitz Park - Logo on BuildingMilwaukee, WI - Schlitz Park - Logo on BuildingIn 1902, with over one million barrels sold, Schlitz becomes the largest brewery in the world. In 1911 the company introduces the brown bottle, which inhibits light from spoiling beer as quickly.

Photo by Dave Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Schlitz Park - Logo on Building 2Milwaukee, WI - Schlitz Park - Logo on Building 2Following a downturn in the business due to rationing during World War II, Schlitz regained international prominence in the 1950's, selling over six million barrels in 1952.

Photo by Dave Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Schlitz TowerMilwaukee, WI - Schlitz TowerAmong a series of firsts in packaging, Schlitz introduced the first 16oz flat top beer can in 1954, the first aluminum "soft top" can in 1960, and the first "pop top" can in 1963.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Shlitz BuildingMilwaukee, WI - Shlitz BuildingIn 1970 the company expanded to North Carolina with a 4.4 million barrel annual production. That would rise to 21.3 million only three years later.

In 1982 the Schlitz Brewing company was purchased by Stroh's, then in 1999 the brand became part of Pabst Brewing Company, which is headquarted in Los Angeles. Schlitz Park is now a business complex, and you can still see the company logo on many of the buildings.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran ChurchMilwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran ChurchPolish immigrants had and impact on Milwaukee, especially in its churches, with steeples that dot the skyline providing some beautiful views with breathtaking architecture.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church Steeples 2Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church Steeples 2Church Steeples near the old Pabst Brewery have a couple of seagulls perched on either side standing sentinel over the city. Photo by Dave Alexander. Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church Steeples 3Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church Steeples 3Polish immigrants had and impact on Milwaukee, especially in its churches, with steeples that dot the skyline providing some beautiful views with breathtaking architecture.

Photo by Dave Alexander.
Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church Steeples near BreweryMilwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church Steeples near BreweryWe found this church near the old Pabst Brewery to be one of our favorites to photograph. Photo by Dave Alexander. Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church-2Milwaukee, WI - Trinity Evangeline Lutheran Church-2Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Milwaukee, WI -St. Francis ChurchMilwaukee, WI -St. Francis ChurchPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander Milwaukee, WI - Downtown Fog-2Milwaukee, WI - Downtown Fog-2Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander Milwaukee, WI - Pabst MansionMilwaukee, WI - Pabst MansionThe Pabst Mansion sits near Marquette University and downtown amidst modern surroundings.

Our final stop of the day was Cedarburg about 20 minutes outside Milwaukee on our way back to Fond du Lac. 

Cedarburg, WI - Covered BridgeCedarburg, WI - Covered BridgeThe Covered Bridge (once called the Red Bridge) outside of Cedarburg Wisconsin is one of the states last Covered Bridges. It was built in 1876 and used until 1962 when it was retired. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the early 1970's, you can still walk across it.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Cedarburg, WI - Covered Bridge-2Cedarburg, WI - Covered Bridge-2The Covered Bridge (once called the Red Bridge) outside of Cedarburg Wisconsin is one of the states last Covered Bridges. It was built in 1876 and used until 1962 when it was retired. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the early 1970's, you can still walk across it.
Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Cedarburg - FirehouseCedarburg - FirehouseFounded in the early 1840's by Irish and German settlers on Cedar Creek, Cedarburg has carefully preserved the city's original structures and the downtown looks much as it did over a hundred years ago. In fact, more than 200 buildings of historical significance remain in the town, and remain in use as shops, homes, museums and more.

Industries here included a woolen mill, lumber and flour mills, a nail factory and a brewery, all which prospered after the railroad arrived in 1870. Although it's area population is around 11,000, Cedarburg has kept it's old world charm.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Cedarburg - Main StreetCedarburg - Main StreetFounded in the early 1840's by Irish and German settlers on Cedar Creek, Cedarburg has carefully preserved the city's original structures and the downtown looks much as it did over a hundred years ago. In fact, more than 200 buildings of historical significance remain in the town, and remain in use as shops, homes, museums and more.

Industries here included a woolen mill, lumber and flour mills, a nail factory and a brewery, all which prospered after the railroad arrived in 1870. Although it's area population is around 11,000, Cedarburg has kept it's old world charm.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Cedarburg - Woolen MillCedarburg - Woolen MillFounded in the early 1840's by Irish and German settlers on Cedar Creek, Cedarburg has carefully preserved the city's original structures and the downtown looks much as it did over a hundred years ago. In fact, more than 200 buildings of historical significance remain in the town, and remain in use as shops, homes, museums and more.

Industries here included a woolen mill, lumber and flour mills, a nail factory and a brewery, all which prospered after the railroad arrived in 1870. Although it's area population is around 11,000, Cedarburg has kept it's old world charm.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Read more about the history of Milwaukee and how it came to be via our Travel Blog HERE.  Next up we moved on to Door County Wisconsin for some relaxing times on the Bay and Lake Michigan. 

 


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