Now Serving

A City of Beer and Festivals

Beer festivals include Sprecher's 30th anniversary. And Water Street Brewery opens fourth location.

By - Jul 21st, 2015 02:40 pm
Sprecher Traveling Beer Garden

Sprecher Traveling Beer Garden

It was back in 1985 that Randy Sprecher opened his first brewery in Walker’s Point, a small operation brewing 40 barrels per batch and just one beer, Winter Brew. The story of his success and his impact on craft brewing was told here, and that legacy will be celebrated with a 30th anniversary party at Juneau Park on August 28 and 29, which will also be the finale of Milwaukee County’s Traveling Beer Gardens.

WKLH will be involved with the anniversary by bringing in some live music and broadcasting live from Juneau Park. The lineup, as reported by, will include a performance from X, the groundbreaking Los Angeles punk band that was popular in 1985, when Sprecher opened.

Other beer festivals coming up, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Meet Your Makers on July 23 at Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub, 222 E. Erie St. will feature beer and spirits from Bittercube, Top Note Tonic and Twisted Path Distillery. Reserved tickets at $35 are required.

Milwaukee Brewfest on July 25 will have over 100 craft breweries with beer, cider and mead. This includes Lakefront Brewery, Dogfish Head and Krombacher. The event is on the lakefront from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the gate.

Black Husky Beer will be paired with cheese at The Uber Tap Room, 1048 N. Old World 3rd St. Tickets are $20 on August 6.

Pabst Brewing

In other beer news, Pabst Brewing, the brewery responsible for keeping hipsters hydrated with its signature Blue Ribbon lager, is coming back to the city where it started, as we’ve reported.

Now the largest American-owned brewery, Pabst will be opening a small brewery in the former First German Methodist Church. The church, which sits at 1037 W. Juneau Ave., just above Interstate 43, was acquired by Pabst in 1898 and is the second-oldest building still standing in the Pabst complex, having been completed in 1872. The Victorian Gothic building is historically designated by the city as part of a historic district that includes all of the former brewery.

The new brewery will be developed by Blue Ribbon Management, who will buy the building from Zilber Ltd. and convert it into a micro-brewery, tasting room and restaurant. Local bar owner and restaurateur Mike Eitel will operate the restaurant portion of the business to be located on the building’s mezzanine level. The brewery is expected to brew 2,000 barrels once it’s up and running, with the capacity to eventually brew 10,000 barrels and will make smaller batches of beers based on recipes from the company’s past.

Water Street Brewery

Also on the beer front, Oak Creek now has its own brew pub, which will be Water Street Brewery’s fourth location, according to

This new location at Drexel Town Square (intersection at Howell and Drexel Avenues) will be aesthetically similar to its original bar, 1101 N. Water St, with memorabilia including over 50,000 beer cans, 1,300 tap handles and 825 bottle and can openers. Water Street also has restaurants in Delafield and Grafton.

The brewery will be open at 11 a.m. during the week and will open at 10 a.m. on the weekend for brunch. In April we profiled the brewery’s brewmaster, George Bluvas.

Next summer the brewery will have a new neighbor, a new Mexican restaurant:

Belair Cantina

The growing chain of mexican restaurants co-owned by Leslie Montemurro and Scott Johnson will expand again, with a fourth locale set to open next summer in Oak Creek. The first one opened in 2005 on Water Street and Humboldt Ave. and the city-based concept has been expanded into suburbs like Wauwatosa, Waukesha and now Oak Creek.

Anodyne Anniversary

Anodyne Coffee Roasters is in the thick of its teenage years. Turning sixteen is a big deal and Anodyne is commemorating the event with a live music series every night from August 5-14 at Walker’s Point Cafe, 224 W. Bruce St. All shows are free with music from T. Hardy Morris, Wooldridge Brothers and Town Mountain.


In December we reviewed Movida and gave the Spanish restaurant at 524 S. 2nd St. a big thumbs up. Those who’ve gone there know what a cool scene it is on packed nights. And the food is great.

Movida opened last August at 524 S. 2nd St., which means of course yet another anniversary celebration for Milwaukeeans. The restaurant will hold a special eight-course dinner on August 13 at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $75 per person or $100 per person with cocktail pairings.

Wellspring Pizza Night

The organic farm and education center Wellspring is holding its first annual pizza night on July 23 from 5 – 9 p.m, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Guests are encouraged to bring a cozy item to sit on while they eat pizza and watch “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2” which begins at 7:30. The cost for the pizza buffet is $8 per person or $20 for reserved families.

Wellspring is in West Bend at 4382 Hickory Road.

They will also be holding their annual Taste of Wellspring dinner featuring small plates of farm fresh produce and grass-fed beef. The dinner will be August 13 from 5 – 9 p.m. at Engine Company No. 3, 217 National Ave. and costs $65.

Now Closing: Blue Jacket

After reaching the two year mark, Blue Jacket is closing its doors at 135 W. National Ave. This week is their last, alas.

They opened in June 2013 and July 24th will the day they serve their final drink.

The announcement was made in a Facebook post and quickly spread through the media.

We profiled Blue Jacket last year.

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2 thoughts on “Now Serving: A City of Beer and Festivals”

  1. Michael says:

    Per JS, Urban Brewing Company is opening up a tap room and brewery this November at 1024 S. 5th St. becoming the 4th brewery in Walkers Point.

  2. Ashle says:

    Um, John Doe, Billy Zoom, Exene Cervenka & DJ Bonebrake are members of X, not bands. And Billy Zoom can’t be here because cancer.

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