21 Great Bars for Craft Beers
Looking for local, national, even international craft beers? These bars bring it on.
Milwaukee isn’t called Brew City for nothing. There are so many bars it would probably be impossible for the average Milwaukeean to visit every one in a lifetime.
But for lovers of craft beers, which the dictionary defines as “a beer made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by a small brewery,” only some bars will do. There, too, Milwaukee has a lot of choices. So to help you get started, to help you find a macro variety of micro-brews, we have compiled this list of 20 establishments in the city (or close-by) with notable selections of craft beer. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know and we’ll consider it when we next do this guide.
7413 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis
Open Monday through Saturday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
At Benno’s, you can order food from a full menu to eat while you’re sipping one of their 30 tap beers. They also have nightly specials, including $2.25 pints on Thursdays.
The Brass Tap
7808 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield
Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Even though the The Brass Tap is part of a Florida-based chain, it still has a local vibe. The bar opened in 2015 and boasts 80 tap lines, which often feature beer from local breweries. Brass Tap also offers wine and cocktails, as well as casual food and brunch menus.
2599 S. Logan Ave., Milwaukee
Open Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday & Sunday noon to 2 a.m.
Burnhearts has 22 drafts and casks from states across the country and ranging in price from $6 to $10. Their selection of 100+ domestic and imported bottles and cans range from $5 to $55.
346 N. Broadway, Milwaukee
Historic Third Ward
Open Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to midnight.
Cafe Benelux is part of the family of four grand cafes in the Milwaukee area owned by Lowlands Group. Inspired by countries in the European lowlands, this cafe is named after the Benelux region of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. You can check out their lengthy list of “hand-picked” biers from Belgium and Holland here, including some you may not find anywhere else in town.
434 S. 2nd St., Milwaukee
Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The Walker’s Point bar and eatery currently has a craft beer list of 20 taps, 15 bottles and 10 cans. Prices $4 to $34. Growlers are also available.
DOC’s Commerce Smokehouse
754 N. 4th St., Milwaukee
Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Along with its place in Milwaukee, DOC’s Commerce has establishments in Dyer, Indiana and Mokena, Illinois. But with 60 draft beers, the Milwaukee location’s beer list surpasses that of the other two. Doc’s specializes in BBQ, for which they draw inspiration from both Southern and Milwaukee-style BBQ. According to their website, the only ingredients used to cook their meats are “hickory smoke, spice, and time.” Located in Westown, Doc’s is also in walking distance of both the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Draft & Vessel
4417 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood
Open Monday through Thursday 3 p.m. to 12 a.m., Friday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This Shorewood bar offers 16 rotating drafts which are served on-site and in to-go growlers. While food is not served, you have the option of ordering to the bar. Draft & Vessel is also dog-friendly, in case you like sipping beer with a furry companion at your side.
5300 S. 76th St. Unit 1450A, Greendale
Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Explorium Brewpub was founded by Mike and Joan Doble in 2016 after the couple helped out with a family brewpub in Florida. Explorium has eight flagship beers: Sutter’s Secret Golden Ale, Humboldt’s Homeland Hefeweizen, Patagonia Hitchhiker Lager, Doc Rae Scotch Ale, Captain Kidd’s Lost IPA, Livingstone’s Porter, Three Saints Bay Stout and Shackleton’s Endurance Barleywine.
Izzy Hops Swig & Nosh
2311 N. Murray Ave., Milwaukee
Open Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
After Rascals was laid to rest, Izzy Hops Swig & Nosh took over the space in late September. In addition to more than 30 craft beers, the bar serves a selection of 30 bourbons as well.
Landmark 1850 Inn
5905 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee
Near General Mitchell Airport
Open 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
This establishment made the list for its selection of close to 30 draft beers. However, we should mention it’s also Milwaukee’s oldest tavern. The building, which was constructed over 160 years ago, was originally a stage coach stop between Milwaukee and Racine.
2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee
Open Monday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday & Saturday 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Sunday 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Palm Tavern has an eclectic list of craft beers which include 25 taps, 29 cans, and 92 bottles ranging in price from $4 to $60.
Riverwest Filling Station
701 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee
Open Tuesday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The Riverwest Filling Station offers its thirstiest beer enthusiasts growlers of draft beer priced from $10 to $12 with a $4 downpayment for the bottle. Of course, 8 and 16 oz glasses are available for the less ambitious drinker as well. The gastropub selection comes in at more than 3o draught beers and 3o-plus options for bottles and cans as well.
3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee
Open Tuesday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Saturday 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
The history of Romans’ Pub goes back farther than its 40 years in business. The building was originally a stagecoach stop and roadhouse, and was a speakeasy during Prohibition. The bar starting serving specialty beers in 1996 and now rotates more than 30 domestic and imported drafts. Romans’ Pub has also made Draft Magazine’s list of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars every year since 2011.
1030 N. Water St., Milwaukee
Open Monday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Rumpus Room has a rotating list of draft beers. The current list has 23 selections, with six featured beers including four imperial stouts, a porter and a double IPA from various domestic breweries. Prices range from $6 to $12.
Stack’d Burger Bar
170 S. 1st St., Milwaukee
Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
When you think of Stack’d in Milwaukee, you might think of their burgers adorned with fried pickles, but the Harbor View restaurant has more to offer. Amongst its more than 100 rotating beer selections are IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Ciders and more.
The Standard Tavern
1754 N. Franklin Pl., Milwaukee
Lower East Side
Open Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
The Standard offers a selection of eight draft beers and a rotation of over 120 bottled beers. Surely even the pickiest beer drink can find something to love at this spot. Visit during normal business hours, or check out the 2-for-1 rail and domestics deal during happy hour 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Stubby’s Gastropub and Beer Bar
2060 N. Humboldt Ave., Milwaukee
Open Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday & Wednesday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday & Friday 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight.
Stubby’s boasts 53 tap beers. The Gastropub offers a number of beers from such Milwaukee-based breweries as Lakefront, Good City, Black Husky and Third Space. However, selections are not limited to Wisconsin beers. Patrons have a choice of craft beers from other states, and even a handful of international brews from Denmark, Belgium and Germany.
441 E. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee
Open Sunday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Monday through Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday 3 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
A Bay View classic, Sugar Maple offers more than 60 American craft beers on draft. The bar has a stylish ambiance, and hosts the occasional live music event.
Transfer Pizzeria Cafe
101 W. Mitchell St., Milwaukee
Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
According to its website, Transfer Pizzeria Cafe currently serves 28 brews. Among those are selections from Wisconsin (Ale Asylum, Lakefront, MKE Brewing, New Glarus) and other states such as California, Colorado and Michigan. They also serve beers hailing from Germany, Belgium and Poland. Prices range from $4 to $9.
Uber Tap Room and Cheese Bar
1048 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee
Open Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Uber Tap Room keeps its local, only offering beer made in Wisconsin on its beer list. Draught prices range from $4 to $8, with Growlers available for $12 to $18. For $10, you can build your own flight with your choice of any four beers out of the 36 taps.
2235 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee
Lower East Side
Open Tuesday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday & Saturday 3 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Last month, we found out that Von Trier would be sticking around. The North Avenue bar’s name is derived from the town of Trier, Germany (“Von Trier” meaning “of Trier”), and its decor reflects these roots. While the bar changed ownership in 2009, the Von Trier we know has been around since 1978. Before that, it was known as Rieder’s bar, which was founded in the 1930s. Von Trier has a mix of more than 30 domestic and imported draft beers. Most of its almost 100 bottled beers come from the U.S., and of course, Germany.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.