Sophie Bolich

Estabrook Beer Garden Sets Grand Opening

2023 kickoff on April 21 will feature free beer, live music and stein holding contest.

By - Apr 19th, 2023 01:26 pm
Estabrook Beer Garden. Photo taken December 7th, 2020 by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Estabrook Beer Garden. Photo taken December 7th, 2020 by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

An early April “fool’s spring” coaxed Milwaukeeans outdoors in record numbers last week, leading Estabrook Beer Garden to host a pre-season opening. The beer garden, 4600 Estabrook Pkwy., is now adhering to its regular operating hours, though a grand opening is still on the horizon.

Set for Friday, April 21, the grand opening will feature live music, free beer and a stein holding contest.

Milwaukee County and Parks department officials, spectators and beer aficionados are invited to gather at Estabrook Park at 6 p.m. as Liz Sumner, county supervisor for District 1, taps the wooden keg. Following the official first tap, all attendees will enjoy one hour of free Hofbräu original lager.

Polka band Jon Dietz and the Twin Lakes Trio are lined up for the evening’s entertainment. A stein holding contest will take place at 7 p.m.

Friday’s event will kick off a weekend-long celebration for German Beer Day, which takes place on Sunday, April 23. The date commemorates the creation of the Reinheitsgebot, a “purity law” issued in 1516 that decreed how beer had to be brewed and sold in the state of Bavaria.

On that day, the garden will mark the occasion with a ceremonial keg tapping at noon, with free beer from the keg while it lasts. The Squeezettes will be playing polka tunes for the duration of the event.

“The Estabrook Beer Garden is a place for all people to come together, enjoy nature, a great beer and make new friends,” said the organization in a news release, which also noted that the garden “represents a return to an era that disappeared from our landscape with the start of Prohibition.”

“It is the first truly public beer garden in America in nearly 100 years.”

Modeled after those found in Munich, Germany, the beer garden showcases imported beers from the Munich Hofbräuhaus. Other offerings include local craft beer, cider, hard seltzer, draft root beer and Pepsi products.

In keeping with its theme, the garden serves its beer in traditional Isar Seidel dimpled glass mugs — though guests are also welcome to bring their own favorite beer stein.

The garden also serves a limited food menu including bratwurst, hotdogs and a giant soft pretzel. Visitors are also welcome to bring carry-in picnics and non-alcoholic beverages.

The beer garden is located within Estabrook Park, a large green space containing playgrounds, a disc golf course, a dog park, soccer fields and a segment of the Oak Leaf Trail.

Regular season hours at Estabrook Beer Garden are noon to 9 p.m. daily.

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