Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Whitnall Beer Garden Opening This Weekend

With unseasonably warm weather, Parks hosting first beer garden pop-up since 2017.

By - Feb 28th, 2024 10:13 am

Whitnall Park Beer Garden. Photo courtesy Milwaukee County Parks.

Milwaukee County Parks is opening Whitnall Park Beer Garden as a pop-up this weekend.

When Parks opens the beer garden for service on March 2 and 3 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., it will be the first time since 2017 the department has hosted a winter pop-up. The beer gardens are typically opened in April and remain open into October. But the unseasonably warm weather is creating an opportunity Parks can’t pass up.

“Join us this weekend for a taste of spring with cold drinks, delicious food, and great company,” Milwaukee County Parks Director Guy Smith said in a statement. “By raising a glass at our pop-up, you’re also raising funds for future park projects.”

The beer garden will have 12 beers on tap, hard seltzers, non-alcoholic drinks and food from Gift of Wings, the kite purveyor with a shop in Veterans Park.

“Milwaukee County is getting an early taste of beer garden season! Our beer gardens at Milwaukee County Parks bring people together, generate revenue for County operations, and foster positive activity in our community,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “I’m excited for people to visit our pop-up beer garden this weekend at Whitnall Park to enjoy a cold one with friends and neighbors.”

Beer gardens have become a key way of generating extra revenue for the cash-strapped Parks department, bringing in millions in recent years. In order to maintain its funding levels, the department has had to develop programs and amenities that make money. Parks now generates more than 50% of its own operating revenue annually.

The county operates seven permanent beer gardens, plus a traveling beer garden that stops at various parks throughout the spring and summer.

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