Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Juneau Park Beer Garden Opens Friday

Beer garden opens for second season in downtown park with lake views.

By - May 15th, 2024 04:28 pm
Juneau Park Beer Garden. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Juneau Park Beer Garden. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

The youngest beer garden in the county parks system opens for the season on Friday.

Juneau Park beer garden, which opened for the first time in May of last year, will begin pouring beers Friday at 4 p.m. After a short ceremony, the beer garden will serve free beer and root beer for 20 minutes.

Milwaukee County Parks is ecstatic to kick off the sophomore season of Juneau Beer Garden,” said Parks Executive Director Guy Smith. “After a tremendous first year as a summer-long beer garden, we can’t think of a better way to bring the community back together again at Juneau Park.”

Juneau Park had long been one of the most popular stops on the county’s traveling beer garden circuit, averaging 2,600 visitors a week. In 2022, Parks decided to turn it into a permanent beer garden. It opened the following year, with 12 draft beer taps and space for up to 250 people.

Parks called the beer garden’s first season a “rousing success,” selling 30,000 pints of beer, 1,000 hard seltzers, 2,500 Klement’s sausages and 1,500 Milwaukee Pretzel Company soft pretzels.

This year, the beer garden will have 18 tap lines. Third Space Brewing Company is once again sponsoring live music at the beer garden, and food trucks will return on Fridays nights and Saturdays.

“As the warmth of summer approaches, District 3 is thrilled for the return of the Juneau Park Beer Garden,” said Sup. Sheldon Wasserman, who represents Juneau Park on the Milwaukee County Board.

Wasserman noted that revenue from the beer garden will be used to support the parks system. Parks resurrected Milwaukee’s tradition of beer gardens a little over a decade ago, and in that time they have become a useful source of revenue for county parks. To maintain stable funding for the system, the department has had to come up with ways to find additional revenue and now generates more than 50% of its annual budget through fees and amenities, like beer gardens and golf courses.

“This unique tradition in our community brings people together, generates revenue for County operations, and fosters positive activity in our Milwaukee County Parks,” said County Executive David Crowley.

The beer garden will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the weekend.

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