County Executive Chris Abele
Press Release

County Executive to Open New Season of Traveling Beer Garden™

Milwaukee County Parks Adds Second Tour in 2015

By - May 15th, 2015 02:29 pm

MILWAUKEE Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Parks Director John Dargle, Jr, will kick off the 2015 Traveling Beer Garden Tour, Wednesday, May 20 at 4 p.m. The keg tapping will take place near the chalet in Dretzka Park, with music by Dobie The Concertina Man. Dretzka Park is located at 12020 W. Bradley Road.

Two beer garden facilities will visit 15 different parks or parkways during the 16-week tour. The opening day at each location will be celebrated with free Sprecher beer and root beer while supplies last.

“In the mid-19th Century, Milwaukee’s German immigrants brought us biergartens and Gemütlichkeit. Last year, through the partnership of the Milwaukee County Parks and Sprecher Brewing Company, the Traveling Beer Garden brought Milwaukee County not only good times for families and friends, but also nearly $250,000 in revenue,” said Abele. “This is just another example of Milwaukee County employees thinking creatively to offer something that is fun and increases both attendance and revenue in the parks, making them safer and more sustainable.”

In addition to providing operating proceeds to Milwaukee County, Sprecher Brewing Company will be donating $32,000 through the Park People of Milwaukee County for improvements to the parks that the Traveling Beer Gardens visit.

Along with the May 20 to May 31 stop at Dretzka, the second Traveling Beer Garden will open at Root River Parkway Picnic Area 1, near 92nd and College. The opening will feature musical entertainment by Vern and the Originals.

Hours at all of the stops are Monday-Friday, 4-10 p.m.; and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The last beer is served at 9 p.m. Live musical entertainment is on site Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, from 5-8 p.m.

Staffed by Milwaukee County Parks Concessions Division employees, the beer gardens will offer 10 on-tap Sprecher beers, served in souvenir glass pints, steins, and boots, with refills offered at reduced prices at any stop on the Traveling Beer Garden tour. In addition, flights of five beer samples will be served. Other Sprecher beverages to be served include gluten-free beer, hard root beer, hard ginger ale, sodas, root beer floats, and the new malt beverages, Hard Apple Pie and hard cider. Wine and snacks, including soft pretzels by Milwaukee Pretzel Company, will also be available.

Also new this year will be authentic German Food, available from Sprecher’s Restaurant and Pub.

Families are welcome to pack their own picnic lunches or suppers and non-alcoholic beverages. License restrictions prohibit the carry-in of any alcohol. Grilling is not allowed at the beer garden site or the immediate surrounding area.

Facilities offer shared-table seating, where families are encouraged to make new friends. All Traveling Beer Garden stops are wheelchair accessible and have ample restroom and parking facilities nearby.

Additional factors considered in locations of the tour stops were electrical infrastructure, park activities and amenities, feedback from Parks Friends Groups, availability of a covered structure, and proximity to other permanent and temporary beer gardens.

Beer gardens in Milwaukee have been a tradition, bringing friends, families, and neighbors together in a relaxed, social setting. With the arrival of German immigrants in the mid-1800s, beer gardens began to spring up—often located in parks. By the late 1800s beer gardens were prolific throughout the city as the center of summer social life.

Permanent beer gardens have operated in the Parks since 2012. Estabrook Park Beer Garden, developed and operated by the same group that brought Old German Beer Hall to Milwaukee, overlooks the Milwaukee River. The Landing at Hoyt Park, operated by the Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool, offers views of the Menomonee River Parkway.

Click here for a full 2015 schedule of the Traveling Beer Gardens. For additional information, visit

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