Around the turn of the century, the city of Milwaukee produced more beer than any other city in the entire world – Beer pretty much built the city of Milwaukee! While some of the big names have closed their doors, the brewing tradition in Milwaukee is still alive and strong.
Well before the microbrewery trend swept across the country, Milwaukee has always been home to some great breweries. Whether you’re visiting from out of town or just looking for something to do in Milwaukee on a Saturday afternoon, here’s a list of all the best breweries in Milwaukee and the best brewery tours.
Jump to info on Milwaukee Breweries:
- List of all Brewery Tours in Milwaukee – Rated
- Top 3 Brewery Tours in Milwaukee
- Guided Milwaukee Brewery Tours
- Boat tours of Milwaukee Breweries
- All Craft Breweries in Milwaukee
Best Milwaukee Brewery Tours: Rated
The best brewery tours combine great beer with a fun and inviting atmosphere and a few of Milwaukee’s breweries do it better than others. Here are our picks for the best Milwaukee brewery tours.
We have personally been on each and every one of them and have taken friends, family, and even bachelor parties to most of them. Trust us, we’ve done our “research”!
|Brewery Tour||Tour Days||# of Samples||Cost||Make Reservations|
|MKE Brewing||Sat, Sun||Unlimited||$12||Check Availability|
|Lakefront Brewery||Mon-Sun||4 – 6oz samples||$11 wknd/ $9 M-F||Check Availability|
|MillerCoors||Mon-Sat||3 Samples||$10/$5 WI res.||Check Availability|
|Sprecher||Mon-Sun||4 Samples||$5/$8||Check Availability|
|City Lights||Sat Only 2,4,6pm||1 beer||$10||Check Availability|
|Third Space||Sat Only 2pm||2 Pints||$10||Check Availability|
|Mob Craft||Sat & Sun||2 Pints||$12||Check Availability|
|Black Husky||Sat Only 1 & 2 pm||2 Pints||$10||Check Availability|
|Good City||Sat Only 1 & 2 pm||1 Beer||$10||Check Availability|
Top 3 Brewery Tours in Milwaukee
1. Milwaukee Brewing Company
Milwaukee Brewing Company has a long history in the city than most patrons first assume. While the current brewing operations are only a few years old, the brewery technically goes back to the late 1990s with the micro-brews offered at the Milwaukee Ale House.
Thankfully those beers became popular enough for operations to expand to Walker Point, and now, a second location in the old Pabst brewing neighborhood. Known as MKE Brewing, the company is known for putting together some awesome beers that are available throughout the city at area bars and liquor stores.
The Walkers Point location is conveniently located near numerous top-quality restaurants, authentic Mexican eateries, and popular bars, so there is no shortage of things to do either before or after your brewery tour.
The tour at the Walkers Point location of Milwaukee Brewing Company shouldn’t be missed. The real highlight is not necessarily the tour itself—though it certainly is interesting, and you will learn a few things about the brewing process.
Instead, the real highlight is the opportunity to sample numerous MKE beers before and after the tour. Be sure to pace yourself because you will have the opportunity to sample most of the beers currently on tap, in addition to receiving some souvenirs and a token for a beer at one of the nearby bars. For a true Milwaukee beer experience, stop into Milwaukee Brewing Company.
About The Milwaukee Ale House Brewery: A staple along Milwaukee’s Riverfront, Milwaukee Alehouse has been brewing up their tasty brews since
- Address: 613 S. 2nd St.
- Tour Hours: Friday: Every half-hour 4:00pm-7:00pm, Saturday: Every half-hour 1:00pm-4:00pm, Sunday: Every half-hour 2:00pm-3:30pm
- Tour Cost: $12
Related Article: Best Restaurants in Milwaukee
2. Lakefront Brewery
At least for locals, Lakefront Brewery needs no introduction. As one of the first micro-breweries on the scene, Lakefront has a downtown location and one of the coolest brewery spaces in the city. The beer is great, the beer hall to drink it in is worth a visit alone, and the food is perfectly crafted to make you thirsty for another beer or two.
Lakefront also boasts one of the most popular Friday fish fries in the city. Lakefront’s beers can now be found all across the country, so why not check out where the whole thing got started by visiting Lakefront Brewery the next time you are in town.
The tours at Lakefront are designed to be one-part informative, one-part entertaining. Along with beer samples and glass, you can also expect to learn at least a little bit about the history of Lakefront Brewery and the brewing process, along with getting some good laughs along the way.
Plan on booking ahead since the tour is one of the most popular in the city. When you book, make sure to leave enough time beforehand for beer samples and some bar snacks to get you prepared for the tour.
About the Brewery tour: A local favorite and probably the best Milwaukee brewery tour Lakefront Brewery serves up lots of laughs along with the beers. Lakefront’s tours are fun if it’s your first tour or tenth. While they don’t take the tours too seriously, their beer is another story.
One of Milwaukee’s oldest microbreweries their beer is some of the best in the city. Along with a good time, you’ll get 4 samples of Lakefront Brewery’s best beer, and even some stuff you can’t find in the stores.
For the brewery tour enter the large doors on N. Commerce Street and purchase your tour ticket which comes with a souvenir glass and 4 samples. Tours start every hour on the hour except Saturdays which run every half hour. On weekdays you can still tour the brewery, but it’s best to check the current schedule for times.
History of the Brewery:
- Lakefront Brewery Tour Address: 1872 N. Commerce St.
- Tour Hours: Times vary, typically every hour or half-hour from Noon-7:00pm or 8:00 pm. Check online for availability.
- Cost: Weekdays: $9, Weekends: $11
Miller-Coors is one of the largest beer makers in the world, and part of its history and current operations are located right here in Milwaukee. While many cities have a micro-brewery for tourists to visit, few cities have a premier large-scale brewery operation where visitors can see firsthand how beer is produced on a massive scale.
The history of Miller and its relationship to the city is also on full display for visitors to the brewery, and the entire brewery is centrally located making it an easy trip from downtown. To learn more about one of the biggest breweries in the country, stop over to Miller-Coors for a quick and inexpensive tour.
The tour at Miller-Coors was just recently revamped. Though now it costs a little bit of money, visitors can expect a higher quality tour with a few more perks as well. Visitors can still expect to watch a short documentary about the brewery’s history and to get a behind-the-scenes look at parts of the brewing operation, but now there are a few more perks.
These include souvenirs, tokens for area bars, and the chance to try some experimental beers only available on site. The best part of the tour is getting to see some of the historic sites like the caves where beer used to be stored. After the tour, you will certainly gain a better appreciation of some of America’s favorite beer options.
- Miller Brewery Tour Address: 4251 W. State St.
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CST (every half-hour)
- Tour Cost: $10 (50% off with Wisconsin I.D.)
Guided Milwaukee Brewery Tours
If you have a group or plan on sampling a lot of great Milwaukee beer, then you might want to jump on a multi-brewery tour. These tours are a great way to get a taste of many of Milwaukee’s best breweries all in one day – while being safe and responsible.
Our Top Pick: 4 Brewery Tour with 8 – 6oz samples – This tour pays a visit to some of Milwaukee’s classic breweries and some up and coming ones. Safely aboard a small group transport (14 people max), you’ll visit Lakefront Brewery, Gathering Place Brewing, Black Husky Brewing, and Company Brewing during a 3.5-hour tour with two 6oz samples at each!
- Duration: 3.5 hours
- Cost: $55
- Check Availability
Milwaukee Boat Brewery Tours
One of the best things to do in the Summer in Milwaukee is to take a brewery tour by boat. Float down the river from one brewery to the next sampling all along the way. Here are our favorite two ways to tour Milwaukee’s Breweries by boat!
Milwaukee River Boat – 3 Pub Cruise – Evenings and weekend you can take a boat tour stopping at several pubs and some breweries along Milwaukee Riverfront. Grab a group of friends or join one of the main public tours.
- Cost: $34
- Duration: 4 Hours
- Check Tours
Self Powered Pedal Tavern River Beer Cruise – One of the most fun ways to explore Milwaukee is by pedaling your way down the river aboard the pedal tavern which is powered by you! burn off the beer calories (or just kick back) by pushing the bike pedals that drive a big paddlewheel propelling you down the river and to more beer.
It’s a super fun way to see the city and try some great beers along the way. Some tours are BYOB or they have other options for groups and private tours as well.
- Cost: $30-45 – Public tour
- Check Tours
More Craft & Microbreweries in Milwaukee with Brewery Tours
Milwaukee has always been known as the “Brew City” since it has a history of housing large-scale breweries and because of the city’s German heritage. It comes as no surprise then that the city has a thriving micro-brewery scene.
Starting in the 1980s micro-breweries began to pop up in the city, but it wasn’t until more recently that there’s been an explosion of options when it comes to micro-breweries and taprooms. Nearly every neighborhood in the city has at least one micro-brewery, making coming up with a list of the best in the city extremely difficult. Read below to learn about some of the best breweries Milwaukee has to offer.
Good City Brewing
Good City Brewing opened just a few years ago, but it has quickly developed into one of the top breweries in Milwaukee. For starters, the location in the middle of the trendy East Side couldn’t be more convenient, and if that wasn’t enough, the brewery plans on opening a second location downtown right near the new Fiserv Forum.
Besides making really quality beer, Good City Brewing also hosts a truly destination-worthy restaurant, and the space is ideal for getting together with friends. Not many other breweries can boast of having an incredible rooftop bar area for sipping micro beers outside on a warm Milwaukee day.
The tours at Good City Brewing enable you to get a look at the behind-the-scenes operations and to sample some of the breweries numerous beers on tap. Like most tours, you get some samples and a souvenir, but more importantly, the tour gives you an excuse to stop by the brewery on a Saturday afternoon, and to stay for some more beer paired with excellent food.
Be sure to check out the beers currently on tap list and the restaurant’s updated menu online before planning your next Saturday brewery tour.
- Address: 2108 N. Farwell Ave.
- Tour Times: Saturdays 1:00pm and 2:00pm
- Tour Cost: $10
MobCraft Beer Brewery and Taproom
MobCraft Beer Brewery and Taproom recently opened a Milwaukee location by setting up shop right on the edge of Walkers Point near the popular Mexican eatery Conejitos, the well-liked Iron Horse Hotel, and Great Lakes Distillery—in other words, the location offers plenty of convenient things to do. The brewery itself is top-notch and is located in a trendy space.
What makes MobCraft really unique is that they crowdsource beer flavor ideas, pick a winner every month, and after brewing it up offer it to the public in their tasting room. You can check online to see current and past winners, and if you are feeling creative you can even suggest an idea yourself.
There are two types of tours to choose from at MobCraft: the regular tour and the technical tours. For fans of brewing who don’t need all the technical details, the regular tour offers a great way to sample a few of the beers, see the behind-the-scenes brewing operations, and to meet some of the charismatic breweries employees.
MobCraft offers a selection of sour beers, which require a unique brewing process, so the tour can also provide insight into how sour beers are made. The taproom itself offers a comfortable and fun place to hang out before or after the tour, and given its location, there is no shortage of options for places to eat or drink to keep the night going.
- Address: 505 S. 5th St.
- Tour Times: Fridays and Saturdays times vary, and technical tours every last Friday of the month
- Tour Cost: $13
Sprecher Brewing Company
About Sprecher Brewery in Milwaukee: FounderRandal Sprecher got his taste for craft beer while in Europe and fell in love with German-style beers and couldn’t quench his thirst with what was available at the time for beer in Milwaukee, so he started to make his own.
Sprecher Brewing Company prides itself on being one of the first micro-breweries in the area. Since its humble beginning, Sprecher has grown to include numerous taprooms and restaurants, and a host of beer, cider, and sodas to choose from which are available in numerous bars and around the region in liquor stores.
Sprecher brews an extensive list of beers and ciders and is somewhat unique in also offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic sodas. In other words, it’s pretty impossible for someone to not find at least one Sprecher product that pleases their taste buds. For the main brewery, head north of Milwaukee to Glendale, or if this isn’t possible, head down to Walkers Point to check out their new tasting room.
About the Sprecher Brewery Tour: There are numerous tour options at Sprecher Brewing. From regular tours available throughout the week to private tours and private tastings, there are options available for anyone looking for a quick activity on the weekend to more well-planned out social or business events.
Regardless of which type of tour you go with, you can expect to see the brewing operations, learn about the history of Sprecher Brewing, and the opportunity to sample numerous Sprecher products—there are so many you will almost certainly want to purchase some to take home for later. Options like the beer tastings also come with cheese pairings, which can be a really unique experience even for experienced micro-brewery tourists.
- Address: 701 W. Glendale Ave.
- Tour Times: Weekdays at 4:00pm, Weekends at 12:00pm, 12:45pm, 1:15pm, 2:00pm, 2:45pm, 3:15pm, and 4:00pm
- Tour Cost: Prices vary
Third Space Brewing
Third Space Brewing is only a few years old but entered the scene with award-winning beer and an awesome space located minutes from downtown and the Marquette University campus.
Housed in what appears to be a large warehouse, Third Space Brewing features a cozy and spacious interior with board games scatted around, as well as a large beer garden area behind the brewery where you can usually expect at least one food truck to set up shop.
In other words, you are sure to find a comfy spot for a drink regardless of the weather when you visit the brewery. Though they have a vast list of rotating tap beers, be sure to try at least one of their award-winning beers, like the Unite the Clans Scotch Ale.
Though it may be tempting to forego the tour given how nice Third Space’s tasting room is, you may still want to consider it on a Saturday afternoon. Not only will you get a souvenir glass and samples, but you also get an enjoyable and informative tour. The tour groups are usually pretty small, making it easy to ask questions and learn about the brewery operations and how Third Space Brewing got its start.
Plan accordingly so you can hang out after and enjoy some of the beers that you just learned about.
- Address: 1505 W. St. Paul Ave.
- Tour Times: Saturdays at 2:00 pm
- Tour Cost: $10
Large Scale Milwaukee Breweries
Miller Brewing – MillerCoors
The last big brewery standing in Milwaukee is MillerCoors as it is known today. However, the history of this brewery dates back to 1855 when Frank Miller first started brewing beer in what is now the western part of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee was a good choice for a brewery because of the excellent water source, Lake Michigan. The water is naturally good quality and well suited for beer making. The water is what drew most brewers here and the long German heritage of the city likely played a part too.
Leinenkugel’s Brewery Milwaukee
While you may have seen the big Leinenkugel’s Brewery sign from the freeway in Milwaukee, the actual brewery is in Chippewa Falls is about hours from Milwaukee. However, you can at times get a taste of this Wisconsin born beer while at the MillerCoors Brewery Tour. Leinenkugel’s does not have brewery tours in Milwaukee, but they do have a taproom to sample some of their brews.
Related Article: 3 Days in Milwaukee Guide
Complete List of Breweries in Milwaukee
- 1840 Brewing Company
- Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery
- Black Husky Brewing
- Brewery Works Inc
- Broken Bat Brewing Co.
- City Lights Brewing Co.
- Company Brewing
- Eagle Park Brewing
- Falk Brewery
- Gathering Place Brewing Company
- Good City Brewing
- Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company’s Tenth Street Brewery
- Lakefront Brewery
- Miller Brewing Company
- Milwaukee Ale House
- Milwaukee Brewing Company
- MobCraft Beer Brewery and Taproom
- Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom
- Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
- Sprecher Brewing Co., Inc.
- Third Space Brewing
- Urban Harvest Brewing Company
- Water Street Brewery