My time in Wisconsin is counting down quickly and I’m trying to do all the things in Milwaukee I’ve wanted to before I leave.

Taking the Lakefront Brewery tour has always been at the top of my list. It has become somewhat infamous in Milwaukee, and has been voted the city’s best brewery tour for 17 years running.

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To be truthful LB is a microbrewery and the setup is fascinating, but humble. The “tour” is part lecture [in the loosest sense of the word], part stand-up comedy act, mostly drinking. Per their website: “Lakefront believes people want to go on brewery tours for three main reasons: drink beer, be entertained, and see the place. So, to meet their philosophy, the company provides beer at the start of the tour, shares jokes along the way, and still manages to explain the brewing process and history of Lakefront.”

On Friday nights $11 pays for the tour, a souvenir pint glass, four very generous pours of beer [or Golden Maple Root Beer if you’re not imbibing], and a voucher for $5 off the fishfry at the attached LB Palm Garden.

You wait for the tour in the beer tent on the river, where they recommend you use one of your beer pour tokens to start the tour off right. We aren’t ones to argue. Beer #1: the yet un-released Wheat Monkey Ale.

Mark, also our off-the-wall tour guide, suggested we try his “special” at the mid-tour pour station: one third Cherry Lager topped off with Eastside Dark. Sandy was the only brave soul. Way too dark for me. Beer #2: Cattail Ale.

The beer tent’s location right on the Milwaukee River provides a great place to hang out and relax with family and friends. Especially when the weather is nice, and you still have two final beer tokens to burn!

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Beers 3 and 4: Wheat Monkey Ale – hey, stick with what you like!

Now the fish-fry at Lakefront Brewery’s Palm Garden was voted best fish-fry in Milwaukee in 2008. The fare is certainly tops in terms of classic Wisconsin fish-fry, but there’s more that makes this experience memorable. In true biergarten fashion you’re seated at large communal tables, like at the Hofbräuhaus in München. The hall is dimly lit by huge German lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Many of the patrons being from Milwaukee and/or of German descent, we were able to sing [and polka] along with all the oompah songs.

Traditional beer-battered cod around the table – four of us choosing the fresh potato pancakes with chopped scallions mixed in, Nick taking french fries.

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What a fun evening!

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