"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
We realized how much of Milwaukee we still have not seen, and decided that taking the free tour of the MillerCoors Brewery was just the thing on a snowy winter day. In this picture you can see the large silver tankards where the beer is aged for three weeks.
The tour is for one hour, be prepared to take stairs and walk to several buildings. Register at the front desk when you arrive. Good info to know before beginning the tour.
A photographer was there to take our picture and had some props to make the picture even more memorable. We would be offered a 5×7 and 2-4×6 print, a bottle opener and a can cozy at the end of the tour for $20. We got it, such a fun memento of our visit.
We were on the first tour at 10:30, and it turned out to only be the two of us. Leah was our guide, she gave us the VIP treatment!
The tour began with a 10-minute film in the theater describing the history of the brewery. After that we went to the first building where the beer is made.
Here we could also see the conveyor belt rolling with filled cases of beer.
We went down to the lower floor of this building and saw it is also a vast warehouse for all the beer. Would you believe all of this will be gone by the next day? Most goes to Chicago with the rest points elsewhere. It is the size of 5 football fields placed side-by-side. Here are some stats.
We went back out and crossed the street, going under the bridge where you could see beer going across on the conveyor.
It was time to see where the Fermenting Room. Copper tankards were on the upper level and the silver-colored ones were below.
After this we walked further up the street to our last stop, the Historic Caves building where the beer was chilled before refrigeration.
There was also a historic marker on the building.
We went into the hushed darkness of the cave, gently lit on either side but still allowing for night vision. It was beautiful, and there was a mural painted in the back.
In here were were also paid a visit by Frederick Miller himself, via a projection on the back of the cave.
Very cool! The tour was now finished, we then went to the tasting room. Al did the tasting since I don’t drink beer. Thanks Leah, we really had fun!
While we were there we got our photo that we had taken at the start of the tour. Our first silly selfie of the year.
We really had a good time here today. Since there is not a restaurant on site, we went .7 miles away to Saz’s State House for a great lunch.
We first went to the right side, where the big beer can is located. The grounds are quite beautiful in the summer. We HAD to get a selfie at the big beer can 🙂 Al is 6’3″ so you can see how big it is. It is the work of Scott Haverland Plastering, made in 2007.
After looking around here we went to the main brewery building. A lot of activity here, the National Brewery Museum is located her on the 2nd and 3rd floors, $5 admission is charged. We just stayed on the lower level where there were also a few displays also.
The Cave was especially interesting.
The brewery also has a restaurant which was hoppin’.
You can eat outside too on their patio.
All their beer is made from natural spring water on site, and you can see it flowing under the restaurant through a window in the floor, cool!
You can see the water flow outside too.
In the back of the restaurant you can see some tanks where the beer is being fermented and tanks of ready-to-serve beer. Since we were driving we enjoyed a refreshing root beer on a warm day, they make that too.
Reedsburg is a city of 10,000 not real far from the Wisconsin Dells or Baraboo. This community has a long history, settled in the late 1840’s. You can’t miss the tall flagpole when you enter the city, it marks the beginning of the Main Street Historic downtown. Walking tour booklets of all the historic districts are available here.
The city commemorates early settlers, James and Rebecca Babb on the bank of the Baraboo River that flows through town. “Babb’s Ford” helped get people and supplies across the river in the early days of the settlement.
The former Woolen Mill was also located here, and some of the equipment in the mill are in a glass case near this marker.
On the other side of the bridge in a timber monument and time capsule dedicated to the early settlers of Reedsburg.
The city is also located on the 90th meridian, and is marked by a granite monument near the big flagpole.
The railroad has been an important part of Reedsburg history for a long time. The Chicago and Northwestern Railway arrived in 1872. The depot still stands and is now the home of the Chamber of Commerce. You can get your trail pass for the 400 State Trail here too.
There are several murals in Reedsburg, both inside buildings and outside. This one is located inside the historic Post Office, still used for that purpose. It is dedicated to agriculture.
Dedicated to the Woolen Mill.
“Hops or Bust” Mural, dedicated to the growing of hops for the production of alcohol. Reedsburg celebrates its brewing heritage with the annual Fermentation Fest in October. The old brewery still stands, now converted to housing.
The brewery and many more interesting buildings are located in the Park Street Historic District, and we looked at the many interesting building and houses there. Love that purple one!
Delafield is a scenic community of 7,000 in Waukesha county 53 miles east of Madison on the shores of Nagawicka Lake.
We had not been here for two years and it was time to see more of the city during a beautiful time of year. The first stop was the Chamber of Commerce to get information about the city.
The chamber is within sight of the Fish Hatchery building with an interesting history.
The hatchery is also next to the beautiful Veterans Memorial Riverwalk honoring all veterans. It is a 3/4 mile path partially along St. John’s Pond.
There are many historic sites and buildings in Delafield, one close to here is Hawk’s Inn at 426 Well’s St., built in 1846. It was moved there in 1960 when it was going to be burned as a fire department exercise. It was once a busy stagecoach stop, now a museum open May-October. Also on site is a historic marker.
C A Designs downtown is in what used to be the Dance Hall for Hawk’s Inn. All information about Hawk’s Inn and this building provided by the Hawk’s Inn Historical Society.
Aeva Wedding and Party is in an 1868 Presbyterian church building.
Part of the charm of Delafield is the building design in the historic downtown. The design is Colonial Williamsburg, a place we hope to get to someday. And we have enjoyed the diversity of businesses both downtown and in other areas of the city. This is Clock Tower Square.
The gas station downtown even has style! This is Daybreak Mobile across from Clock Tower Square. The pumps are BEHIND the station, therefore, preserving the street view. At the edge of town is The Montage.
From the 1970’s to 2002, this barn used to have a Smiley face on it, greeting people going by. In 2018 it is re-opening as The Smiley Barn in August. Owner Maria Luther is pleased that the smile was approved by the planning commission and we were at the meeting May 30 to lend support. See video here of TMJ4 coverage of this meeting.
We head up the street to St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy to see their historic buildings. The first one is the Church of St. John Chrysotom, known as “The Little Red Church on the Hill”, dating back to 1851. The style of this church is “Carpenter Gothic”. The builders re-created the style of the stone churches in England using oak trees from the shore of Okauchee Lake. Bell tower is a separate structure. The church still holds weekly services.
We go through the East entrance and ahead of us is the Beacon, a monument dedicated to the founder of St. John’s. A guide took us on a tour and he told us the light inside always is on. The legend circulated amongst the students, school is canceled for the day if the light is dark. He said classes still go on if the light is out, LOL!
We could hear music, it turns out the choir in the chapel were practicing for Veteran’s Day. Let’s listen to them sing “The National Anthem” while viewing other buildings on the campus.
We thanked our guide for the campus tour and continued on.
We have enjoyed food at three places in Delafield. For great bread, the Great Harvest Bread Co. They even let you try samples before buying.