"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.
Brady Street is a street with character and spunk. It was settled by mainly Italian immigrants over a century ago and their decendants still own many businesses on this colorful street. The TV show “Around the Corner with John McGivern” inspired us to come here. He was right, what a fun place in the heart of Wisconsin’s largest city. Watch it here too.
We arrived early on this beautiful spring morning with businesses starting to open. Brady St. has parking meters. If you don’t mind walking a couple blocks, we parked on the side of the street by Cass Park to park free. Great park for kids to enjoy. We couldn’t resist posing under the big cat archway.
We continued our walk and saw another little park, redbuds in bloom.
We see a banner on the light pole as we reach Brady Street.
The first business we saw was Glorioso’s Italian Market, a wonderful place with lots of great food, some imported from Italy. We even had lunch there too, yum! Bring a cooler in the summer, you may be bringing home some of their meat and cheeses.
Another great place we stopped at was Dryhootch Coffee House. They have a special mission, they donate part of their proceeds to help vets. Learn more about this specific store here. Our barista made us delicious café au laits and made us welcome! Al fit right in, being a Navy vet himself.
Thumbs up to Dryhootch!
Berry Me Frozen Yogurt is another popular place.
We reach one end of the street, The Dogg Haus is ready to serve up Chicago specialties.
After lunch at Glorioso’s, we went to see the part of Brady St. we missed. The street being 9 blocks long, there was a lot to see. St. Hedwig – Three Holy Women Catholic Church has been a cornerstone of this community since 1886.
The Dragonfly is a unique store inside as well as out, a gargoyle sits atop the roof overlooking Brady Street.
Well, we finally make it to the other end of Brady Street. We come upon a bridge overlooking the Milwaukee River. What a view! This is the right side.
The left side..You can see a couple canoeing down the river. This will take you all the way down to where we were last year, the Milwaukee Ale House.
Near the bridge is McCormack-Mervis Brady Street park, ending our journey today. We hope you enjoyed Brady Street, we plan on returning again. What a fun day!
Watertown is a city of 23,000 with a rich history carefully preserved. It was founded by Timothy Johnson. He arrived at the Watertown site 12-10-1836. He also co-founded nearby Johnson Creek. If you are heading to Watertown from the west, at Rest Area 13, where you can see a historical marker describing hills left by the glaciers called Drumlins.
German immigrants built many of the historic buildings all over town. It’s home to the famous Octagon House (shaped like a stop sign), built prior to the Civil War. The house is now the base of operations for the Watertown Historical Society, and is open for tours April to October, and some special events Nov-March.
The Cole Memorial Bridge is the centerpiece of downtown, the Rock River runs under it.
We also discovered this site was also important during the Black Hawk War of 1832.
Many murals also adorn the sides of many buildings highlighting Watertown’s early history. Here is a pretty circus mural, picture taken in 2010. It is somewhat obscured now by the business occupying the building.
Watertown is known also for many buildings constructed of brick made from a special light color clay found near Milwaukee. Because the clay was so plentiful, Milwaukee was dubbed “Cream City” The Octagon House is built from this brick.
We have also enjoyed patronizing some of the great businesses here. Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters is our favorite place for the best coffee ever! Not just coffee but a cafe serving breakfast and lunch.
Another favorite place is Glenn’s Market and Catering. They make their own meat products and so much more! Even have a selection of gluten-free products. We highly recommend stopping here for your grilling and party needs!
We also enjoy shopping at the Bethesda Thrift Store when we stop in Watertown. We always find great stuff here!
If you look right of the depot, you see an impressive large building up on a hill. It’s Maranatha Baptist University, since 1968. One hundred years earlier in 1872, it was Sacred Heart College, then Sacred Heart Military Academy in 1955. Read about the early history here.
There is much more to learn in Watertown and will be back again soon!
It was a cold, snowy day in February, a great time to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. We are not bikers, but we know people who are. What a fun place! We learned the history of the Harley through the many exhibits. They even played an important role in WWII. I never knew! There was even a chance to see the room where they restore bikes and store ones not currently on display.
The last area of the museum featured a large screen and cycles you could sit on and pretend to ride for a great photo-op.
The museum also has two restaurants on site. The Motor Bar and Restaurant, and a less expensive cafe also. We had lunch at the cafe, great food! Don’t forget the gift shop, lots of great items there too. It was a wonderful day. Even if you are not a Harley fan going in, you may be one going out!