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Add a growler of fresh beer to your holiday traditions.
Add a growler of fresh beer to your holiday traditions.

7 places to get a growler

The season of imbibing is upon us.

Sure, you could bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer to your aunt or uncle's house – but why not bring a growler of fresh draft instead?

A growler is typically 64 ounces of beer in a cider-like jug and, if filled correctly, should stay delicious in the fridge for about a week. Once opened, however, it is best consumed within a few days (within 24 hours is best) though times vary based on the growler, pour and more.

Most places will also sell the growler container to you (average $10 to $15) to have – of course – refilled in the future. If you do purchase one, simply rinse it out with water when done -- no soap should be used. When you bring it back in for a refill your growler keep will sterilize it and give you a clean one.

Bring one to a party, bring one as a gift, or maybe even keep it for yourself – they are economical and good for the planet! 

With the explosion of craft breweries here – as well as the amazing ones we already had – there are now plenty of options around Milwaukee to get a growler filled.

Here are seven:

1. Riverwest Filling Station

The Riverwest Filling Station is a gastropub located on the north side of Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood at 701 E. Keefe Ave. Offers retail growlers of 30 draft beers until 9 p.m.

2. Story Hill BKC

Story Hill BKC at 5100 W. Bluemound Rd. offers up both 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers for you to enjoy. Many local favorites are currently on the pour list, including Karben 4, New Glarus or even Point Whole Hog's Valentine Coffee Espresso Stout. 

3. Ray's Growler Gallery

Ray's Growler Gallery brings some of the best, freshest and most creative beers direct from the tap to your home. Drafts on tap are typically a beer made exclusively for the Gallery, a rare brewery-only release, or a special selection that will not be available anywhere in bottle. Plus they are also offered in both 32- or 64-ounce options at the gallery, 8930 W. North Ave.…

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A new video on itsAaron.com tells the story of Tony Gonzales and Milwaukee Prep College.
A new video on itsAaron.com tells the story of Tony Gonzales and Milwaukee Prep College.

New #itsAaron shares a story you should hear

Aaron Rodgers and David Gruber have partnered for a third season of the itsAaron.com series – and they continue to give us more reasons to love Rodgers beyond the football field. 

For this episode, Rodgers surprises Tony Gonzalez and three of his former students at Milwaukee College Prep's 36th Street Campus. Tony's story more than worthy of telling – and that is one of the reasons I love the itsAaron.com videos. 

You can watch the video for yourself here: 

Thank you, Aaron and David, for telling Tony's story.

And Tony, thank you for all that you are doing for Milwaukee's youth – you're a Milwaukee hero for sure. 

Any beer lover would appreciate this Kickstarter gift this holiday season.
Any beer lover would appreciate this Kickstarter gift this holiday season.

6 Kickstarters for your gift list

Happy Cyber Monday! As you do your online shopping today, we're here to help with a bunch of tips, guides, fun features and more to get your holiday season started off right.

With all the craziness of Black Friday behind us -- and Cyber Monday upon us -- you may be looking for some unique gifts that are outside of your traditional realm, big box stores or online retailers. 

I am, too -- and Kickstarter is one that I recently started considering for my holiday shopping list. The idea of funding someone's dream and future -- all while having it be a thoughtful holiday gift -- is very appealing to me. 

But, there is a risk. Kickstarter isn't a store -- it is just a cash-flow facilitator between you and the creator. So, if a project doesn't come to fruition or is delayed, Kickstarter isn't going to refund your hard-earned money. You work directly with the creators themselves. 

I like to think the best in people -- and hopefully the creators are good people just trying to bring this project to market and have had a hiccup along the way. It happens. They want to make sure you get your side of this deal, too. Hopefully. 

So, what is your best bet for a holiday gift on Kickstarter? A fully funded project that is in or near production and taking orders. 

Here are six projects you could back this holiday season:

For the beer lover: uKeg

Milwaukee has had a recent plethora of growler suppliers, from bars to liquor stores. This project will allow your beer guzzlin' loved one to get their beer home fresh and keep it that way! The uKeg is pressurized to keep the perfect carbonation from first pour to the last, plus it keeps that beer cold! You win on this deal, too -- I'm sure this guzzler will make its way to your next party or tailgate. Score! 

For the foodie: Aluminum rolling pin

The rolling pin has evolved. Upgrade your loved one's kitchen with this coming-to-market aluminum rolling pin that stays incredibly chilled -- plus it doesn't hold nasty bacteria l…

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There are so many great bar choices in you, Milwaukee. However do we choose?
There are so many great bar choices in you, Milwaukee. However do we choose? (Photo: Flickr Chris Hemmerly)

10 best bars in Milwaukee from The Culture Trip

A recent post from "The Culture Trip" -- a site that gives readers the best of art, food, culture and travel -- took a look at "The 10 Top Bars in Milwaukee: Hip Hangouts & Top Cocktails."

After reading, I couldn't help but think what my take on this list would be.  The Cultural Trip list is good one, and includes local favorites such as Bryant's, Hotel Foster, Hi-Hat Lounge and more.

In fact, you voted and agree with most of these.  The only stop that made our top 5 for Milwaukee's best craft cocktail bars that was not on The Culture Trip's list was Great Lakes Distillery. 

What additions would you make to this list? Here are four Milwaukee bars that I think are worthy: 

1. Great Lakes Distillery, 616 W. Virginia St. 

 

On tap today - Peach Sweet Tea Old Fashioned: Kinnickinnic Whiskey, peach sweet tea, & bitters!

A photo posted by GLDistillery (@greatlakesdistillery) on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:28am PDT

What better place to get a great cocktail than from the source itself -- the maker! Great Lakes Distillery not only makes and distributes its delicious product it also serves it in its own bar. 

2. Pizza Man, 2597 N. Downer Ave.

I loved the tiny, history-laden bar at the old Pizza Man and wasn't sure how I would feel about the new one. After cozying up at the new location a number of times, I am still in love. 

3. Goodkind, 2475 S. Wentworth Ave. 

The horseshoe-shaped bar at Bay View's Goodkin…

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