By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 10, 2022 at 10:01 AM

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Your guide to having a great summer is brought to you by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and Peoples State Bank.

In a climate like ours, we treasure every moment we can enjoy outside, because that annual five months of gloom looms in our collective psyche. Add to that Milwaukee’s deep German connection and the craft beer movement, and the wild success of beer gardens is easily explained.

Our great- and great-great-grandparents were more than a little familiar with beer gardens. All the major breweries had them – some outdoor, some even indoor as palm gardens – but then for many years, they fell off our collective radar, fixed nixed by Prohibition and later replaced, perhaps, by drinking outdoors at Brew City’s many festivals.

Since Estabrook Park Beer Garden opened 10 years ago, there has been an explosion of beer gardens of all kinds – in permanent structures, in movable trailers, under tents, with cabanas – seemingly everywhere – parks, parking lots, shopping malls and beyond.

Like the patio and outdoor dining movement, I love this development.

Beer gardens in all their variety are a great way to spend the day.

Sitting outside with friends and family ...

The kids at the adjacent playground if you’re at a place like The Landing at Hoyt, or kicking around a soccer ball at any of the County Parks beer gardens ...

Walking to a pop-up beer garden at the park near your house ...

Listening to live music ...

Enjoying a ridiculously large pretzel, or, at a place like South Shore Terrace, a wider food menu ...

Checking out great local craft beer at brewery-driven suburban beer gardens ...

Gazing at Lake Michigan, if you’re at South Shore or, say, the War Memorial beer garden ...

Playing a board game at the picnic table ...

Of course, having a beer, especially at a place with a vast selection of local gems, like, say, one of The Tap Yards.

I love Milwaukee’s taverns, but when the sun is shining and the weather is sweet, as the song goes, it makes me want to move my feet on over to a spot outside where I can enjoy time with good people while drinking a good beer in the glorious Milwaukee summer.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.