"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
More than a century and a half after the opening of the first brewery in Milwaukee, the city’s identity is still drenched in beer.
On the South Side, at Forest Home Cemetery, 2405 W. Forest Home Ave., many of the men who made the beer that made Milwaukee famous lie in repose amid 200 acres of gently rolling terrain.
For their sake, let’s hope the polka standard got it wrong:
Every year, you can take a guided Beer Barons Tour at the cemetery, 2402 W. Forest Home Ave., and learn about men like August Krug, who founded what became Schlitz; Joseph Schlitz and many of the Uihleins; Capt. Frederick Pabst; Jacob Best, who founded what became Pabst; Falk Brewery founder Franz Falk; Fritz Gettelman Sr.; and many other beer barons who are interred in the historic cemetery.
The next tour, which meets outside the cemetery's Halls of History, is slated for Sunday, July 14 at 2 p.m.
You can search here to see who is buried at Forest Home.
There's a monument, but Joseph Schlitz was lost at sea in a shipwreck off the coast of England.
"The Beer Barons Tour is one of our biggest draws," says Jan Van Rens, the cemetery’s executive director. "We get more people in on those tours (than for any of the other tours), especially if we have the Blatz Mausoleum open. The last time that we actually had it open, there were like 250 people who came on that tour."
Many of the brewers are buried in an area called Brewers’ Row, and Forest Home’s office offers a free brochure and map about the beer barons that allows visitors to go on self-guided tours.
You won't Frederick Miller and his family at Forest Home. They are buried at Calvary Cemetery, an equally history-laden cemetery for Milwaukee's Roman Catholic community (Solomon Juneau is spending eternity there). If you visit there, 5503 W. Bluemound Rd., you can find the large Miller family plot just down the hill to the north of the chapel.
Philipp Jung, who founded Jung and Borchert Brewery in 1879, is also interred at Calvary. His partner Ernst Borchert lies at Forest Home.
The Pabst/Schandein plot at Forest Home Cemetery. (PHOTO: Visit Milwaukee)
While you’re out there, be sure to check out the Halls of History at Forest Home and grab a map and pay your respects to an astonishing array of Milwaukee’s mayors, pioneers, notables and others, including Byron Kilbourn, George Walker, the Usingers, Ezekiel Gillespie, Beulah Brinton, Henry Harnischfeger, Frank Zeidler, Edmund Fitzgerald, the victims of the Newhall House fire (there's another Newhall monument at Calvary, too) and countless others.
Forest Home offers a wide array of themed tours, including "Women of the 1800s: Untold Stories of Accomplishment,' "Civil War," "Famous Germans" and "Mayors of Milwaukee," to name a few.
"We keep adding different ones," says Van Rens. "We have two new women's tours this summer. We keep adding new and different things because we do have a lot of repeat people who come.
"The big thing that we're trying to do is to share with people that this is the place of history. We've got tour guides who are very knowledgeable. If you want to know about Milwaukee history, come here."
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.