By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 02, 2022 at 2:03 PM

After drawing copious interest for its "Brew City: The Story of Milwaukee Beer" exhibit in 2016, the Milwaukee County Historical Society has brought the show back as a permanent exhibit.

The exhibition, which occupies the first floor exhibit spaces at the MCHS home in the former Second Ward Savings Bank, 910 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., "Brew City" opened July 27.

beer X

As before, the show tells the story of Milwaukee beer via text, images, A/V components, objects and interactives, drawn from the society's large collection of breweriana, which includes more than 75,000 artifacts and over a million documents and images, including lots of vintage beer labels.

"The Society's beer and brewing collection is one of our largest and most eclectic collections," said Director of Collections Ben Barbera. "Beer is a popular topic due to its current relevance and its inherent connection to Milwaukee."

For a time, MCHS housed the beer exhibit – with a working bar – in the former Applebee's at the old Grand Avenue Mall. The exhibit was taken down when the mall was sold and converted to The Avenue. The space occupied by the show is now part of 3rd Street Market Hall.

Although the objects and documents in the show are pretty much unchanged, the design of the exhibit and its panels are all new, according to Barbera.


The new permanent exhibit is sponsored by Miller Brewing Company, as well as include Pabst Brewing Company and the Museum of Beer and Brewing.

“Miller Brewing Company is excited to be the presenting sponsor of this exhibit,” said Molson Coors' Director of Community Affairs Tami Garrison. “Throughout our company’s long history, we have been connected to the role the brewing industry played in Milwaukee’s development and identity.

"Miller is proud to be in the same location where it began in 1855, and today the brewery and Molson Coors corporate operations continue to thrive as we employ 1,700 people in the Miller Valley.”


MCHS will continue to host seasonal exhibits alongside "Brew City," and they – along with the research library – are open to the public Monday and Wednesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $8 per person and children 12 and under are free.

Find a slate of special events related to "Brew City: The Story of Milwaukee Beer" at

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 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.