Though I'm still making my way around Milwaukee's seemingly endless beer gardens, I have, of course, been to Estabrook Park's and am not surprised at all to find it on DailyMeal.com's "America's Coolest Beer Gardens" list.
The post, which was published over the weekend, says, "We’ve searched all over the country for some of the very best beer gardens, and, not surprisingly, many of them have a decidedly German influence, re-creating the celebratory beer halls of Munich. Other beer gardens on our list veer into junkyard-chic territory, some have taken the biker path, while others are an oasis in the industrial desert. We love them all, because they open their backyards and welcome new friends with a cold brew and possibly a pretzel. Work up a thirst as we take a tour of the coolest beer gardens across the country."
Rendered in that annoying slideshow format, the list spotlights 26 beer gardens across the country, from Philly to Denver, San Diego to Seattle, Nashville to New York. Estabrook clocks in at No. 8.
Like you, I go to a beer garden to get outside and meet friends and enjoy a good brew. As a parent, a playground nearby – within view – is key, too. Add live music, adjacent sports fields (baseball, soccer and a skatepark), a bit of food – especially a great pretzel – and I'm hooked.
Estabrook has all of that, which makes it a winner in my book.
(PHOTO: Estabrook Beer Garden/The Daily Meal)
Says The Daily Meal:
"What’s better than sitting on the banks of the Milwaukee River with a liter of beer, listening to polka in the sunshine? Modeled after Munich beer gardens, Estabrook is the first public beer garden in Wisconsin since Prohibition. You can arrive by foot, bicycle or canoe, but cars are a no-go. Probably a good idea, since you’ll need multiple beers to wash down those pretzels that rival the size of your head. At least you don’t have to worry about where you parked."
Of course, cars are not a no-go (there's a parking lot close by), but hey, the rest is pretty spot-on. Plus, you're just up the road from the oldest surviving house in Milwaukee!
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.