October and September is high season for haunted houses, haunted corn mazes, haunted hikes ... but if you prefer a little liquid courage while you get your spook on, check out Untapped Tours’ Haunted Hops and Evil Spirits Pub Crawl.
Pub crawl organizer Mike Awve has recently returned to his hometown of Milwaukee after spending several years in other cities cutting his teeth in the tourism industry. He enjoyed stints in Alaska, San Francisco and at the Grand Canyon. "After that, I got a lot of good experience and decided to move back home and start up my own business," he said.
He began Untapped Tours of Milwaukee in May and spent the summer giving tourists and natives alike the a whimsical and historic look at the city. July was his biggest month, he said, when he had over 228 people tour throughout the month – and since he can only fit 11 in his bus, that amounts to a lot of sold-out tours.
On a traditional Untapped Tour, participants will get to see the city’s main attractions, starting with City Hall and The Pabst Theater and followed by a photo op with the Bronze Fonz, a jaunt to the East Side, lakefront and Third Ward and a stop in Walker’s Point for a cheese and ice cream tasting at Clock Shadow Creamery.
Other highlights include the Milwaukee VA Soldier’s Home and a drive down Wisconsin Avenue to the Tripoli Shrine Center and Marquette campus. The tour wraps up at Lakefront Brewery, where everyone gets a tour of the facilities and a beer sample.
The autumnal incarnation of the Untapped Tour is geared a lot more towards locals – showing Milwaukeeans a side of the city they may not know about.
"The summertime is when we have a lot of visitors in town, but once it starts getting colder and dark, people in Milwaukee are looking for something to do," said Awve.
Untapped Tours is partnering with Horny Goat Hideaway, 2011 S. 1st St., for a tour of its facility and a pumpkin beer for all participants. Then, it’s on to Great Lakes Distillery, 616 W. Virginia St., for a Pumpkin Old Fashioned. The last stop is Shaker’s, 422 S. 2nd St., for a haunted tour and a specialty beer (Shadow People or Ghost Ale by Sprecher).
There will also be trivia, games and the opportunity to win free drinks or prizes at the locations, plus round-trip transportation in the 11-person bus. Tours are held Friday and Saturday nights through Nov. 26. The cost is $45 and includes all the previously mentioned drinks.
Awve said that a holiday pub crawl might also be in the works.
For more information on the Haunted Hops and Evil Spirits Pub Crawl, visit Untapped Tours’ website.
Colleen Jurkiewicz is a Milwaukee native with a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she loves having a job where she learns something new about the Cream City every day. Her previous incarnations have included stints as a waitress, a barista, a writing tutor, a medical transcriptionist, a freelance journalist, and now this lovely gig at the best online magazine in Milwaukee.