The Wisconsin winters may long, brutal, unforgiving and just plain mean. (Always with the spring juke-out!) But we all know it's worth enduring for the glorious handful of months when the weather is wonderful – and, most important, when the beer garden taps are flowing.
Yes, Milwaukee may not get a ton of ideal weather, but when it's finally in the forecast – or even something remotely resembling decent weather – we certainly know how to make the most of it: gathering together in the open air, drinking in the sun and some tasty hops. And to help you find your favorite fresh-air bar, here's a guide to the 2022 beer garden season – regularly updating with new locales, opening hours and more. Cheers Milwaukee!
105 S. Main St., Thiensville, (262) 236-9463
While you eagerly await the return of The Cheel after its devastating fire in late 2020, make sure to spin by the restaurant's beer garden serving up tasty brews alongside live music performances six days a week. That's far from all, however; considering its nickname as the "garden of eatin," The Baaree features an impressive menu of grilled snacks as well as an impressve lineup of craft cocktails. Opened for the season on Friday, May 13, the beer garden will be open 2 p.m. until close Tuesdays through Fridays as well as noon to close on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Beer Garden at Deer District
1133 N Old World 3rd St,, (414) 908-0401
A part of one of the famous cheering sections in the nation, the Beer Garden in Deer District offers 20 tap lines with craft and domestic brews along with a lineup of seltzers, snacks and more. Plus, to help soak up the suds (and hopefully a Bucks victory) guests can order food from both The MECCA and Cream City Cluckery. The star, though, is the big outdoor television – perfect for cheering on the Bucks whether they're playing on the road or just across the plaza, no matter the weather thanks to the roof covering the main gathering space. The Beer Garden is currently open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 8 p.m. as well as for select gamedays and special events next door at Fiserv Forum. Still should've been called the Deer Garden though.
Beer Garden at the Corners
The Corners of Brookfield, 20111 W. Bluemound Rd.
Nobody puts Baby in the corner – but we do put in a beer garden at The Corners! (Forced opening line: achieved!) Indeed, you can find a lot inside this Brookfield hub – including a beer garden space on Thursdays from 5:30-8 p.m. in the courtyard space outside Cafe Hollander beginning July 7. And as an added bonus to the tasty brews and summery vibes, the beer garden also features live music performances. For the full lineup, click here.
What's better than a classic Winnebago? A Winne-beergo, a retro RV modified with eight taps of four-wheeled beer bliss. The Beergo brings a rotating list of craft brews and beyond around the Pewaukee area – in particular at Lakefront Park on Thursday evenings from 4-8 p.m. beginning on June 2, as well as various Lake Country locales on Friday and Saturday nights generally from 5-9 p.m. For a complete schedule of The Beergo's planned 2022 destinations and times, visit its Facebook page.
Biergarten at the Schwab
The Schwabenhof, N56W14750 Silver Spring Dr., Menomonee Falls
The Schwabenhof may have ended its famous fish fry, but its beer garden isn't saying bye anytime soon. Now open every Thursday throughout the summer at 4 p.m., the Biergarten at the Schwab features regular live accordion music, trivia nights and, of course, tasty authentic German brews to swig and dishes to dig. For the beer garden's full schedule of events this summer, visit The Schwabenhof's website.
Depot Beer Garden
Old Falls Village, N96W15791 County Line Rd, Menomonee Falls
A beer garden that's a blast from the past, the Depot Beer Garden in Menomonee Falls opened for the 2022 season on May 21 with a quite literal blast: a pair of Revolutionary War reenactments on both its opening Saturday and Sunday. The living history won't stop after opening weekend either as the beer garden is surrounded by historic buildings and hosts throwback events throughout the season – all along with tasty grilled eats and, of course, satisfying brews on tap.
Elm Grove Beer Garden
Elm Grove Village Park, 13600 Juneau Blvd.
Third Space is headed back to Elm Grove Village Park this summer. Reopened for the season on Friday, May 27, the space comes with some upgrades for 2022 – including an expanded area with more lighting and tables, more events and more rotating beer selections. Live music and food trucks will also make regular stops throughout the summer. The beer garden is open Fridays from 4-9 p.m., Saturdays from noon-9 p.m. and Sundays from noon-6 p.m.
4600 Estabrook Dr., (414) 219-9065
Named as one of America's coolest beer gardens back in 2017, Estabrook Park Beer Garden offers covered tables, heated chalets, local and German beer, food options and lots of parking, all by the banks of a scenic river. The beer garden opened for the 2022 season on Friday, April 22, complete with an opening keg tapping plus a bonus one the next day to celebrate German Beer Day. If you missed out on those fun times, don't worry: There's always more to come. Details on future events can be found here. Otherwise, the beer garden is open thrughout the summer from noon until 9 p.m. daily.
Fox Point Beer Garden
Fox Point Pool, 7040-7098 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Fox Point Pool is making a splash this summer with its beer garden space – this year complete with a renovated trailer-turned-keg cooler courtesy of New Barons Brewing Coop. The trailer will feature six lines – four pouring New Barons brews and two for seasonal options – while food trucks, live music and more will surround the gathering space. Dates are scattered throughout the summer, so for more details, click here or check out the beer garden's Facebook page.
Franklin Beer Garden
9100 S. 76th St., (414) 427-5846
Take a trip to the Franklin Beer Garden and find yourself on a vacation to Croatia – no flight necessary. Open 5-10 p.m. every Thursday now through September, the beer garden offers a variety of brews and other beverages – but the star suds are the imported Croatian options as well as its Croatian Park Ale. To help soak up your sips, the Franklin Beer Garden serves up a number of eats from local food trucks as well as crave-able Croatian favorites like cevapi and Croatian nachos. Add in live music, pro bocci ball courts, TVs for the day's big games, a kids play area and plenty of space to relax, and you've got an ideal escape right in town.
3565 N. Morris Blvd., Shorewood, (414) 332-4207
Open year-round thanks to its cozy heated domes, the Hubbard Park Beer Garden offers 365 days of authentic Sconnie relaxation with plenty of tasty brews, fish frys, occasional live music performances, gorgeous scenery and more. The beer garden is currently open Wednesdays through Fridays beginning at 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays starting at noon.
5901 W. National Ave., West Allis, (414) 257-9999
One of the most iconic and beloved restaurants in the city, Kegel's Inn pays delicious homage to its German roots with its lovely beer garden, open year-round thanks to heated yurts on Saturdays and Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4-8 p.m., as well as Fridays from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. The space features live music, a terrific fish fry and a delicious taste of Milwaukee history.
The Landing at Hoyt Park
1800 N. Swan Blvd., Wauwatosa, (414) 302-9160
Be sure to land at The Landing at Hoyt Park sometime this summer. (Or sometimes, plural.) With a tasty collection of pizza and pretzels alongside its impressive lineup of craft brews, the beer garden makes quite a splash – and not just because it's right nearby the pool. The Landing opened for the 2022 season on Friday, May 13 at 3 p.m., serving Wednesday through Friday from 3 to 9 p.m. as well as Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 9 p.m.
South Shore Terrace
2900 S. Shore Dr., (414) 617-1147
One of the earliest beer gardens to start pouring this year, the lakeside South Shore Terrace opened for 2022 on Thursday, March 17 – that's right, St. Patrick's Day. For the current summer season, the South Shore Terrace – featuring a hefty lineup of Miller brews, a menu of tasty pub eats and a lovely waterfront locale – is open 4-9 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.
The Tap Yard
The Shoppes at Fox River, 1160 W. Sunset Dr., Waukesha
2925 N. Barker Rd., Brookfield
1555 N. Rivercenter Drive, Milwaukee
4875 County Highway Z, West Bend
One of the newer beer gardens in the Brew City scene, this expanded local chain of hot spots features an impressive number of tap lines, along with live music, food trucks rolling in tasty eats and – new to 2022 for the Waukesha location – a farmers market running Sundays from May 8 through October at 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Stay tuned to The Tap Yard's Facebook page for updates on seasonal opening plans, special pop-ups and other events.
Traveling Beer Gardens
Rotating locations throughout Milwaukee
One of the best beer gardens in Milwaukee is actually MULTIPLE beer gardens as the Traveling Beer Garden and its duo of modified suds-slinging vintage fire engines will take to the road once again in 2022, hitting 10 Milwaukee County parks between May 11 and Labor Day weekend. Click here for the full schedule of Traveling Beer Garden dates and destinations – and be sure to stop by one of their stops!
The Vine Humboldt
3000 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee
Found in Humboldt Park just a few steps away from Chill on the Hill, The Vine Humboldt brings more of a wine focus to the usual beer garden set-up, offering several vinos on tap as well as a lineup of craft beers. No matter your preference, it's the perfect place to grab a sip and hear the sounds of the park – or maybe the songs coming from the bandshell just over the hill. The Vine opened for the 2022 season Thursday, May 26, pouring Tuesdays through Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. as well as weekends from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
War Memorial Beer Garden
750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
In addition to its own beer garden, Kegel's Inn will also team up with the War Memorial for a gathering space by the lakefront landmark. Opened Memorial Day weekend, the beer garden offers a collection of German brews along with delicious loaded brats, giant hunger-satisfying pretzels and other snacks from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Whitnall Beer Garden
8831 N. Root River Pkwy., Franklin
Once a stop on the Traveling Beer Garden tour, the Whitnall Park pouring grounds became so popular that it earned its own full-time summer beer garden, serving up 24 tasty craft brew taps, wine, high-quality grilled goodies (including the occasional pig roast) from Gift of Wings, live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and a lovely open-air park space open to families and dogs. The Whitnall Beer Garden opened for the season at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 22 – but as for the rest of the summer, the beer garden will be open 4-9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends as well as holidays, with last call at 8 p.m. For additional updates – as well as the garden's live music slate – visit the beer garden's website.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.