As a city that experiences a long, often brutal winter, Milwaukee loves soaking up the sun and warmth in its many beer gardens as soon as the weather permits, especially because we can enjoy them with our pets and families, too.
Here’s what we know about the 2021 beer garden season, but keep checking back for regular updates to this post as more information becomes available.
105 S. Main St., Thiensville, (262) 236-9463
The beer garden at The Cheel – which is currently being rebuilt after a devastating fire – has music five nights a week and trivia on Thursday. But this is more than just a beer garden; there’s a great bourbon selection, craft cocktails and a full bar. Open 2-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 2-midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 2-8 on Sunday.
The Beer Garden at the Deer District
1133 N Old World 3rd St,, (414) 908-0401
The tap room offers 20 tap lines with craft and domestic brews, as well as packaged beers, seltzers, sodas, popcorn and snacks. You can also order food from the nearby The MECCA Sports Bar & Grill and Cream City Cluckery, as well as the MKEat food truck. And a few steps away is the Downtown location of Good City Brewing! Did I mention that the covered beer garden also has one of the biggest outdoor televisions – showing mostly sports, of course (it's just outside the Fiserv Forum) – we’ve ever seen. Open Fridays, 3-8 p.m., Saturdays, 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sundays, 11-6. Hours may be impacted by late-start Bucks games. Bucks games will always be shown on the big screen. It also should have been called the Deer Garden.
4600 Estabrook Dr., (414) 219-9065
Estabrook Park Beer Garden is open daily at noon. This is one of the area’s premier beer gardens, with covered tables, heated chalets, local and German beer, food options and lots of parking. Watch the website or check back here for updates.
3565 N. Morris Blvd., Shorewood, (414) 332-4207
Thanks to its warm bubbles, the Hubbard Park Beer Garden, located in a wooded area along the Milwaukee River, is open year-round. The lodge at the site is a great dinner option and food can be ordered there to enjoy out in the garden, too.
5901 W. National Ave., West Allis, (414) 257-9999
The Kegel's Inn beer garden is open Saturday, Tuesday-Thursday from 4 until 8 p.m., and Friday, 11-8. Live entertainment, one of the city's best Friday fish frys and more. The winter yurts are being moved to the parking lot for private parties.
The Landing at Hoyt Park
1800 N. Swan Blvd., Wauwatosa, (414) 302-9160
The Landing is adjacent to the popular Hoyt Park Pool, and offers a new online point-of-sale ordering system. According to a message from The Landing, “We'll follow the guidelines in place for City of Wauwatosa, and update as the season progresses. Quizmaster live trivia on Wednesdays starting, and local food trucks, including Wilma's BBQ, Heirloom MKE and Hue Asian Kitchen.”
South Shore Terrace
2900 S. Shore Dr., (414) 617-1147
Though the Bay View beer garden, which overlooks Lake Michigan, closed on Oct. 31, it will reopen for chalet season, which runs Nov. 26-Jan. 31. The six-person chalets are warmed, but not heated, so a winter gear and a blanket are recommended. Reservations for 90-minute timeslots are open now here. The cost is $80 per 90-minute slot, which includes a $40 food and beverage credit.
Tap Yard Waukesha
The Shoppes at Fox River, 1160 W. Sunset Dr., Waukesha
This new beer garden – one of two from the former owners of Greenfield's The Brass Tap – has 36 tap lines! There will be live music on Fridays and Saturdays, family fun Sundays and trivia on Thursdays. Food trucks include Mr. P's Grilled Cheese (Wednesdays), Scrima's Wood-Fired Pizza (Wednesdays-Fridays), Pig Tailz or Roll MKE (Fridays-Saturdays) and Los Inches Tacos. The Tap Yards are open through Nov. 1. It will then host some winter pop-ups and heated igloos and greenhouses through Jan. 2.
The Tap @ The Yard at Bayshore
Bayshore Town Center, 5800 N. Bayshore Dr., Glendale
This new beer garden – one of two from the former owners of Greenfield's The Brass Tap – like its sibling in Waukesha, runs 36 tap lines. And just like the western location, there will be live music on Fridays and Saturdays, family fun Sundays and trivia on Thursdays. There will be food trucks on site, too, as well as the food options at the outdoor mall. The Tap Yards are open through Nov. 1. It will then host some winter pop-ups for Badgers and Packers games and other special events.
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.