Wisconsin's been on sleepy lockdown thanks to a rough snowstorm Friday, followed by the even rougher shoveling of said snowstorm the next day. But that's all about to change on Sunday when the 13-3 Packers will face off with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship – and when the entire state finally breaks out of its snowy chains to get out of the house and hopefully celebrate another Super Bowl trip for the green and gold.
Now, finding a Packers bar in this state is not a particular challenge. If it's a bar in Wisconsin, it's a Packers bar. However, if you're looking for something a little more than the usual drinks and atmosphere, several locales are going large for this primetime playoff spat with viewing parties, special deals, live performances and more. And to help you find your escape from the snow – and hopefully a Sunday night to celebrate for years to come – here are more than a dozen bars around the city doing something a little extra special for this special game.
185 S. Moorland Rd., Brookfield
Usually people go to WhirlyBall to play the games themselves, but this Sunday, Packer backers will be there as spectators to the biggest football game of the year. (SO FAR!) Starting at 5:30 p.m., the Brookfield entertainment venue will serve up $1 Hinterland Packerland pilsners and $2 Johnsonville brats – not to mention the NFC Championship across the playground's more than 60 televisions.
2. Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom
1037 W. Juneau Ave.
The good news: Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom is hosting a Packers-49ers watching party on Sunday, complete with the game blasted across a massive projection screen and drink specials such as $10 PBR pitchers and $15 craft pitchers. The bad news: You have to bring your own food. Actually, that means you get to eat whatever game day snacks you love the most! So it's nothing but good news at Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom – with hopefully more to come when the game clock hits triple zeros.
5519 W. North Ave.
Starting at 5 p.m., this beer and coffee hotspot will dish up "emotional and liquid support" for the Packers' big game, as well as Ian's pizza while supplies last. And feel free to bring your own apps and snacks too to make Sunday a big ol' Packers potluck at Vennture. Plus, select brews will be a buck off for the duration of the game – so here's to overtime!
4. Drink Wisconsinbly Pub
320 W. Highland Ave.
A bar in Wisconsin with Wisconsin right there in the name? Yeah, you bet they're gonna go hog-wild for a Packers playoff game. The pregame starts at 3:30 p.m., with $4 Miller Lites, $5 taps and select Drink Wisconsinbly brandy cocktails, free food at halftime, raffles throughout the game, trivia, music and "Crosby shots"– aka a free shot after every Mason Crosby field goal. Obviously.
5. Company Brewing
735 E. Center St.
Join the good company at Company Brewing for the Packers game this Sunday as the Riverwest brewpub will feature the big game on its big screen, along with food and drink specials – such as $2 nachos and $12 Company pitchers – and shots for Packers touchdowns. (Here's to a high-scoring game!) Make a table reservation here!
1110 N. Old World 3rd St.
Tacos and tequila: perhaps the only combination that can rival the tandem of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. Luckily, you can find all four at Cantina on Old World Third Street this Sunday where, in addition to its usual menu of tacos and tequila, they will serve free touchdown shots, $3 Miller Lites, $6 nachos complete with a free Miller Lite and, most importantly, the NFC Championship scattered across all of its TV screens.
7. Izzy Hops
2311 N. Murray Ave.
Hop into Izzy Hops Swig & Nosh on Sunday for some lively East Side Packers action – and as you'd hope with a place with hops in the name, the viewing party will have some beer deals, including $3 Miller Lites and $2 off select taps.
8. Camp Bar
Normally there's few things worse than camping during a Packers game. You're stuck out in the woods with no way of getting a good connection to stream the game, and there's no one to high five when something good happens except for maybe a nearby bear – and we wouldn't recommend that. On the other hand, there are few things BETTER than hanging at Camp Bar – any of its three locations – during a Packers game, where you can cheer along with your fellow Packer backers in a cozy cabin-esque atmosphere.
9. The MECCA Sports Bar & Grill
1134 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.
The Bucks may be off on Sunday, but the Deer District will be anything but sleepy as The MECCA Sports Bar & Grill will host a viewing party for the big NFC Championship Game with all of the bells and whistles – from in-game interactive elements to one of the biggest TV screens you may ever see in the state of Wisconsin. Safe to say you won't miss any of the action on that big boy.
10. Cactus Club
2496 S. Wentworth Ave.
Milwaukee Record hosted live halftime concerts at Cactus Club throughout the Packers season – and considering how well this season's gone so far, there's no reason to stop now. For Sunday's NFC Championship, the Bay View bar will feature Nasty Boys as the free halftime show, plus High Life bottles for $2.50 and hot dogs to snack on. A reminder, though, that these are 21-and-older events.
11. The Explorium Brewpub
5300 S. 76th St. #1450a, Greendale
At this Greendale favorite, you could leave a winner no matter who wins the actual game. In addition to Explorium's usual beer and food specials, the brewpub will have a giveaway at the end of every quarter – from a bottle of Elijah Craig bourbon at kickoff to Explorium gear and a gift card throughout the rest of the game. All you need to do to apply is order a beer or alcoholic drink starting at 5 p.m., as each one earns you a drawing ticket. Getting rewarded for drinking (responsibly, of course)? This is our kind of Packers party!
722 E. Burleigh St.
One might ask: What's an art-themed bar doing hosting a Packers party? One might respond: Is not an Aaron Rodgers 50-yard dime a work of art? The fine folks at this Riverwest hotspot would seem to agree, as they'll host a Sunday game day shindig – complete with $5 build-your-own burgers and veggie burgers with fries on the side. Plus, Art*Bar will have $3 pints of Lite and $5 mimosas to help wash down all that burger goodness – and hopefully Packers goodness.
2060 N. Humboldt Blvd. #200
Stubby's: a kinda silly name with a very serious Packers watch party on Sunday. The popular gastrogrub and beer bar will cook up a build-your-own brat menu for $4 as well as $4 Central Waters brews during the game, not to mention the game on its TV screens. When you combine cheap beer, cheap eats and the Packers, it's bound to be busy – so make reservations by calling in early.
14. The Saloon on Calhoun
17000 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield
It'd be a boon to your late afternoon to drop by The Saloon on Calhoun, where they'll show the game along with free touchdown shots when the good guys score, free food served at halftime and a plethora of drink specials. Plus, the technical name for this Brookfield hangout is The Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon. Because everything is better with bacon – especially a trip to the Super Bowl.
4919 W. North Ave.
What's better than watching the Packers in the NFC Championship game while eating tasty wings? OK, watching the Packers in the Super Bowl while eating tasty wings – but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The answer I was looking for was watching the Packers in the NFC Championship game while eating tasty wings, each for less than a dollar. Indeed, for the Packers game, wings will be 50 cents each. And if that sounds cheap, wait until you try out the touchdown shots, which are free with every Pack touchdown. Add in special raffle prizes at each quarter, and you have no shortage of reasons to hit up this Milwaukee landmark.
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.