The "Social Circle" is a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
Brewery and distillery tours are both informative and affordable ways to consume history and beer. Not surprisingly, there are many good ones in town, but also plenty of great tour opportunities beyond Brew City.
Below is a sampling of the Social Circle’s responses from earlier this week. Read the entire thread here and feel free to chime in with your favorite brewery tour, too.
Michael Barry: "I had an Uzbek friend in Milwaukee. Her mom would brew beer in a huge pot and leave it in the fridge, uncovered. It never went flat, I guess the yeast kept doing its job. Anyway, it was a short tour, but it was interesting to open the fridge door and take a look."
Jason Bohn: "The Lakefront Brewery has always been a favorite, but the Milwaukee Brewing Company gets better and better each time I've gone."
Brian Eckes: "New Belgium or Odell's. They are a couple blocks apart in Fort Collins, Colo. Great breweries in a beautiful city. You can ride an inner tube down the Poudre or just take the bike trail."
Patrick Fox: "Don’t remember."
Bill Hartz: "All of them."
Tom Julio: "Buffalo Trace Distillery in Lexington is mind boggling for its historic complex. The head distiller also has Milwaukee ties."
Jeff Kilsdonk: "A tie between Lakefront Brewery and Sam Adams in Boston. My Sprecher tour was underwhelming."
Julie Wezyk Liotta: "Guinness in Dublin."
Tammy Kirkolis Machaj: "Lakefront or Great Lakes Distillery. Both are very good tours."
Dave Mikolajek: "Miller. It's the only one I've ever done (22 years ago or so)."
Steve Pittsley: "Maker's Mark in Loretta, Ky. The Sprecher tour is very good, too."
Dax Phillips: "I liked Great Lakes Distillery and Milwaukee Brewing Company."
Kathy Schacht: "Lakefront. The tour guides are always hilarious. And the beer is amazing!"
Tara Schmidt: "The riverboat tour that takes you to three breweries along the river!"
Lori Schwefel: "Krombacher Brewery-Kreuztal, Germany. Ancient craft, modern technology in the same beautiful setting for hundreds of years. It's where I learned to love beer – dark beer. An awesome story and a priceless memory. Prost!"
Krista Stalewski: "Milwaukee Brewing Company!"
Jim Stanley: "Best Place! Best Place!"
Jaimmie Stugard: "Milwaukee Brewing Company. Best beer!"
Jim Thompson: "Central Waters Brewing Company. It has that small town 'doing it all local' appeal and a fun tap room."
Sarah Vanden Boom: "In Milwaukee, Sprecher is my favorite because they are humorous, keep the tour short and their beer garden is fun. They also offer special tastings in the back room which I had a lot of fun doing. Another favorite of mine is Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City. The tour is upbeat and fun, they have a gorgeous facility and the tastings at the end are generous (and delicious!)"
Dan Weld: "Hands down Lakefront Brewery, been on the tour three times, each time was a completely different experience! The tour guides are great and the beers are fantastic! Can't wait to go back!"
Ed Werstein: "Capel Distillery in the Elqui Valley of Chile. Because, well, South America. Pisco!"
Blaine Wesselowski: "Great Lakes Distillery."
Erik Witt: "Old New Orleans rum distillery."