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Surprised Estabrook is one of "America's Coolest Beer Gardens"? I'm not

Though I'm still making my way around Milwaukee's seemingly endless beer gardens, I have, of course, been to Estabrook Park's and am not surprised at all to find it on's "America's Coolest Beer Gardens" list.

The post, which was published over the weekend, says, "We've searched all over the country for some of the very best beer gardens, and, not surprisingly, many of them have a decidedly German influence, re-creating the celebratory beer halls of Munich. Other beer gardens on our list veer into junkyard-chic territory, some have taken the biker path, while others are an oasis in the industrial desert. We love them all, because they open their backyards and welcome new friends with a cold brew and possibly a pretzel. Work up a thirst as we take a tour of the coolest beer gardens across the country."

Rendered in that annoying slideshow format, the list spotlights 26 beer gardens across the country, from Philly to Denver, San Diego to Seattle, Nashville to New York. Estabrook clocks in at No. 8.

Like you, I go to a beer garden to get outside and meet friends and enjoy a good brew. As a parent, a playground nearby – within view – is key, too. Add live music, adjacent sports fields (baseball, soccer and a skatepark), a bit of food – especially a great pretzel – and I'm hooked.

Estabrook has all of that, which makes it a winner in my book.

(PHOTO: Estabrook Beer Garden/The Daily Meal)

Says The Daily Meal:

"What's better than sitting on the banks of the Milwaukee River with a liter of beer, listening to polka in the sunshine? Modeled after Munich beer gardens, Estabrook is the first public beer garden in Wisconsin since Prohibition. You can arrive by foot, bicycle or canoe, but cars are a no-go. Probably a good idea, since you'll need multiple beers to wash down those pretzels that rival the size of your head. At least you don't have to worry about where you parked."

Of course, cars are not a no-go (there's a parking lot close by), but hey, the rest is pretty spot-on. Plus, you're just up the road from the oldest surviving house in Milwaukee!



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