Lakefront Brewery Tour
Stop by any Pastoral Retail Store & Bar Pastoral and you’re sure to find a carefully selected & awesomely varied array of beers. We’re very proud of our beer selection at Pastoral, and we’re even prouder of the Artisan Producers who create these fine brews. Recently we added a new beer to our rotating beer case from our neighbors in Milwaukee at LakeFront Brewery, a brewery dedicated to locally-sourced, green-friendly production. Pastoral Retail currently carries Lakefront Brewery's Bridge Burner, a love letter to earthy hops that’s backed up by caramel notes and hints of citrus and pine. Recently, I paid a visit to the Lakefront Brewery located alongside the Milwaukee River to see where this tasty brew was created.
Image from GreatBrewers.com
The tour costs a mere $7 and begins in Lakefront’s massive Beer Hall, which looks like it belongs in Germany for Oktoberfest and is also host to a weekly Lenten Fish Fry. Each guest is given 4 tokens to trade for a tasting of beer and is encouraged to enjoy an assortment of Lakefront's brews before, during & after the tour. Guests are also given a free pint glass before leaving the brewery, plus a coupon for a free Lakefront beer at an assortment of Milwaukee bars (Only tours before 4 PM). The team at Lakefront is friendly and knowledgeable, and they even let me sample some beers before deciding which ones I’d relinquish my token for. We were given a five minute warning before the tour began, cuing me to chug the remainder of my deliciously malty & dark Fuel Café (a perfect substitute for my morning coffee) and selected my on-tour beer: a light & crisp Klisch Pilsner (my favorite of the day).
As our adventure began, it became apparent that this was no ordinary brewery tour.
We began our trip with a series of ‘Cheers’ in several languages, with our awesome guide enjoying a brew along with us. Our tour guide (the 'Brewery Dungeon Master') genuinely seemed to enjoy himself on the entire tour and never stopped cracking beer-related jokes and poking fun at the homey but fun nature of the brewery. Lakefront was founded by two home-brewing champions, The Klisch brothers, who took one friend's tipsy suggestion of ‘hey, you guys should start a brewery’ to heart.
We learned the ins & outs of the brewery, including the history of the building (a coal factory) and the dairy-farm origins of their equipment. We learned of the Lakefront traditional birthday celebration, where the birthday boy or girl is named ‘King of the Bunghole’ (a term to describe the hole bored in old-school wooden beer barrels). The king is then encouraged to hammer away at the bung hole with a ‘bunghole whacker’, announcing to everyone in the vicinity that his birthday has arrived.
The original brewing equipment from Lakefront Brewery, fondly nicknamed the 'Three Stooges', now has a permanent home in front of the Brewery.
Loyal employees of Lakefront who have paid their dues in blood, sweat & beer are chosen to brew their very own limited edition batch.
The tour continued on to a small bar located inside the brewing area itself (awesome). It was there where I learned about the ‘My Turn’ beer series at Lakefront, perhaps my favorite factoid about the company. Loyal employees of Lakefront who have paid their dues in blood, sweat & beer are chosen to brew their very own limited edition batch. I sampled the Luther, a smoky-sweet Helles Rauchbier that would be perfect alongside some BBQ chicken or smoked salmon. Our day ended at yet another Lakefront Brewery bar to finish off our beer tokens and to toast to a fine day of educational, beer drinking fun.
Amanda Diamond is Pastoral's Social Media & Marketing Coordinator and Cheesemonger. She's a recent Chicago transplant who hails from Atlanta, GA (and yes, she says y'all). She studied at Tulane University in New Orleans, a city that also inspired her love of cheese and tasty new food. She's thrilled to be surrounded by cheese-lovers like herself while navigating the Social Media landscape for Pastoral.