Beer history, beer gardens, craft beer…this is Brew City. Historic breweries like Pabst, Miller, Schlitz, and Blatz made Milwaukee famous, and beer lovers won’t want to miss the excitement of today’s booming craft brewing scene.

There’s no city that has a beer culture like Milwaukee does, with everything from theaters to stadiums named for great brewers from the city’s storied past. Throughout the city, your group will see (and taste) how beer is part of Milwaukee’s past, present, and future. Several local businesses offer custom, guided tours of Milwaukee’s modern breweries and beer history attractions, and you can even take advantage of Milwaukee’s location on the shore of Lake Michigan with beer-themed boat cruises.

These four group tour favorites are just the start of the ultimate beer tour in the original Brew City.

Pabst Mansion

Photo: Visit Milwaukee
Pabst Mansion, Milwaukee, Wis.

Learn the history of Captain Frederick J. Pabst, the famous beer baron of Pabst Brewing, as you visit his family home. This Flemish Renaissance Revival mansion was once the finest home in the city and has been lovingly restored to its original Gilded Age splendor. Captain and Mrs. Pabst were avid art collectors, and the home includes fine arts as well as original décor and furnishings.

Sprecher Brewery

Photo: Visit Milwaukee
Sprecher Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

Milwaukee’s first craft brewery is famous for its European-inspired brews and delicious craft sodas. Start your tour in the Rathskeller Museum where you are able to view brewing memorabilia from past Wisconsin breweries while waiting for your tour to begin. Next, visit the brewhouse and discover how Sprecher is reviving the Old World brewing traditions that made Milwaukee famous. Travel through the lager cellar to see the Bavarian murals on display in the bottling room.

Lakefront Brewery

Photo: Visit Milwaukee
Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, Wis.

Lakefront Brewery is one of Milwaukee’s favorite craft breweries, thanks in no small part to its hilarious tour guides! This brewery tour includes lots of jokes and beer breaks, and even a shout out to Milwaukee’s most famous fictional brewery employees, Laverne & Shirley. After your tour, enjoy lunch in the beer hall, including local favorites like cheese curds and fish fry.

Miller Brewery

Photo: Visit Milwaukee
Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

See where it all began at the site of America’s oldest major brewery. Miller Brewing Company offers a free, entertaining tour, guiding visitors through the rich history and brewing process of Miller beers. The one-hour guided walking tour gives guests an up-close look at the brewhouse, packaging center, and historical caves. Tours conclude with frosty beer samples at the historic Miller Inn or beer garden.

Visit Milwaukee
Jill Hauck |