Booze City

Okay, Milwaukee's nickname is actually Brew City, but during our tour of the Lakefront Brewery on Saturday with the Kiffers, I misheard our guide. You could probably blame it on the Holiday Spice beer I was drinking at the time (alcohol content: 9.2%), but having witnessed firsthand the affinity for hard booze by 'Sconsinites, I felt this was an understandable mistake.  [When the bartender - who was the spitting image of Principal Anderson in "Billy Madison," only in suspenders and dirty jeans - gave me the beer before the tour, he warned me that "every employee has a Holiday Spice story." Sign me up!]

Caleb and Lisa joined us Friday night and began the Bloom Signature Heart Attack Tour of Milwaukee, courtesy of midwest food portions. This was only after they experienced, in their pilot's own words, a "steering failure" during landing. Obviously, margaritas were necessary after such a traumatic experience. We headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Riviera Maya, and stuffed our faces with three meat nachos and specialty mole enchiladas. I believe both Kiffers skipped breakfast the next day due to "still being full." What newbies. I totally powered through.

On Saturday we ventured (for my third time) to Lakefront Brewery to give the Kiffers a taste of Wisconsin beer. Yes, I know the answers to all of the questions. (What is the 16th century German beer law that Lakefront adheres to? The Purity Law. What are the only ingredients allowed in the Purity Law? Barley, Water, Yeast, Hops. How many barrels of beer does Miller Brewery spill in one 8-hour shift? 8,000. How many barrels does Lakefront produce a year? Less than the amount Miller spills in one day. It's a small operation, and also the first certified organic brewery in the country.)

Anywho, the tour is a hoot, probably because all of the guides are drunk and openly admit it. Here we are standing in front of Bernie the Brewer's (the baseball mascot) beer stein from the previous baseball stadium.

When you first arrive and get your tour bracelet, you are also given 4 beer tokens. All this for 6 bucks! I traded in my 4 tokens for two of the Holiday Spice (they're more because they're in a bottle, see). Jon managed to get a bottle of their newest brew, Local Acre, made from specialty hops that can only be found in Wisconsin. It was slightly larger than both the cups and my bottle of Holiday Spice.

Complimentary cup, beer token, Holiday Spice and Local Acre.

At the end of the tour, you can exchange the cups (made of a corn polymer) for free pint glasses. Pretty sure there isn't a better value for 6 bucks anywhere.

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