Weekend in Milwaukee

I’m a little bit behind on blogging, but I thought I would share a little travel recap from our recent trip to Milwaukee over Memorial Day Weekend. I work for Hilton Hotels, and one of the perks of the job is some amazing discounts at Hiltons all over the country. Because of this, Eric and I decided we really need to take advantage of my super cheap hotel room rates for quick weekend trips. This time around we were lucky to be accompanied by two of our favorite people- Eric’s parents!

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Eric had been to Milwaukee once before and insisted that our first stop in town was the Mars Cheese Castle. And yes, you did read that correctly. We visited a castle full of cheese. My husband was one happy camper

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It was basically a large gourmet market that specialized in a variety of cheeses. We had the chance to try some different types of cheddar cheeses, some flavored cheeses and even a chocolate cheese that tasted like a mix between cream cheese and fudge. We left the Mars Cheese castle with some smoked cheddar cheese and some of the most amazing honey pecan barbeque sauce I’ve ever had. Who knew you could find such great barbeque sauce at a cheese store?

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Later that day we went to the Miller Brewery and took a tour of the facility. I was surprised that the tour was completely free, as they not only took as through the entire brewery operations, but they also gave three free 6 oz samples of some of their beers. Trying the beer was definitely a nice part of the tour, but it was really fun to learn the history of Miller. For as large of an operation that it is today, it was nice to hear that it grew from a very small family business.

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The first night we roamed around Downtown Milwaukee and we could not have asked for a more beautiful weekend to walk along the river.

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The next day was filled with another brewery tour, but this one couldn’t have been more different than the Miller Tour. While the Miller Brewery tour was very planned and informative, our tour of Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery was pretty much the opposite. But it was an absolute blast. The tour guides were hilarious and had us cracking up the entire time. They told the story of how the brewery came to be, but at times I felt like we were watching a stand up comedian for how funny their stories were. And the beer was pretty darn good as well. We even got to try their award winning East Side Dark Lager, which according to the New York Times, is  the second best dark lager in the US.

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We also tried the Wisconsonite, a summer weis beer, Fixed Gear, their red style beer, and the White, which is their belgium white. It made for a very fun afternoon.

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Later that night we visited The Safe House, which was a spy themed restaurant that you need a code word to gain entrance to. From the outside, it looked like we were entering an abandoned building, but inside it was covered with tons of spy memorabilia.  It was definitely a fun little venture. And with that, our short weekend getaway was over. But it was a great quick trip with fantastic company.

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Falling Down Brewery

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As I mentioned once before, Eric and I are on a mission to visit every brewery in Michigan, and this weekend we knocked another one off our list. And our trip to Falling Down Brewery in Warren was a perfect example of finding a diamond in the rough. Falling Down Brewery opened about a month ago, and though it doesn’t look like much from the outside, it was absolutely fantastic. I’ll be honest, when we drove up to the brewery, I was pretty skeptical. Eric commented that the building must have been a McDonald’s at one time because it certainly looked like one…even down to the plastic marquee outside. But as soon as we sat down and were given the menu, we had a feeling there might be a little more than meets the eye. And boy we were right. We started with flights of beer, which is always such a fun way to sample all of their brews without…as the brewery name implies..falling down at the end of the night. We got to try 2 oz samples of all 4 of the beers on tap. My favorite was the Amber Ale which was an American Amber with a slightly carmel taste to it. And though we liked the beer, what we really loved was the food. The menu consisted of mostly fun and unique sandwiches that packed in a ton of flavor. My choice was the spicy chicken sandwich:

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The Spicy Chicken was blackened rotisserie chicken, topped with bacon, arugula, avocado and spicy Sriracha aioli. The sandwich had so many different layers of flavor and textures. And served with tangy cole slaw and house made chips, this dinner hit the spot. We kept saying we would definitely have to come back to sample some of the other menu items. Like the BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders or the Cuban Sandwich. The fun thing about our little Michigan Brewery Challenge is that we probably never would have given this spot a second glance but is definitely a place we will most likely visit again. A hidden gem with good beer and good food is a great spot in my book. Happy Sunday!

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Dinner at Jolly Pumpkin Brewery

This past Saturday Eric and I ventured out to Ann Arbor to see our friends Arielle and Dave. We met up for dinner at Jolly Pumpkin Brewery and had a fantastic time. Eric and I have been saying for some time now that you can truly never go wrong with dinner at a brewery. I don’t know what it is, but every brewery we have ever eaten at has not only had delicious brews, but has also had some delicious eats. And Jolly Pumpkin was no different. Luckily we had some great company as well.

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We started off the night with a few beers. The Seasonal Porter for me and the Bam Noire for Eric. My beer was rich and slightly bitter. I don’t often get darker beers but this one was really good. It had an almost chocolate-y flavor.

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For dinner I chose the “Not Just a BLT” and it was definitely more than your typical BLT. The sandwich featured fresh mozzarella, fire roasted tomatoes, fresh arugula, salsa verde and bacon. It came with Jolly Pumpkin’s signature truffle fries. The truffle fries are shoestring fries tossed in fresh rosemary and truffle salt. Arielle fondly refers to them as “crack fries” and I can see why. So good.

 

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Eric got one of their pizzas as per usual. He got the Margherita, a simple pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Although it wasn’t the best pizza he’s ever had, he said it wasn’t too bad.

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And since Dave is a huge fan of pumpkin flavored anything, we all decided to try out the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Fun fact: We actually referred to Dave as “Pumpkin Dave” the first few months of our friendship, because of his affection for all things pumpkin. Anyway… back to the eats. The whoopie pies were filled with buttercream and served over a ginger creme anglaise. Although the filling was a little too sweet for me, the pumpkin cake was awesome. Altogether, it was a great meal and a fun night!

Short’s Brewery

Well friends, I’m back from my post graduation trip through Northern Michigan and it was grand. I didn’t want to leave, I actually tried to convince Eric we could retire early and live in a cottage. He didn’t take the … Continue reading