Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Lakefront Brewery, Inc.Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1872 N Commerce St.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53212
United States

(414) 372-8800 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 277 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DoubleJ
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

This is the craft brewery that was made famous by Milwaukee. With redevelopment happening on the drive to the brewery, the building looks out of place, as it stands to remind of the past. Whenever I visit any new place, I visualize what I'm going to get, and I couldn't had been more off at Lakefront. First off, Lakefront has a massive taproom with the look and feel of a Munich beer hall. The bar to get your beer is off to one side, the food counter off to another side. Long wooden tables aplenty here, a stage for music just off-center in the beer hall. Solid Wednesday night crowd on hand.

I saw 13 different beers pouring from tap and a couple coolers worth of four and six-packs, plus single bottles (for here or to-go, I don't know. Heavier on the German influence, so expect several lagers (pale and dark), a bock, plus a few American-styles like IPA, pale ale, and American wheat. Slender stange glassware serving the beer in pints, along with half-pints and tasters being available. No qualms of the beer I had, as it further washed down the bad memory of Fuel Cafe I had over a decade ago (which prompted me to pass on Lakefront beers until I recently moved to Wisconsin).

Food is a little better than the standard sandwich and fried concoction. They served pot roast poutine, which sounded great. One problem, kitchen's out of gravy. Time to change for fried cheese curds and beer bread. Cheese curds, amazing. Beer bread, hard on the outside and work to chew (though with a rewarding center).

My one criticism, such as it is, would be the beers available for consumption at the beer hall. True, over a dozen beers on-tap is a nice list at a brewery. I didn't find much that was "special", like a seasonal, or a variant beyond the wild rice bock I had. Most breweries often have a few "brewery only" or harder to find beers of their portfolio available.

Lakefront is a curveball of breweries to visit. You get a big beer hall and mostly easy to drink beer with good vibes while you visit. It does close relatively early to other drinking holes, so be sure to have other places to visit if you plan a long night of drinking.

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Photo of michaelsmith11
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Fun brewery to visit. For $9 you get a 1 hour tour, 4 6oz samples, and glass, and a ticket for a free beer. The brewery is right on the river and there is a nice patio out back.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.08/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Milwaukee Trip: Day Two

We went on the Lakefront Brewery tour this afternoon and it was a great experience. The brewery is spacious and truly executes all of the brewery experiences in a positive manner.

The tour was educational, engaging and entertaining. A recommended visit when in Milwaukee.

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Photo of Milktoast75
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Very nice small brew tour. Tour lasted about an hour with lots of fun facts about Lakefront and beer in general. Tour group participation is a must. The more you participate, the more free beer tokens you earn.
Large open beer hall, open wood beams and exposed brick give a beer hall look. Large bar with full selection of beers plus cold bottles and cans available as well as growlers.
Recommend tour because of the wonderful staff and products.

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Photo of AnitaBrewski
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

If you want to visit an authentic beer hall experience, you can’t beat Lakefront brewery, polka band, fish fry on Friday night, and the single hop IPA was damn good!!

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Photo of krombopulos
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The perfect example of if you have seen one tour you have seen them all. Yea maybe the tour guides are more fun, articulate, and educated than your average tour but not my cup of tea. If you're bringing someone from out of town it's a must though.

The beer is amazing. You don't see many craft breweries being so lager oriented. To me if a brewery can make a pale lager well it's a sure sign they know what they are doing. All their beers are flawless. Maybe not the most exciting or desirable. But always completely flawless. No contamination, no off flavors, no oxidation issues. You can always expect a product that is actually worth the price tag here.

The food will make you visit the bathroom within an hour but its delicious and worth it. What else goes with beer other than grease. I'm sure they have a salad too.

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Photo of jkaczinski
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

A very cool historic old building that is just a blast to visit. Best tour I've ever been on and our guide was absolutely hilarious. Food is good and comes very quickly. We had the award wining deep-fried cheese curds and the Rueben. Tried Eastside Dark and Snake Chaser, both are very good. We will make time to visit again on our next trip to Miwaukee.

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Photo of Luckydog91
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in on a Thursday for lunch and a tour while in town on business.

Lots of enticing options on the food menu and the wurst plate was delicious.

Tour is a good deal and includes 4 six ounce samples and a pint glass to take home. Our tour was a little brief but I heard on the weekend they offer more in depth tours when they're not brewing.

Beers I tried ranged from a little below average to good. Was most impressed by their hoppier offerings.

By far the best thing about this place is the location though. Giant inviting beer hall and nice riverside patio.

Well worth the stop.

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Photo of Ty1776Ler
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Bright golden beer with a light ale taste and a dark Mike's hard lemonade aftertaste. Citrus/orange scent, tastes like a soda with a kick. Refreshing summer beer. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of hawkssb04
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

This place was phenomenal. The tour guide is totally worth the price of admission, the beer was solid, and the food was to die for. Easily the best pretzel and cheese I've ever had. The location itself is also one-of-a-kind, with an awesome riverfront patio.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stopped in at Lakefront late afternoon on 1/20/17 for the tour and a couple beers. For $10 the tour is a steal as you get (4) 5 oz. beers, a pint glass and the tour.
Omega gave us the tour, she did a great job and was quite funny. Tour takes you all through the production and packaging areas and includes a fill-up at the midway point. Took almost an hour.
Once the tour was done we were happily surprised to learn they were having a Friday night fish fry. So we gotted seated for dinner at 5:00, assuming a basic fish fry. Nope, full menu with lots of non-fish items. Ordered pretzels and beer soup to star, then deep fried cod for dinner. Food and service were excellent. Midway thru dinner a 2 man polka band took the stage. By the time we finished, the large room was packed with many more people waiting in line.
As for beers, I had the Pumpkin Lager, Fuel Cafe, MIKE & Hop Jockey. All above average and tasty.
If you find yourself heading to Milwaukee, I strongly suggest you stop in at Lakefront for a fun time.

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Photo of rgoodson18
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

This is a great bang for your buck. For $8 you get 4 10oz beers a 25 minute mini tour, and a pint glass. Me and my boyfriend went during labor day and had a blast. The beers were great and the tour was very informational.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Large area for family style seating. Lots of people and activity as tours run every half hour on Saturday. Entertaining tour guide; the mini tour comes with four samples of your choosing and a pint shaker to take home, all for $8! Full brewery tour costs $10. Above average beers. Did not eat, but lots of people were having lunch. Fun brewery with pub grub available. Small parking lot, but off street available within a short walk.

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Photo of mpgrif2
5/5  rDev +17.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

First went summer of 2015 and have been back at least 5 times since. The beer is amazing without a question. However what really makes brewery is the staff/tour guides and the over all setting/atmosphere. Without a question my favorite Milwaukee brewery.

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Photo of Peepskp
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

I enjoyed two tours of the facility while living in Milwaukee. The tours are top notch if you want to learn some basic information about brewing beer but more importantly drink some beer! Excellent staff.

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Photo of BeerMe8
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Tour was great, humorous and educational. Bar area has massive open seating, has an Octoberfest vibe. Staff was friendly. Beer selection was good, bought a six pack to take home since I was visiting from out of town.

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Photo of Jaszucs
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Taproom is decent. A very large open room with quite a few tables, almost like a gymnasium. Very small gift shop. The brewery tour was not bad, although we took the shorter version. A long, more in-depth, version is available.

The food was probably the best part of the visit for me. I was tasting the polish pops for 2 days though, not necessarily a bad thing!

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Photo of bolognasuave
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

beautiful building all around from inside and out. knowledgeable and friendly staff, and food is awesome. selection of beers is obviously limited cause its a brewery and they only have their things. however thats not a killer cause its some really good beer.

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.98/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Do the technical tour it's worth the $30.

90 minute tour geared toward beer geeks and brewers.

Unlimited samples

Food pairing, free pint glass, and ticket for a free beer at local bar/pubs.

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Photo of milwaukee512
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Fun tour; guides are knowledgeable, interesting and funny. Cool old building. Ability to take a beer on the tour is a plus. I'm not sure why every tour isn't that way; I mean, it is a brewery, right? Tour is about 45 minutes, with the ability to taste several beers before and/or after. My only knock is that the selection of taps at the brewery seems weirdly limited. Lakefront is known for having one of the best fish fries in Milwaukee, which is no small feat.

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Photo of boothbeer
4/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is by far the BEST brewery tour I have been on. I like it so much that almost every time I go to Milwaukee, I make a point to reserve a spot at the Lakefront tour. Price is perfect. You get 4 beers and a Pint glass for less than $10. Tour guides are great and will make you laugh! Beer is good, not great. Experience is top notch, and the food is really good too!

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Photo of kansascobleigh
3.3/5  rDev -22.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is a Milwaukee staple, and I particularly enjoy chilling here in the summer by the river and it is located in a beautiful building but this place is far from perfect.

The Good:
-Fun, Inexpensive Tour with knowledgeable guides. Spend the $7 to do this, but save your tokens (4) for the tour beers.
-The Friday Fish Fry is awesome, I especially love the smelt when it is in season! Also this is one of the few good places to get "Lake Fish."
-They do an AHA discount and give you a coupon for a free pint (from select bar) for doing the tour.

The Bad:
-While I am sure they cannot control the crowd that comes into their establishment really the crowds do get excessive, and the "white-girl wasted" factor raises exponentially.
-The beer is hit or miss, while they do stay true to there core beers those core beers are just okay. Seek out the Grand Cru, or something that is only at the brewery.
-For just "Okay" beer the staff is quite rude, and doesn't seem to care about the customer. It seems they have the mentality of "you can be replaced," This may be true for a time but what happens when brewery tours that hipsters do to impress their friends?

If you have a week to spend in Milwaukee and end up with a couple hours with nothing to do, go do this brewery, but don't out of your way or plan this into your schedule with limited time.

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Photo of ackeeper
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Recently stopped in at Lakefront Brewery to see the sights and have a beer or two. The building, which we were told is a former electric company building, is a true beer hall. High ceilings, banners hanging from exposed brick walls, and many tables. Very nice atmosphere for a beautiful afternoon.

We "took the tour"--meaning we paid $7 for the tour, a pint glass and 4 6-8 oz. samples of whatever was on draft, although we were limited on time so we did not follow the tour guide on the tour. We opted instead to belly up to sip our samples, chat with the bartenders, and grab a number of to go beers from the cooler. (Growlers were also available.)

They had 10-12 beers on tap--a nice selection. The service was very nice--knowledgeable about the beer and the building; great personalities with whom to chat across the bar. Beers were very good--the IPA and coffee stout were the best of the bunch.

If you are in Milwaukee, this old guard craft brewery is a must stop.

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Photo of Dan_McNeely
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

The tours are just a great time. Anyone visiting Milwaukee should tour this brewery. They don't always have my favorite beers on tap, but I like all their beers so I can't complain. They provide four 8 oz samples AND they have a beer stop half way through the tour. The tour guides are a hoot...well worth it.

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Photo of robear
2.2/5  rDev -48.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 3.75

Have visited several times. This is a tough one for me to rate because if it's your first visit and you're taking a tour, you are going to have a much different experience than if you're returning to have a few pints or take home a growler fill.

Atmosphere: Basically, you're in a big old room. Lots of character in the bricks/window/floor, but it's still just a giant room. Very loud. Very difficult to get inside (crammed entry way leading to the bar/beer hall). Some sort of movie was playing on the wall, but it just felt too noisy and disorganized. IF you're headed for a tour, this is your waiting space- basically feels like a giant, beer-related holding pen.

Quality: Pretty standard- the beer is fresh, but poured into plastic cups, even for flights, which diminishes the brewery tasting room experience. I can understand not wanting people carrying glasses around on their tour, but in the tasting room of a successful brewery it just screams cheap.

Service: Easily the worst brewery tasting room experience I've ever had (and that includes several Macro breweries). I think the bartender knew the beers, but he seemed more interested in finishing his shift than in letting us know what our options were. I could live with that. When we were heading out (with two growlers), we noticed that neither of them was even filled to the 64 oz line- one was closer to half full. There didn't seem to be any manager in charge- just a bunch of college kids pouring beer and not paying much attention to the customers.

Selection: Another low point. The taps here pour the regular lineup, but don't expect anything extra (unless you're here on Friday for the fish fry). Local bars have a more interesting Lakefront selection than the brewery itself. I can understand this from a tour perspective (you don't want to give your best beer away for "free") but every brewery should have 2 or 3 specialties or brewery-only releases on. Was hoping for their latest "My Turn" series (available in SE Wisco only) but no dice. Ultimately disappointed.

Food: Didn't eat. I hear that the food is actually pretty good, so I'm going to give them a good rating here.

Bottom line: sign up for the tour, take it, and then buy your Lakefront beer elsewhere. They don't fill growlers properly and they won't have anything out of the ordinary on tap. Maybe give the fish fry a try?

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Lakefront Brewery, Inc. in Milwaukee, WI
Brewery rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 6908 ratings