4 Brewery-Hopping Bike Routes for the Milwaukee Beer Lover

Hop on the bike and gear up for these beer-centric bike rides.

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BEER AND CYCLING have long been a natural pairing. No less an authority than Leinenkugel’s traces the origin of its most popular offering, Summer Shandy, to a German tavernkeeper who was overrun with thirsty cyclists after a race nearly a century ago. We prefer a more leisurely pace, though, and have put together four beer-centric routes for even a casual bike rider.

* Mileages are one way, so plan ahead!

** BE CAREFUL! We all know drunken driving is bad. Drunken biking is risky, too. So choose low-ABV beers, take it slow, and drink a big glass of water – or more – with each beer to stay well hydrated. And always wear a helmet. 


North Shore Route

This is a 21-mile ride, so you’ll need to be fit, but it’s almost entirely on the Ozaukee Interurban and Oak Leaf trails and ends at a spectacular beer garden.

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT ROUTE TO TAKE ON GOOGLE MAPS

1. Sahale Ale Works

1505 WISCONSIN AVE., GRAFTON

Adventurous brews served in a taproom with double garage doors that open to a patio. 

YOUR QUENCHER: Voyager Golden Ale

2. The Fermentorium

7481 HIGHWAY 60, CEDARBURG

Excellent mix of traditional and contemporary  styles, with at least 22 beers on tap. 

YOUR QUENCHER: Golden Spiral hefeweizen

3. Foxtown Brewing

6411 W. MEQUON RD., MEQUON

Gorgeous taproom in a restored building where brewing began in 1857.

YOUR QUENCHER: Apricot Wit

4. Bavarian Bierhaus

700 W. LEXINGTON BLVD., GLENDALE

This nexus of German culture has a biergarten with 300 tables in Old Heidelberg Park. THREE. HUNDRED. 

YOUR QUENCHER: Schmutzig Helles Lager

 

 


Northeast Route

All 6 miles of this excursion between Downtown and Shorewood can be on trails or quiet streets. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT ROUTE TO TAKE ON GOOGLE MAPS

1. Dead Bird Brewing

1726 N. FIFTH ST.

There’s a great patio here, but if you need to get out of the sun, video games and pinball await inside.

YOUR QUENCHER: Cripes Sake! Amber

2. Eagle Park Brewing

823 E. HAMILTON ST.

Feeling a little sweaty? These hazy IPA masters introduced a line of hard seltzers last year.

YOUR QUENCHER: Tropical Hard Seltzer

3. Lakefront Brewery

1872 N. COMMERCE ST.

The riverside patio to end riverside patios, with killer cheese curds to boot.

YOUR QUENCHER: Raspberry Nimbus

4. Gathering Place Brewing

811 E. VIENNA AVE.

A brewery trading in light, sessionable beers is perfect for the middle of the ride.

YOUR QUENCHER: Treffpunkt kölsch

5. Hubbard Park Beer Garden

3565 N. MORRIS BLVD., SHOREWOOD

Beer garden-style eats, German and Wisconsin beers and shade are plentiful at this riverside spot.

YOUR QUENCHER: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy


Menomonee River Route

Check out the great cluster of breweries in the Menomonee Valley, then jaunt up the Hank Aaron and Oak Leaf trails to finish this 9-mile ride with a great riverside beer garden. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT ROUTE TO TAKE ON GOOGLE MAPS

1. The Explorium Brewpub 

143 W. ST. PAUL AVE.

Explorium’s Third Ward location, opened in September, has a sweet patio in a tunnel that was once used to offload trains into the historic Pritzlaff Building.

YOUR QUENCHER: Crocus Lager

2. Third Space Brewing

1505 W. ST. PAUL AVE.

The outdoor area here is growing and upgrading, with expanded (and cushier) seating and a new outdoor bar expected to be ready in June.

YOUR QUENCHER: Summer Home hoppy blonde ale

3. City Lights Brewing

2200 W. MT. VERNON AVE.

This taproom in the beautifully restored Milwaukee Gas Light Co. building has an equally awesome patio.

YOUR QUENCHER: Mexican Lager

4. The Landing at Hoyt Park

1800 N. SWAN BLVD., WAUWATOSA

Recharge and refuel with shaded tables, a Cranky Al’s pizza or giant pretzel and an impressive selection of local and German beers.

YOUR QUENCHER: Erdinger Weissbrau


Southern Lakeshore Route

This easy ride of just 5 miles of city streets and lake-hugging Oak Leaf Trail connects Walker’s Point, Bay View and St. Francis. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT ROUTE TO TAKE ON GOOGLE MAPS

1. Urban Harvest Brewing

1024 S. 5TH ST.

This charming neighborhood taproom features beautiful exposed Cream City brick and fresh small-batch beers.

YOUR QUENCHER: Black Puppy Pale Ale

2. Enlightened Brewing 

2020 S. ALLIS ST.

With tons of windows and garage doors, the outdoors come into this spacious taproom in Bay View’s Louis Allis building.

YOUR QUENCHER: Cream City Brix cream ale

3. South Shore Terrace

2900 S. SHORE DR.

In a city loaded with great beer gardens, a case can be made that this lakeside spot with a sprawling lawn is the best.

YOUR QUENCHER: Miller High Life

4. Faklandia Brewing

3807 S. PACKARD AVE., ST. FRANCIS

The brewery has a fantasy theme, with each beer based on an exotic animal character. More concretely, it’s got a great patio. 

YOUR QUENCHER: Salamandra strawberry cream ale


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s June issue.

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Executive editor, Milwaukee Magazine. Aficionado of news, sports and beer. Dog and cat guy. (Yes, both.)