$25 and Under: 7 Options for the Craft Beer Fan

There are more than a few ways, besides the standard happy hour pricing, to save your hard-earned cash while still enjoying a tasty brew.

The beauty of being a craft beer fan is that it’s a pursuit that doesn’t have to break the bank — assuming that you refrain from spending your paycheck by ordering rare brews online or stocking up on limited $25 four-packs at your favorite liquor store.

$25 and Under

Attend a Milwaukee Beer Society weekly meeting

Membership at the Milwaukee Beer Society isn’t exclusive. Show up at Best Place (901 W. Juneau Ave.) or wherever the group is taking a field trip on most Wednesdays of the year. For $10 to $20 the friendly society educates you on a specific style and lets you sample a few brews as well. It’s a learning experience, with plenty of flavor.

Milwaukee Beer Society meeting at Best Place
Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Beer Society

Spend Sunday with the Sugar Maple Brewery Series

On the last Sunday of each month, Sugar Maple (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) invites a craft brewery into the bar to explain their beers and their brewing process. For around $20, those in attendance can try a flight of four or five of the honored guest’s brews. Rare pours are frequent, which means you can try some pretty amazing beers at a bargain price.

$10 and Under

Take a brewery tour

Breweries like to show off how they do things, and beer fans benefit. It’s a safe bet that your favorite local brewery offers a tour of some sort, and it’s also highly likely that a sample or two is included with the visit. Two of Milwaukee’s craft beer pioneers, Lakefront Brewery (1872 N. Commerce Ave.) and Sprecher Brewery (701 W. Glendale Ave.), offer tours that include a fair amount of tasting. The weekend Lakefront tour costs just $11, and a Sprecher tour is a reasonable $8.

Lakefront Brewery; photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

$5 and Under

Flannel Friday at Black Husky Brewing

Harkening back to its Northwoods roots, Black Husky (909 E. Locust St.) encourages its Friday patrons to wear flannel shirts. Those who comply with the dress code drink $4 pints until 5:55 p.m. If you happen to have a Black Husky flannel in your wardrobe, wear it because it’ll earn you a free first pint.

The Brewmaster’s Toast at Third Space Brewing

Every Friday at 5:45 p.m., Third Space (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.) taps a ceremonial “brewmaster’s keg” for thirsty patrons. A celebratory toast is given, and afterward everyone in the crowd drinks $1 beers from that keg until it runs dry. Cheers to frugality!

Brewery owners Andy Gehl and Kevin Wright at the bar
Third Space Brewing owners Andy Gehl and Kevin Wright (photo courtesy of Third Space)


Volunteer at a Seek the Good Saturday

One Saturday morning each month, Good City Brewing (2108 N. Farwell Ave.) recruits volunteers to help out at a local non-profit for a couple of hours. It could be pulling weeds at the Urban Ecology Center or repairing donated books for the Next Door Foundation. Your good deeds don’t go unnoticed by Good City. Each volunteer (of legal drinking age) is rewarded for their altruistic efforts with a free beer.Seek the Good on a Brick Wall

Free Beer Friday at Old German Beer Hall

Show up at the Old German Beer Hall (1009 Old World Third St.) on Friday to partake in a free keg that taps at 6 p.m. It’s the cheapest of happy hours. Gemütlichkeit doesn’t have to be expensive.



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.