There’s a Cheese-y New Festival Coming to Milwaukee

Milwaukee is home to some of the greatest summer festivals and now we can add another to the list.

You can eat them fresh when they are cold and squeaky or after they have been beer-batter and deep-fried. Season them with garlic or pair them with a side of ranch. Top a burger with them or mix them in with a salad.

There really is no wrong way to eat a cheese curd.

Cheese curds have always been a delicacy in Wisconsin, one of the most well-known dishes our state has to offer. The peanut-sized bites of cheddary goodness are finally getting the recognition they deserve thanks to Drink Wisconsinbly as they host their inaugural Curd Fest on Saturday, June 17.

While Milwaukee is known for its many summer festivals, there has always been something missing, according to Richard Lorbach, founder of Drink Wisconsinbly.

“We are proud curd connoisseurs and from the response to our event online, it appears many others are as well,” says Lorbach.

Photo courtesy Drink Wisconsinbly on Twitter (@drinkwi).

The festival begins with an optional 5(Curd)K run or walk through the streets of Walker’s Point. Cheese curd stops will be placed strategically throughout the route to fulfill every curd-lover’s dream. The Curd Fest founders have thought of everything as they are also teasing a special 0(Zero)K where participants can bypass the run and head straight to the bar, where cheese curds and beer will be ready and waiting.

Also on the Curd Fest agenda? What all Wisconsinites have been training their whole lives for: a cheese curd eating competition. At 1 p.m., come prepared to eat as many curds as you can! It hasn’t been specified whether the curds will be fresh or fried; We’re hoping they’re fresh, so we can listen for the sounds of squeaking curds as they’re devoured.

That’s not all: There will also be a Best Cheese Curd in Milwaukee competition where several of Milwaukee’s finest cheese curd producers will be judged by a panel of cheese curd enthusiasts.

Local breweries such as Great Lakes Distillery, Third Space Brewing and MKE Brewing Co. will be in attendance. Cheese curds will be available for purchase from venues such as Stubby’s, Milwaukee Ale House and Sobelman’s Pub & Grill, all of which are battling it out for the title of Best Cheese Curds in Milwaukee.

The inaugural Curd Fest is an event not to be missed and Drink Wisconsinbly hopes to continue the festival for years to come.

“We plan to make this an annual event and hopefully grow and expand it to include more of Wisconsin in the future,” says Lorbach.

Barclay Street in Walker’s Point will be shut down from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all Milwaukee cheese curd lovers celebrating the Wisconsin-born dish.



Megan Otto is a digital and editorial intern at Milwaukee Magazine. She currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has previously interned in London.