Why You’ll Want a Brew City Beer Pass

This free app is a must-have for Milwaukee beer fans.

Everyone wins with the Brew City Beer Pass, and apparently beer drinkers are realizing that. The creation of VISIT Milwaukee allows craft beer fans to get buy-one, get-one offers at more than 20 breweries in the area. All it costs is the time it takes to sign up — yep, a no-brainer.

The pass, which displays on a smartphone after a free registration, launched on Sept. 14 and seems to be a hit. More than 2,500 people signed up in the two weeks after the launch and there were more than 600 redemptions (aka: free beers). It’s easy to download from the VISIT Milwaukee website.

“We’re happy with the incredible response this pass has received in just its first two weeks,” said Jake Meister, the Leisure Communication Manager at VISIT Milwaukee. “This pass is different from others in the market in two ways. First, it is completely free for users to access and use. Second, it is gamified, meaning that the more breweries that people visit, the more prizes they can win from VISIT Milwaukee.”



As if BOGO beers weren’t enough incentive, participants also earn prizes for the number of breweries they’ve been to — checking in at five breweries gets you a koozie, 10 earns a t-shirt, hitting all of them enters you to win an Ultimate Brew City Beer Pass Prize Pack. Users have until April 30 to cross every brewery off of the list.

“We have seen a good amount of the Beer Pass,” said Mike Doble, owner of the Explorium Brewpub. “It’s great to see. We love promotions that are targeted to beer-centric travelers. We have an awesome resource in this city in the form of a great craft beer scene. I’m so excited to see VISIT Milwaukee focus on beer tourism.”

The Brew City Beer Pass was designed to spark beer-related tourism. The hope of VISIT Milwaukee is that it will be used by those within six hours of Milwaukee. So far, around 84% of users are from Wisconsin, 7% are from Illinois and 7% are from elsewhere. Milwaukee staple Lakefront Brewery has seen the most redemption.

“The tourist group is an untapped market and there is a lot of room for growth,” explained Toni Eichinger, co-owner of Black Husky Brewing. “VISIT Milwaukee looks to attract businesses for hotel bookings, which adds another dimension to the appeal of this program. I would say, yes, it’s great exposure for us. VISIT Milwaukee is great to work with and we always appreciate their effort in making Milwaukee, Brew City!”



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.