When Estabrook Beer Garden opened back in 2012, it was America’s first public beer garden since Prohibition. The proposition proved to be so popular that their idea has been replicated in more than a dozen different ways around the city. While these outdoor gathering places have been a great place to hang out in years’ past, they’re proving to be the perfect place for people to get out of the house while still keeping their distance.
Gardens around the city have implemented all kinds of policies to make sure patrons can stay safe and healthy. They’ve eliminated the use of steins and are serving beer in disposable cups. Most places are using some sort of green/red system like bricks or blocks that lets you know if a table has been cleaned and disinfected. Tables have been spread out and the gardens are asking for you to not interact with people at other tables. At Estabrook Park, they’ve even spray painted areas on the grass so that visitors know where and how to keep apart.
Sure, it’s not the communal spirit of Oktoberfest that we’re used to, but these gardens are providing a way for Milwaukeeans to find a bit of normalcy in an otherwise very unusual time. So grab some people in your pod of contact and a cribbage board and head on out to one of these great spots spread all over town to get some sun and relaxation.
The information provided was up to date at printing, but if you’re planning to visit one of these places, make sure you check their website and Facebook pages for up-to-the-minute opening and closing information. Most of these gardens are outside and uncovered, so their hours are weather permitting.
Deer District Beer Garden
1133 N. Old World 3rd Street
Open Thursdays and Fridays 4 pm – 10 pm, Saturdays 11 am – 10 pm, Sundays from 11 am until 6 pm
This covered space between the buildings across from the Fiserv Forum has its own food truck supplied by Fiserv chefs, giant tvs and gives you access to all the restaurants in the area.
Estabrook Beer Garden
4600 Estabrook Parkway, Shorewood
Open 12 pm to 10 pm every day
The original city beer garden takes advantage of all the park space near their normal grounds to spread out. They’re asking visitors to pack in and pack out as much as possible, though they’ve set up recycling for the plastic cups they’ve switched to. Tables are limited to six people and because this is a city park, they have to follow all city of Milwaukee restrictions. They also implemented online ordering, as well.
Franklin Beer Garden at Croatian Park
9100 S. 76th Street, Franklin
Open Thursdays from 5 pm to 10 pm
This covered space sits on 30 acres, so distance is not an issue. They serve up Croatian food and beer, as well as mixed drinks, wine and soda. Come for Happy Hour from 5 pm to 6 pm and enjoy $2 draft beers.
Hubbard Park Beer Garden
3565 N. Morris Boulevard, Shorewood
Open Monday – Thursday 3 pm – 9 pm, Friday – Sunday 12 pm – 10 pm
Located along the Oak Leaf Trail, you can easily bike here. They serve up a great fish fry on Fridays, among other options. Tables are limited to six people.
Kegel’s Inn Beer Garden
59th Street and National Ave, West Allis
Open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 4 pm – 8 pm, Friday 11 am – 10 pm
Serving up authentic German fare in West Allis for nearly a century, these folks added a beer garden on 59th Street. There’s a take-out window, live music and plenty of delicious food and beer. Masks are required to enter the restaurant and they’re asking visitors to limit outside table usage to 90 minutes.
Landing at Hoyt Park
1800 N Swan Blvd, Wauwatosa
Open Tuesday-Friday 3 pm – 9 pm, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 12 pm – 9 pm
A popular choice for families, they’ve reopened with limited seating. One of the ways they’re keeping things safe as they have instituted a pre-order by phone option. They welcome in food trucks as well as serving their own food options.
South Shore Terrace
2900 South Shore Drive
Open Monday – Thursday 4 pm – 10 pm, Friday, Sunday and Holidays 11 am – 10 pm, Saturday 10 am – 10 pm
With the best views of any beer garden in town, this lakefront spot has limited bathroom options during this summer and aren’t having live music, but are still serving up great food and drink options. They’re asking visitors to use credit cards and are sticking to disposable cups.
The city has two traveling beer gardens whose locations change every couple of weeks. The Roll Out the Barrel Tour is at Lake Park from July 15 – August 2 and Greenfield Park from August 5 – August 23. The Pass Me a Pint Tour is at McCarty Park from July 22 – August 9 and Juneau Park from August 12 – September 7.
The Vine at Humboldt Park
3000 South Howell Avenue, Bay View
Open Monday through Friday 3 pm -10 pm, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays, 11 am – 10 pm, with last call at 9 pm
The Vine has beer and wine on tap, plus hard sodas, cider and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. They also have empanadas from Triciclo Peru. They’re asking visitors to use credit cards and are sticking to disposable cups.
Whitnall Park Beer Garden
8831 North Root River Parkway, Greendale
Open 4-10 pm on weekdays and 11 am -10 pm on weekends, with last call at 9 pm
They have 24 rotating beer taps, wine and the Gift of Wings Grill, which also serves a Friday fish fry. They’re asking visitors to use credit cards and are sticking to disposable cups.