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Milwaukee is for lovers

Too much fun at the Lakefront Brewery!
Too much fun at the Lakefront Brewery!
One of the things that made me realize Drew was something else was that it didn’t matter if we were doing “something” or absolutely nothing. Some of my fondest dating memories are of sitting on park benches and killing time in coffee shops. The only trip we took together before we were married was to visit my parents in California. We never drank together, went to museums, or took in shows. We still haven’t been to a movie together! And yet, we still had a fabulous time with each other.

Now that we’re married, we’re trying to venture out more. (Really, there’s only so much time one can burn in the same old coffee shops.) Both of us want to travel pretty badly. One day, we want to go to Italy, but for now, we’re settling for places like Milwaukee.

I’d been to Wisconsin once or twice before, to his family’s farm, but I’d never spent any time in any city in Wisconsin until last weekend. Drew told me he was going to snag a hotel and some tickets for a brewery tour. That is my kind of travel planning, right there.

Jackson's, the Pabst bar, actually has delicious PBR on tap.
Jackson’s, the Pabst bar, actually has delicious PBR on tap.
So Friday night, we dropped Sinbad the Humping Diabetic Cat off at his parents’ house and headed for the Land of Cheese and Beer, which is close enough to the Land of Milk and Honey for me. By the time we rolled into town and checked in, it was getting late, but we managed to stumble accidentally into the Pabst brewery bar. Drew had previously enlightened me to the deliciousness of New Glarus beer, so I had one of their Spotted Cow beverages.

He ordered a PBR. My jaw didn’t *quite* drop open.

“What? We’re at Pabst. It’s on tap. It seems like the thing to do.”

And I had previously respected his beerpinion so much.

He got his glass of PBR promptly (and extremely cheaply), and offered me a taste, claiming it was “pretty good.” Skeptically, I sipped it. I noticed that the signature taste of aluminum can was conspicuously missing from the flavor profile. In its place was a light, delicate floral taste. I took another sip. I decided it was probably witchcraft.

He ordered two more.

The next day, we went on a coffee hunt. Drew is a first-thing-in-the-morning sort of a dude, whereas I’m an anytime-it’s-available sort of a lady. We ended up in a coffee shop inside a mall. Once again, I was skeptical of the quality of drink, and once again, my skepticism was unfounded. It was actually more delicious coffee than we had later that afternoon at an independent coffee house.

We sipped, Drew wandered the mall, I called a friend I needed to catch up with and watched the rain start to pour down. Drew came back, I finished the call, we procured an umbrella from Walgreens. The rain stopped as soon as we stepped outside. It would continue later that evening after we had forgotten the umbrella in the hotel room.

Beer and popcorn at Wolski's. This is the part of the evening I remember.
Beer and popcorn at Wolski’s. This is the part of the evening I remember.
The walk to Lakefront Brewery, where our tour was, was rather long and very windy, but completely worth it. For $7 a piece, we each got the equivalent of about a beer and a half, a nice glass tumbler, a drink voucher for one of a number of local bars, and a very funny tour of the gorgeous former warehouse facility. If you find yourself in Milwaukee, I highly recommend it. However, I also recommend eating first if you are, as I have become, a bit of a lightweight. After the tour and the free beer, we moseyed to Wolski’s, which is apparently something of a local legend that a) my coworkers had recommended and b) was one of the participating bars that took the vouchers. A couple of beers later there, and all I remember is that we ended up having dinner somewhere the bartender recommended. I’m pretty sure we both had burgers…and more beer…

On the way back, the rain started coming down again. Drew spotted a cigar shop, and we ducked in. Now, I hate smoking. I hate the idea of it, the smell of it, the consequences of it. I’ve taken like three puffs of a cigar in my life. If Drew wants to smoke one occasionally, well, he’s an adult.

I insisted that he buy me a cigar too. Remember I recommended eating *before* the brewery tour? Yeah.

It was raining even harder now, so we ran across the street to the awning of a closed sporting-goods store, and stood there watching the downpour, smoking the cigars down to nubs.

I hate cigars. I smoked the whole thing. It was a perfect evening.

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