For my 48th Birthday I decided I wanted to take a cheese and beer trip through a good portion of Wisconsin, plus a little dip down into Iowa to check off a bucket-list item.Saturday, April 18 - We flew to Chicago via a cheap Southwest flight along with our friends, Danny and Brenda, who were gracious enough to tag along for the trip. We drove northwest into Wisconsin from there with a stop for Chicago dog as a late lunch just before we left Illinois.
|Our first stop in Wisconsin was at Baumgartner's Cheese Store and Tavern in the lovely town of Monroe.|
|OK, these ConAgra GMO's are getting out of hand!|
|Room 306 is a beautiful two-bedroom suite and was our home for the night. It was amazing. |
Yep, those are the "beer doors" to our bedroom
|The mezzanine of The Brewhouse Inn and Suites is comprised of the brewery's original huge copper brew kettles and some amazingly cool furniture. This is one hotel worth hanging out in.|
|At one end of the mezzanine is the original huge two-story stained glass rendering of King Grambinus, the patron saint of beer and brewing, that was commissioned by Frederick Pabst himself.|
|Love the brewery and hotel, but don't care for Pabst products, so we headed to dinner at the nearby Horny Goat Brewing Company. Their beer was impressive, but their food was outstanding including the biggest pretzel we've ever seen.|
|After dinner, we headed over to beautiful Miller Park to catch a baseball game between the hometown Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds. Weather be damned, this beauty has a retractable roof that can close in 10 minutes.|
|With the roof closed, Miller Park has a nice, cozy feel to it. We had sweet fourth row seats down the 3rd base line and saw the Reds pull away from the Brew Crew by a score of 6-1 including a 2-run dinger by Joey Votto that sailed right above us.|
We had lunch around the corner at The Safe House (aka International Exports, Ltd.) which is one of the neatest places we've ever been too (thanks Derek and Laurie for the suggestion!). The whole place is spy-themed including the entrance being rather hard to find down a little alley. Sometimes you even need a password to even get in the place. Luckily, it was early and we were spared the need for a password or having to do something silly to get in without one. The place is huge with tons of little rooms full of cool memorabilia and oddities. The food was spot-on as well.
|On our way out we drove by the amazing Milwaukee Art Museum (aka The Calatrava) on the lakefront. We have definitely got to come back here with warmer temps and explore more of this wonderful city.|
|Another Milwaukee drive-by was the beautiful North Point Lighthouse. Perched high up on a ridge above the city, this beauty was not open for a tour (nor did we have time for one), but is another reason to return to Brew City as soon as we can.|