Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
January 17, 2017 - Florida Keys

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Miller Brewery Tour

We had another full campground last weekend. It was a fairly quiet weekend. It seems there are always one or two people who find something to complain about, but overall it was a good weekend.

Sundays is our day off and with a full campground, I like to get away and not have to deal with customers for a day. We had made plans with Eric to go to his house on Sunday and help him wash windows. He did the outside, I did the inside and Kevin dealt with taking the screens out and putting them back in. We had it all done in an hour.

We had made plans to go the The Miller Brewery and take the tour. We lived in the Milwaukee area all of our lives, and none of us had ever been on that tour. Lucky for us, they are open for tours on Sundays during the summer months.

We started at the Girl in the Moon gift shop. Outside was this vintage bus that used to tour the country giving out samples of Miller beer. Wouldn’t that make a cool vintage RV.

Miller Tour Kevin and Eric

In the lobby was this display. A very cool Miller Lite Harley Davidson motorcycle with some Miller Lite camping gear.

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The hour long tour started with a ten minute video explaining some of the history of the brewery.

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German brew master Frederick J. Miller immigrated to the United States in 1854. He spent a year wandering around from New York to Florida to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River and finally ended up in Milwaukee. He decided this was the perfect place to brew his beer, clean water and lots of customers for his beer. He purchased the Plank Road Brewery and brewed 300 barrels of beer in the first year. Today they process 500,000 cases of beer a day. Forty percent of what they ship goes to Chicago. Wow, they drink a lot of beer!

To put that into perspective, one semi truck holds 2,000 cases of beer. If a person drank six beers a day, it would take 22.5 years to drink those 2,000 cases.

20150719_132257We toured the canning and bottling plant, the warehouse area, and the brewing area. The Milwaukee plant covers 84 acres with 72 buildings. The picture is the brewhouse built in 1886 by Frederick Miller. We had no idea the different types and brands of beer the Miller Brewing Company distributes. I definitely don’t remember them all, but they own Leinenkugels, Blue Moon, Killian’s, Foster’s and Molson. In 2008, they merged with Coors so the company is now called MillerCoors.

The tour took us to caves sixty feet beneath the surface. These caves were dug by hand by the owners of the Plank Road Brewery to store the barrels of beer. Before refrigeration was available, they would cut ice from area lakes and line the caves with these blocks of ice to keep the beer cold throughout the summer months. This beautiful mural depicting an early biergarten was on one of the cave walls.

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The final stop of the tour was the tasting area. Each person was allowed to have three five ounce samples. The first was Miller Lite, and then you could choose from six other beers they had on tap that day. I’m not a beer drinker, so I had some water. Kevin and Eric split my three samples between them. They were a bit disappointed there weren’t more choices as they had been wanting to try some of the beers they’ve never tasted. Kevin tried two IPAs that were available. He’s not a big fan of IPAs, and didn’t really care for either of the ones offered. They also had Genuine Draft, Summer Shandy and Redd’s Apple Ale.

The tasting area was a nice outdoor patio with shaded picnic tables. The tour and tasting were free; a nice bonus. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and tour, and definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the Milwaukee area.

After the tour, we went back to Eric’s house and grilled some brats. Eric likes Cracker Barrel Cheesy Hash browns, and I had found a recipe for them. I’m not sure they tasted exactly the same, but it was very good. Fresh watermelon rounded out the menu. We had a great day with Eric.

Last week on one of my morning walks, I saw a crane. It was walking toward a field of wheat. It is so fun to watch them walk with their long legs and neck.

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He disappeared into the wheat field. I wonder if they eat the kernels.

The weather this week is forecast to be beautiful. Temps in the low 80s and low humidity. We plan to play some golf on Thursday.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!