Friday, November 04, 2011

Miller Brewery Tour

Recently I went on the Miller Brewery Tour in Milwaukee. You can get more information about the tour here. The tour is free and highly recommended.

After a short 10 minute movie featuring an animated "Fredrick Miller", the German immigrant who purchased Plank Road Brewery and turned it into what is now Miller Brewing (technically part of Miller / Coors), the tour begins.

The highly automated process that fills the bottles and cans is very impressive. You overlook these processes from a hallway above and they have a short movie on flat screen TV's at this stage in addition to narration from the tour guide.

You can see the beer stacked up in the huge distribution warehouse. There is a north and south building with a "beer bridge" and conveyer connecting the two facilities. In addition to brewing the usual beers here they also brew Leinenkugel's, and Pabst (gulp) on contract.

The buildings connected together are in "Miller Valley". As you can see it is a valley and this is apparently the worlds largest hand painted sign (per the guide, at least).

At the end you tour the caves where the original Frederick Miller stored his beer to keep it cool in the summer, packed in ice from nearby lakes.

They give three free samples at the end of the tour. For us it was Peroni, Miller Lite, and one of your choice. The beer actually tasted excellent, cold and right out of the keg. Someone I was touring with said that it seemed strange to get a "free lunch" (beer without paying and a free tour) and I said that I had paid for this tour hundreds and hundreds of times over in my lifetime of "investment" in Miller products.


Gerry from Valpo said...

Brings back many fine memories to me.

Been there a few times as well as the Harley corporate offices across the parkway since they were once both clients of ours. At the same time.

After a meeting or presentation to Miller we retired to the lobby where there was a classic full mahogany Brunswick bar with taps and glasses. Guests were free to pour at will.

And we did. Many times.

The problem was having to make at least two pit stops on the way back to Chicago. Once we began taking Amtrak's Hiawatha run instead of driving, our trip back included taking a sixer with us (burp).

chris from milwaukee said...

Next time you're up in Milwaukee, check out Lakefront Brewery. It's located on the Milwaukee River in a building that was built just before the Cubs last WS title. The Lakefront tour is less educational and more drinking. They give you beers before the tour and encourage you to reload often at one of the several beer stations along tour route. It's a must visit next time you're up in Milwaukee.

Carl from Chicago said...

Actually I did hear about that other Milwaukee brewery and will check it out next time I am up north.

Dan from Madison said...

Sprecher has a nice tour too.