A city built on manufacturing and industry, Milwaukee has never forgotten the value of making. That do-it-yourself sensibility permeates the culture, giving life to boutique stores that feature local artists and artisans, homegrown companies that make local pride their brand, and maker markets and buy-local shopping events that bear little resemblance to your grandma’s craft fair. Go local and support Milwaukee’s makers during your visit.
The best part of waking up is Milwaukee in your cup. Coffee culture is strong here – Colectivo Coffee has been handmade in Milwaukee since 1993, and just a few years younger is Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company, a micro roaster and café founded in 1999. Get a mug of their coffee at the original Bay View café (also home to an impressive wood-fired pizza oven), or stop by the café in Walker’s Point to enjoy coffee, craft beer, and wine, as well as live music on weekends. You can also quench your caffeine craving with one of Milwaukee's other local roasters, like Stone Creek Coffee, Hawthorne Coffee Roasters, Valentine Coffee, Kickapoo Coffee, or Pilcrow Coffee Roasters (named the nation's best cold brew).
Bay View Printing Co.
Bay View Printing Company has been making letterpress prints for over a century. This historic shop houses 14 antique letterpresses and a collection of more than 400 wood and lead typefaces. In 2015, the company was purchased by Ashley Town, a former professor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. In addition to being a working printing company, you can try a Drink & Ink workshop to make your own custom print on an antique press.
Fresh Curds Daily
A cheese curd is a small, fresh, springy piece of cheese. During the cheese-making process, the curds are separate from the whey – these bits of cheese can be pressed into a nice block of cheddar or eaten as-is. Cheese curds are mild and slightly salty, and you can tell they’re fresh when they squeak between your teeth! Get your fresh curds straight from the source at Clock Shadow Creamery, one of the country's only urban creameries. If you want to take a tour, try to come on Wednesday or Friday morning…that’s when they make the curds!
The Original Brew City
Milwaukee is the city that beer built, and now you can see how Milwaukee builds its beer. From macro to micro, fruit beers to gourmet sodas, take an individual brewery tour or hop on a beer tour bus for a guided expedition through multiple breweries to see how Brew City is still earning its name!