In town for a Milwaukee Bucks game or to see your favorite rock star at BMO Harris Bradley Center? That the arena is in downtown Milwaukee means there are dozens of bars within a two-block radius. Here are your options—all heavy on Wisconsin craft beers.
Buck Bradley's Saloon & Eatery
Address: 1019 N. Old World 3rd St., Milwaukee
You normally wouldn’t look for history in a bar, but Buck Bradley’s Saloon and Eatery is inside one of Milwaukee’s oldest building, dating back to 1854 as a furniture store. During the 1990s it opened as a bar, with a nod to what a bar was like in 1890. Once you’re inside, you’ll see that the bar top is the longest in Wisconsin (it’s very long), and the original Cream City brick walls remain exposed. Pool tables, dart boards, and TVs keep patrons entertained. A full food menu—pizzas, brats, burgers and shareable bar foods like nachos and wings—are served for lunch and dinner, plus weekend brunch from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (both Saturday and Sunday). Naturally, the craft beers here skew towards Wisconsin.
Old German Beer Hall
What: Old German Beer Hall
Address: 1009 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee
This is a great bar to visit if you want to eat and drink. It’s also a cultural slice of Germany, with weekly specials such as chicken schnitzel with pomme frites on Saturday, and a Wisconsin-style fish fry on Friday. Items on the menu every day include snacks like Landjäger and Reuben rolls, and meatier fare like knackwurst and a butcher’s plate, with apple strudel for dessert. Hofbräu beer from Munich is on tap. Pro tip: Come on Saturday and Sunday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) for an authentic Bavarian breakfast that includes pretzels imported from Munich, Milwaukee’s own Usinger sausages and, of course, beer.
Who's On Third
What: Who’s On Third
Where: 1007 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee
Weekly food and drink specials make Who’s On Third a favorite sports bar among locals as well as Bucks fans. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights this might mean $5 appetizers off the menu, and the weekday happy hour translates to $3 tap beers and wines. A full food menu includes daily fish fry, with the fish battered in Lakefront Brewery’s Riverwest Stein beer; mac and cheese; and entrée-sized salads such as the Southwest Fiesta Salad. Sandwiches and wraps are healthier options on the menu.
What: Major Goolsby’s
Where: 340 W. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee
If you need to see the game, this is the place to be as there are 55 TVs at Major Goolsby’s, a block from the BMO Harris Bradley Center. (Sports Illustrated has rated the bar among the top-10 sports bars nationwide, in part due to the massive amounts of sports memorabilia.) This is also a great place for craft-beer lovers as there are beers from breweries in Alaska, Washington, Michigan, New York, Colorado and Ohio on the menu, plus the bigger imports and domestics. An extensive food menu features wings, fried cheese curds, burgers, onion rings, fish sandwiches, salads and everything else you’d come to expect at a sports bar.
Milwaukee Brat House
What: Milwaukee Brat House
Where: 1013 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee
This bar—open since 2008—even has a dedicated shuttle to all home sports events, including Milwaukee Brewers’ games at Miller Park. In addition to beers (including Milwaukee’s own Schlitz), there are many opportunities to fuel up, including fun orders like a Fritos Pie or Lakefront IPA Beer Cheese Soup and 10 signature sausage sandwiches, plus a Friday fish fry and design-your-own burgers. A brunch menu is served between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On warmer days and nights, the beer garden is open, the perfect spot to kick back with a cold beer and, sometimes, live music.