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Pabst Brewery In Milwaukee Will Become A Boutique Hotel

Updated on October 13, 2014

The Place To Go When Your Second Home Becomes Your First? Just sayin....

The old Pabst Brew House In Milwaukee, soon to be a boutique hotel!
The old Pabst Brew House In Milwaukee, soon to be a boutique hotel! | Source
An old advertisement for Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer from 1897.
An old advertisement for Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer from 1897. | Source

A Little Odd Or Very Nice? Still Trying To Decide!

I heard recently that the old Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is being turned into one of those fancy boutique hotels. If you're like me, you're probably thinking how in the WORLD are they going to turn an old brew house into a "Boutique" hotel? This building is over 100 years old. Pabst brand of beer was brewed in Milwaukee for at least 152 years. They shut down production of Pabst beer in Milwaukee in 1996.

I remember driving past this place as a child growing up near Milwaukee. There is one spot on the freeway heading into downtown Milwaukee where, if you had your car windows open, you could get a good "beer buzz" just from the SMELL alone. And it happened as you were going underneath a freeway bridge.

I remember it well! The smell was so strong. I used to hold my breath as a kid. It was one of the things that I thought that made Milwaukee such a unique city to live near. And a dang stinky city.

Then I found out that instead of tearing the old building down, part of it is being transformed and remodeled into a 90 room boutique hotel that will be called Brewhouse Inn & Suites. It is scheduled to open for business in March of 2013. I guess that is a GOOD thing since there are some very nice features in this building.

The lobby of the building will feature giant copper kettles that were once used in the beer making process. There are pretty vintage looking spiral staircases and every place where there are original features that are rich in beauty and interesting in their character, like exposed beams, they are trying to leave those beams as they are. I guess this preservation is better than the alternative.

I've also seen pictures of beautiful stained glass windows in this building. It would have been a shame to tear it down, I guess. But, I wondered who came up with the idea of making it into a hotel? I guess the answer to that question would be Gorman & Company, the company that is watching over the building of the hotel. Once the hotel is finished being built, Gorman & Company will be in charge of its operations.

Now all joking aside... Did you hear the one about how rooms can only be rented in packs of six? Moving on....

When I first heard the news, I was faintly reminded of an old Tracy Lawrence song called My Second Home about how this guy's second home has now become his first since his woman threw him out. But at least he has "a jukebox for an alarm clock and wakes up in a corner booth ~ And he'll (I'll) never die of thirst, now that his (my) second home has become his (my) first." I'm pretty sure that's the way the song goes! I did hear that this hotel is going to cater especially to those staying there for extended stays... Hmmmm... coincidence?

Seriously though, there will be suites on the top level of the building that will be named after four beer barons from Milwaukee and these suites will be called the "Baron Suites." So, I guess if you've ever entertained the fantasy of being a famous beer baron back in the day... these suites would be THE place for you to stay!

It is reported that once it is complete, the new Brewhouse Inn & Suites will have one and two bedroom suites. And of course those soon to be famous Baron suites on the top floor. There will also be about 5,000 feet of retail space that they are hoping to fill with restaurants.

In a world where there seems to be a desire and a trend to tear down the old to make room for the new, it is kind of refreshing that they are going to preserve and use this building in this way instead of just tearing it down.

Things To Do In Milwaukee When You're There Staying At The Brewhouse Inn & Suites

If you do decide to check out the new Brewhouse Inn & Suites, there are plenty of things to do and sights to see in Milwaukee while you're there. You can check out the many lakefront festivals that go on all summer long and into the fall, you can take a walk through the Milwaukee Zoo, take a fun and interesting tour of Harley-Davidson or go on a brewery tour at Miller Brewing. If that's not your style, you can visit any of the interesting museums found in the Milwaukee area.

Touring Harley-Davidson is always popular, especially for motorcycle enthusiasts. The museum here is much more than just a nostalgic trip down memory lane for bikers. This museum also offers a glimpse into some of the history of the United States by highlighting the many trends and culture changes that happened throughout the trials and success of Harley-Davidson over the years. A premier motorcycle manufacturer, visitors to Harley-Davidson are taken on a journey through the many interactive exhibits and are fascinated and entertained by the stories told here. There is also a restaurant, cafe and gift shop, along with a park-like area for picnics, when the weather permits.

The Miller Brewery tour is a combination indoor and outdoor tour guided by an interesting host. Guests will learn about the brewery's over 150 year heritage and explore things like the arrival of Frederick Miller back in 1855 all the way up to the present day high-speed production lines used in the art of brewing beer. The last stop on the tour is the Bavarian style Miller Inn where anyone over 21 can sample a tall frosty brew, and those that either don't drink or are under 21 can enjoy a soft drink.

Milwaukee's lakefront plays host to many interesting festivals throughout the summer and into the fall. The most famous of these festivals is Summerfest, the world's largest music festival. Headlining acts from all genres of music play here in the beautiful outdoor Marcus Amphitheater, and in any of the ten other stages set up for music lovers.

Enjoy a sunshine filled day with music, good friends, and what was that other stuff Milwaukee is famous for? Oh yeah, BEER! Summerfest has something everyone will love in the many music choices, food choices and even shopping choices at the many unique marketplaces. There are so many fantastic food and beverage stands to choose from, everyone will find something for every taste.

This permanent fairground atmosphere is also home to other festivals throughout the summer, such as Festa Italiana, German Fest, Milwaukee Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta Polish Fest and Indian Summer in the fall. It seems that there is always something interesting going on at Milwaukee's beautiful lakefront, and nature loving visitors can watch the boats out on Lake Michigan as well.

Wonderful Museums And A Great Zoo To Check Out!

There are several interesting museums to check out in Milwaukee for those interested in a more refined educational experience (without BEER, I think?) If you are with the kids, be sure to check out the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, Milwaukee's only museum designed specifically to appeal to kids under the age of 10 and even to kids up to age 99! There are many interactive and interesting exhibits and hands on learning experiences for the kids, and adults love learning here as much as the kids do!

Another fascinating museum is called Discovery World Museum. This is another unique hands-on museum featuring the latest and oldest forms of technology. Discovery World also features exciting educational programs and labs that showcase innovation. A fun and exciting day awaits when you take a tour of Discover World Museum!

The Milwaukee Zoo was always one of my absolute FAVORITE places to visit when we lived in the Milwaukee area. Walking at the zoo offers wonderful exercise, and the exhibits are interestingly displayed so everyone can relax and enjoy all of these animals in an unhurried atmosphere. My favorite exhibit was always the African area, and especially the giraffes! When I went there as a child, we always had to go see Samson the gorilla (who has since passed away).

Samson came to the Milwaukee zoo the same year I was born, in 1959 and he lived there until his death in 1981, so he was a part of that zoo for over 30 years. I remember his antics and pounding the glass at his exhibit. And feeding times were always especially interesting. He even made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world's largest gorilla.

When his weight topped 652 pounds in the 1970s, he was then put on a diet by one of the zookeepers, who simply made up a diet as he went along since there wasn't really a "diet" in existence to help a gorilla to lose weight! Samson actually was about 70 pounds lighter when he died, of a heart attack. I remembered thinking that maybe that diet was what helped him to live those extra years.

Many of my memories of the Milwaukee zoo centered on field trips as a child and watching the antics of Samson and other gorillas that were introduced into his habitat to keep him company. One of them was a female... but they didn't get along and no babies came along so she moved to a zoo into Chicago. I remember reading headlines in the paper that she was "monkeying around" on Samson! Someone was having fun writing those newspaper articles!

There are a lot of fun and interesting things to do in Milwaukee and while staying at the brand new Brewhouse Inn & Suites, visitors can enjoy them all. What a memory visitors will have beginning in the Spring of 2013 of staying in what at one time was a famous Brewery in Milwaukee!

After all this sight-seeing and relaxing with a cold brew in the evening, I can only hope that visitors don't leave Milwaukee singing the song made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis called "What Made Milwaukee Famous"! CHEERS! ->


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    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      That was a good one, Beckie... if it does have "spirits" I'll bet they are HAPPY ones! ;) Thanks so much for reading and for your great comment! :)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Fantastic interesting hub! Although I feel bad for poor Sampson. Although he died of a heart attack its ashame he had to live it behind lock and key.

      It's great to hear of a building being restored rather than being destroyed. I wonder if the old brewery has "spirits". Just couldn't resist.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks Dianna! I think the brewery hotel will add to the area. There are some really fun things to do in and around Milwaukee! :) Glad you enjoyed the humor, too. It was easy to find humor for this one! :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I appreciate it! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This would be an interesting place to stay. Love your joke on the "six pack" of rooms. I heard the zoo there is also a great place to visit. I think a boutique would bring a nice add to the area.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks, Tom! :) I appreciate you reading and commenting! Thank you for the up vote, too. :)

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub, a very good way to recycle this old building and have it become useful again . Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Hi Pamela! I agree, it's much better to use an old building and renovate, especially when it has so much character! :) One thing I noticed here in Las Vegas is a tendency to "implode" the old buildings and start new... although some buildings here are renovated, like the old Sahara hotel which closed down over a year ago and was bought recently to be renovated. Thanks so much for commenting, I appreciate it! :)

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thanks, tipstoretireearly! :) Sounds like you have been to Milwaukee, too... it's an interesting and pretty neat place! :) Thanks for your great comment, very much appreciated!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I think it is great when they take an old building and make it into something attractive and useful. The boutique sounds like it was a great idea.

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 5 years ago from New York

      Wonderful news that the old brewery will find a new life as a boutique! The new hotel will have so many architectural features that would be impossible to replicate in a new structure. And its patrons will have access to Milwaukee's lakefront and amazing summer festivals!