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Milwaukee County Apartments for Rent

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Let’s face it: as the old TV spot used to say, it’s the “beer that made Milwaukee famous;” and it did. Those of us who enjoyed Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, two ABC sitcoms from the 1970s and 1980s set in Milwaukee, often saw the city’s breweries involved in the storylines of the shows.

The relationship between this Wisconsin city, German immigrants and beer goes back more than 100 years. The Germans had historically enjoyed beer, and when they immigrated to Milwaukee they immediately set up breweries. There were more than two dozen breweries in the city by 1856, mostly owned by Germans. They also liked to drink it; historian James Buck recorded 138 taverns in Milwaukee, an average of one per forty residents, in 1843.

Eventually Milwaukee was home to four of the world’s largest breweries: Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst and Miller, and was the number-one beer producing city in the world. Chicago, however, had a better position on the railroad lines for transporting the product. It eventually won most of the industry.

One major brewer, Miller, is still in the city. Miller Brewing Company employs more than 2,200 of the city’s workers, and remains the second-largest beer maker in the nation. The historic Milwaukee Brewery is the oldest functioning major brewery in the United States.

One small brewery operates from the former Blatz facility; aside from that, the only stand-alone breweries still operating in Milwaukee are Milwaukee Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Walker’s Point neighborhood; and Lakefront Brewery, a microbrewery located in Brewers Hill. Other small breweries include Sprecher Brewery, a locally-popular microbrewery in Glendale; Milwaukee Ale House; and Water Street Brewery.

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