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Miller Brewery Tour

the caves

Stopping by Miller Valley and taking a tour of the Miller Brewery is a fun way to pass a Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee. Start in the gift shop of the Visitor’s Center, and then enter the theatre with a movie that presents a significant part of Milwaukee’s history.

New media throughout the tour is cutting edge, like later in the tour when Herman Miller pops out of the cave painting with a hologram effect. Sometimes we felt, their presentation material was a little cheesy, like the tour introduction of the “Miller High Life Girl In The Moon”. I see what they are trying to do, but in my opinion, it didn’t really deliver their message well. Video’s were used rather extensively throughout the guided tour, leaving a commercialized feeling, but overall the presentations were well done.

You definitely learn about the Miller brands. They try to have a brand for every beer lover and take every opportunity to impress upon you what their many brands are. The list is extensive, here are just a few:

  • Coors
  • Miller
  • Leinenkugels
  • Blue Moon
  • Keystone
  • Molson
  • Carling
  • Foster’s
  • Grolsch
  • Peroni
  • Sharp’s
  • Amstel Light
  • Astika
  • Aguila
  • Hamm’s
  • Mickey’s
  • Milwaukee’s Best

After the movie, a guide will take you to several places of importance along the beer making process like the brewhouse, packaging and the warehouse.

Discover what massive beer distribution looks like with a chance to see a million cases of beer as you walk through the warehouse. Did you know that 40% of their production goes to Chicago? The rest is transported throughout the Midwest. Who says Milwaukee is America’s Beer City? I guess that depends on production vs. consumption.

The caves were my favorite. You go down about a dozen steps, and enter the cave where, here again, you get a cool feeling of historic déjà vu as Herman Miller tells you how they used to cut massive blocks of ice out of Lake Michigan and haul it to the caves to keep the beer cold all year round.

Then head off to the tasting room, where you are served a 6-8oz glass of Miller, Miller High Life and then a third rotating beer of their choice. Their choice today was Third Shift, an Amber Lager, that no one, even the Amber beer lover in our group, could even drink. It had a strong unpleasant after taste that one just couldn’t get past. Our suggestion- do as other tours do and allow visitors to choose their own beer. Like wine lovers, beer drinkers have distinctive tastes. Miller circumvents the earlier focus of their varied brands by not allowing their guests to educate their pallets, as wineries and even Leinenkugels do so well, Miller misses an important opportunity.

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Milwaukee Brewing Company

landscape view of the brewery

Check out this upstart craft brewery and tour in Milwaukee for a fun afternoon. This group of brewers take their beer making seriously, but endearingly, take themselves very lightly. From the minute you step foot in the doors of the Milwaukee Brewery Company, you’re in for some light-hearted beer loving fun. MKE Apparel

Their branding is cool with a logo that looks like a hex-nut with the airport code MKE inside. Their uniforms look like they belonged at the airport -maybe circa 1965. Bicycles hanging in the shipping area, discreetly tell you that this is one of those businesses that support and celebrate their employees.

The tour starts with a trip to the tasting bar, where you get a full 20 oz glass of beer from a choice of about 10 options on any given day. Then watch a short video that offers a bit the brewery’s background from the brewery owner. Our guide, Tim with the awesome mustache, is probably a stand up comedian when he isn’t giving tours. His love for the company, and its beer, with a strong knowledge of the process offer just the right combination.

You come away, after a couple stops back to the bar, with an appreciation of their mission (which seems to be to get you to drink and love their beer) and values (to be known for their environmental practices with the use of bio-diesel and upcoming solar). These environmental practices most recently put them in the limelight for a visit from Gov. Walker (we think he just wanted the free beer, too).

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Franklin Lake Campground

Follow the Heritage Drive Scenic Byway to one of the most popular camping areas in the Nicolet located on the shores of crystal-clear Franklin Lake. This 881-acre lake provides excellent swimming, boating, and fishing. Historic stone and log structures and campsites mixed with tall pines and hemlocks are perched near the lake’s edge–a beautiful setting for this campground that is on the National Registers of Historic Places. An interpretive center and naturalist programs are featured throughout the summer. In addition,¬†a one-mile interpretive trailwhich passes Butternut Lake is available for every season. Numerous other trails are nearby, including the¬†Hidden Lakes Trail¬†connecting to¬†Luna-White Deer Campground, as well as¬†a six-mile trail¬†to¬†Anvil Lake Campground.

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The History Museum at the Castle

Inside the walls of the History Museum, the past comes alive through the stories, photographs and artifacts of people of the Fox Valley. Our mission is to inspire appreciation for the rich history of the Fox River Valley area communities through the collections, exhibits and education at the History Museum at the Castle. Owned and operated by the Outagamie County Historical Society, the History Museum holds the collections representing the history of the Fox Valley dating back to 1840s.

 

Museum exhibits weave national and local events and periods together to provide both perspective and local relevance. The History Museum presents education programming related to our exhibits and workshops for adults, families and students.

 

The Building
The History Museum building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally a Masonic temple. Learn more about the building.

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Fishing on Shawano Lake

crappies

Shawano Lake is a lake situated in Shawano County in northeastern Wisconsin. Shawano Lake is a hard water drainage lake with multiple inlets and one major outlet, the Wolf River. A dam on the Wolf River located in the City of Shawano raises the water levels of Shawano Lake. Shawano Lake is approximately 6,178 acres (25.00 km2), with an average depth of approximately 9 feet (2.7 m) and a maximum depth of approximately 42 feet (13 m). The shoreline length is estimated at 18 miles (29 km). The Towns of Westcott, and Washington, and the Village of Cecil border Shawano Lake.

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Plamann Park Sledding

Plamann Park sledding

Plamann Park-

When the snow season arrives you will find these opportunities at Plamann Park:

  • Sledding Hills
  • Cross-country Ski Trails
  • Snowmobiling Parking

Plamann Park has two levels of sledding hills, fun and really fun. A large hill for the big kids and a smaller hill for the not so big. Bring the kids out for some of the most prime sledding in the area. Across from the Pavillion -just watch for the sledding hill.

There are 3.5 miles of cross-country ski trails that are groomed after most fresh snowfalls.

For snowmobilers there is a parking area giving access to the 280 mile system of snowmobile trails in Outagamie County.

Plamann Park has 257 acres of scenic hills and trails. The park is north of Appleton on Broadway Drive.

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Dun-Good Riders (ATV & Snowmobile Club)

dun good riders -snowmobiles

The Northwood’s snowmobile club, Dun-Good Riders Inc. is a non profit organization of dedicated individuals, whose constant vigil is to maintain our trails to the best of their abilities. We currently care for 70 miles of snowmobile trails, through some of the most beautiful acres in God’s country. We also watch over 130 miles of year round ATV trail. Our only hope is that you will have a safe and joyful experience every time you visit our trail system.

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Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Nestled in central Wisconsin is a landscape that was epitomized by early homesteaders as the Great Wisconsin Swamp. A mosaic habitat of sedge meadow, savanna, and pine-oak forest established in 1939 the area is an island of refuge‚ home to ringed boghaunter dragonflies, whooping cranes, trumpeter swans, wolves, Karner blue butterflies, badgers, and red-headed woodpeckers. Each species and habitat is monitored and maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure overall vigor within the 44,000-acre ecosystem.

Necedah’s newest addition accompanies over 230 species of birds, hundreds of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Visitors have a magnificent starting point for all of the opportunities to fish, hunt, hike and enjoy nature.

Directions from Nearest Town/Intersection

The main entrance to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is located off of Highway 21 between the Village of Necedah and the town of Tomah.

7:30am to 4:00pm, Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sundays.

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Milwaukee Domes

Owned by the Milwaukee Horticultural Society, the “Milwaukee Domes” conservatory. Mitchell Park is Milwaukee’s oldest park. The land was purchased in 1889 with the first conservatory opening in 1899.

The domes were built around 1960, quickly becoming one of the city’s most popular destinations for garden lovers and tourists. Architect Donald Grieb’s award winning entry called for three beehive-shaped (not geodesic) glass domes, 140 feet in diameter at the base and 85 feet high, offering 15,000 square feet of growing space for plant display. Each dome has a distinct climate and exhibit plants in a naturalistic setting. The three Milwaukee Domes are the Desert, Tropical, and Floral Show domes.

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Oneida Village Inn

Located in downtown Three Lakes Wisconsin and nestled in the heart of the “North Woods” with easy access to everything the area has to offer.

Freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, boating, water sports, fishing, hiking, biking, and leisure activities are minutes from your door.

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