Editors’ Choice: Week of August 8

1. Go to Madison for the great taste of the Midwest


The best beer event I’ve been to – and that includes the Great American Beer Festival in Denver – is this Saturday. It’s the Great Taste of the Midwest, a massive non-profit beer festival hosted by the Madison Home Brewing Club since 1987. It’s a long time to get it right, and the Great Taste is loved by everyone so much attendees, from festival-goers to brewery staff to the legion of volunteers, because it places as much emphasis on the experience of the 200-plus breweries as it does on that of the diners. Its setting — outdoors in beautiful lakeside Olin Park — is also hard to beat. Tickets sell out for hours every year, but if you show up at the park in the morning, you should be able to find a ticket or two resold at its face value of $70. And the “Great Taste Eve” events — tap takeovers and other parties featuring brews that don’t typically sell out in Wisconsin — on Friday nights in Madison are a throwback to when beer events in the bars and restaurants were really events.

2. Take the family beginner canoeing in Washington Park


Canoeing is one of my favorite activities. It’s peaceful, soothing and delicious. I haven’t done it for five years either because I knocked over a canoe once and nearly drowned and I now live in terror of repeating that incident. Then maybe Urban Ecology’s Beginner Canoe Kayak Course in Washington Park is for me. This takes place on Saturday August 13 and covers the basics of canoeing. Tickets are $9-12. Also, I now realize that this class is for children. Well, for “families 6+”. I am not a child. I am a man. I swear. But hey, for those of you with kids, it still sounds cool. UEC is one of Milwaukee‘s greatest assets, and Washington Park is a historic treasure.


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3. Colectivo work on Prospect


Last Thursday, I decided that my work-from-home day would be a work-from-café day, and what a wonderful change of scenery that was. I went to the Colectivo on Prospect, where I used to spend many, many hours doing homework with friends during college, and I’m happy to report that it’s still (at least in my book) the best place on the East Side to be wildly productive. Upbeat cafe music, cups full of delicious coffee, plants hanging from the ceiling, chatter in the background – it all sets the perfect mood to get the job done. Next time you need to switch it up while working from home, maybe come over there to see if you’ll be super productive too.

Photo by Visit Milwaukee

4. Sip and/or stroll through Wauwatosa Village


Do you like “live music?” What does “treats and specials” look like? Well, good news, you who love live music, sweets and specials, you. The Wauwatosa Village Sip and Stroll takes place Thursday, August 11 from 5-8 p.m. Fourteen businesses in Tosa Village offer special discounts that night, including Village Cheese Shop, Niemann’s Candies and Ice Cream, and you can pick up Old Fashioneds for six dollars. at Lucky Joe.

5. Book an excursion to the Paddle Tavern


You’ve heard of a paddle tavern — the huge moving bikes filled with woo girls that travel from bar to bar — but did you know that Milwaukee has paddle taverns too? This is the boat iteration, and I had the joy of cruising this weekend (yes, it was for a bachelorette party, thanks for asking). The boat ride is better than the bike ride for a number of reasons, the first being that you really don’t have to work hard. The pontoon has a motor, you can pedal if you want, but it doesn’t really help or hurt anything if you do or not. The two-hour trip takes you along the Milwaukee River with a bar stop of your choice and a photo op in front of the Hoan. I would do it again to celebrate something important, or even just to have a fun day out with friends.

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Paddle Tavern



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