In 1855, German immigrant Fredrick Miller purchased the Plank Road Brewery. Surrounded by woods, the small brewing operation was no bigger than a Victorian house. Today, a replica of the Plank Road Brewery is just one of the historic highlights in Milwaukee’s Miller Valley—the home of the nation’s second largest brewer, Miller Brewing Company.
Walk outdoors and upstairs to Miller’s packaging-center balcony. A blur of cans roars along conveyor belts that wind through wet machinery, packing up to 200,000 cases of beer daily.
The next stop is Miller’s mammoth distribution center that covers the equivalent of five football fields. Typically, you can see half a million cases of beer.
In the brew house, Miller makes its beer, Over 8,500,000 barrels are produced annually at this facility, which ships to the midwest, as far west as Montana. Chicago alone consumes 40 of the output of this brewery alone. Climb 56 stairs to look down on a row of towering, shiny brew kettles where “wort,” a grain extract, is boiled and combined with hops.
Stroll through Miller’s historic Caves, a restored portion of the original brewery where beer was stored before the invention of mechanical refrigeration.
Finish your tour at the Bavarian-style Miller Inn and sample a Miller beer or soft drink. Be sure also to take a few minutes to inspect the impressive collection of antique steins. In the summer, you can enjoy your beverage in an adjoining beer garden enlivened by music.