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According to Lakefront Brewery President Russ Klisch, it all began with his brother, Jim. Near his birthday, Jim expressed interest in beer making, and Russ humored him with the gift of a homebrewing book. To Russ’ surprise, Jim read the book, and brewed a beer. By Russ’ account, Jim was no gourmet cook, but he made a pretty good beer. Impressed, Russ decided he could brew one better. In short, sibling rivalry and common interest lead to both brothers entering homebrewing contests and winning awards. It wasn’t long before family and friends encouraged them to turn their hobby into a business which opened in late 1987.

Lakefront’s pioneering spirit has created many U.S. brewing-industry firsts. Among these, the brewery introduced the first beer in the United States made from 100% in-state-grown ingredients with the barley, wheat, hops and a first-of-its-kind, indigenous Wisconsin yeast strain (Wisconsinite Summer Weiss), the first certified organic brewery, producing the country’s oldest certified organic beer (Organic E.S.B.), and the first government-certified, gluten-free beer (New Grist). Nowadays, Lakefront is still known for their high-quality, innovative beers, popular brewery tours, Friday night fish-fry, award winning cheese curds, and newly renovated riverwalk – the longest patio in the city.


1872 North Commerce Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212


Lakefront Brewery

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