Estabrook Beer Garden operator Hans Weissgerber and his crew are working around the clock to make sure they're ready for opening day next week.
"This is the earliest we've ever opened by about a week or two, we're trying to get ahead of things," said Weissgerber.
Weissgerber says the beer garden will operate the same way it did last year amid the pandemic, including requiring people to wear masks and social distance. And he says he's ready for yet another successful season.
"We know that people will come out because they've been inside all winter and they want to get out."
"Every year since 2012 we have set a new record in revenue with beer gardens, every single year, and we expect 2021 to break those records as well," said Joe Mrozinski, assistant director of business services for Milwaukee County Parks.
Milwaukee County officials say they're also looking forward to the openings, because beer gardens make one of the biggest financial contributions to their parks and rec department.
"Beer gardens overall have generated almost $10 million in new revenues for the parks since 2012," said Mrozinksi.
"Particularly in the middle of a pandemic, it's one of the few ways that we have to generate revenue through our parks department," said Milwaukee County Executive, David Crowley.
To give you some context: In 2020, the parks department had a record-breaking year generating nearly $1.9 million in revenue from those beer gardens compared to the revenue generated back in 2019 which was $1.8 million. Money that all goes back into the county.
"You come here, and 20% of every beer you buy, that money goes right into the county budget so you really are supporting the county," said Weissgerber.
"That helps support things like playgrounds, hiking trails, biking trails, natural areas, aquatic centers, community centers," said Mrozinksi.
Estabrook Beer Garden's opening day is still TBA, but they say it should be sometime next week. Meanwhile, South Shore's Beer Garden is set to open on April 14th- and the Whitnall Beer Garden will open on April 16.
Estabrook said it will close the beer garden for the day if it sees people not complying with its policies.
You better BEER-lieve it! Grab your glasses because beer gardens are preparing to open starting next week in Milwaukee County. Tonight we take a closer look at how these establishments help improve the county’s parks and recreation one drink at a time 🍻 @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/7TbX7Ugis4— Taylor Lumpkin (@TaylorLumpkinTV) March 30, 2021
As for other beer gardens in Milwaukee, some have still not announced when they plan to open.
South Shore Terrace said it was planning for sometime in April, though no exact date was listed.
The Landing at Hoyt Park said it planned to open on Wednesday, May 12.