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Beer Gardens are back in Milwaukee County for the 2022 summer season

Posted at 6:48 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 19:48:31-04

Clinking pint glasses and taps flowing in the park – both are a sure sign that summer is upon us.

Unfortunately for the ceremonial opening of the Milwaukee County Parks Beer, the weather didn’t get the memo.

“We were joking a little bit earlier that it’s a little bit brisk, but in previous years, we’ve had like six inches of snow,” says Guy Smith, director of the Milwaukee County Parks. “I’d say this is an improvement.”

Smith knows people from all over our area look forward to the re-opening of beer garden season regardless of the weather. They gained popularity during the pandemic when people were looking for safe ways to socialize, and Smith says they’re here to stay.

“We have something for everyone, it’s family friendly and we just want people to get out in the parks, and maybe go to a park they’ve never been do before,” Smith says.

“Milwaukee has seven months where they’re like, ‘hey guys we’ve got to get after it right now. This is our time to have fun.’ And we do that and the parks are such a huge part of that,” says Kalen Hemmelgarn, a Molson Coors Distributor Sales Executive.

Molson Coors has played a big role in making sure the beer gardens have beer, of course. But Hemmelgarn says the brewing company also wants to make the parks themselves shine. Molson Coors has donated more than $250,000 over the past few years, which has paid for things like the new picnic tables at South Shore Terrace.

“We’ve made it a point to really, really connect with our parks department,” Hemmelgarn says. “It’s been a great partnership.”

Aside from generous donations, Smith says more than half the parks’ operating budget comes from things like food and beverage sales.

“By bringing that revenue in, we’re able to support other things like trails, green space, playgrounds, etc.,” Smith says. “We just want to be able to provide these amenities for our residents as well as for visitors.”

Now all patrons need is a little warmer weather.

“When it is warm, it’s definitely busy,” Smith says. “But even today, we’ve got the fire pits and also the lower level where you can stay warm.”

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