Today’s historic brewery spotlight takes us to one of the grandest locations in all of Milwaukee! Opened in 2010, Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery has become a prime example of what thoughtful restoration can do to take all of us back to what the city looked like generations ago.

fbt-place-indoorsThe brainchild of Jim Haertel and his wife Karen, the Best Place complex was the former corporate office of the great beer baron, Captain Frederick Pabst. (“Did you know?” fun fact – Pabst earned his pilot’s license to run his very own ship at just the age of 21 and would proudly carry that title with him the rest of his life.) A true vision and commitment by the Haertels have transformed this set of buildings, closed down in 1996, into a truly majestic legacy of the Pabst Brewery. Enter first into the inviting Captain’s courtyard where you are greeted by a statue of the Captain himself. Then feel yourself being transported back into time as you walk into Blue Ribbon Hall, designed to mimic a 17th Century beer hall. Dating back to 1944 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the brewery, this ornate room contains most of the original features (including the bar) from over 70 years ago. (“Did you know?” fun fact – The fresco paintings that adorn much of the hall were done by Chicago commercial artist Edgar Miller and have never been retouched. Amazing!)

fbt-shirtsIn an adjacent building, the fabulous Great Hall, with its intricate Best Place emblem floor inlay, has been restored to its original great beauty. And be sure not to miss out on the Captain’s office itself with his maritime desk – a one-of- a-kind treasure! Then, as you walk through the King’s Courtyard, snap your obligatory photo with the (unofficial) patron saint of beer, King Gambrinus. Say….”Beer!”

Phew! That’s a lot to see. That must be it, right? Nope! Another historic gem, the original hospitality center known as the Sternewirt (plus another bar!), awaits you. And to top it all off, how can you go wrong by ending your visit with a stop in the ultra cool vintage Gift Shop. If you are in want of Pabst (and other historic brewery) memorabilia and/or gear, this is the only place you need to go. Ever.

And if going back into time to visit Milwaukee of yesteryear isn’t enough, the staff at Best Place makes you feel right at home. Whether it be Mark (the marketing director who doubles as a bartender) greeting you at the bar with your very own PBR or Cheryl and Ryan giving you expert tips on historic Pabst items in the Gift Shop, you’ll know why Best Place is…well…the best place to be!

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