Lakefront Brewery 1872 North Commerce Street Milwaukee United States
Started in 1987, the microbrewery located on the Milwaukee River has become a Milwaukee landmark. Its rich history includes partnerships with local taverns, preservation of local historical pieces, unique tours, family style dining options and most importantly, great beer. President Russ Klisch said it all started with his brother, Jim. Jim expressed interest in beer making near his birthday and Russ humored him by purchasing him a book on the subject. Jim read the book and brewed the beer. Although not known, according to Russ, as a gourmet cook, Jim made a good beer. Russ was impressed and decided he could do it better. In short, sibling competitiveness and common interest lead both to entering contests in beer making. They both received awards, and family and friends encouraged them to start the business. Their family had roots in the beer industry as well. Their grandfather worked for Schlitz driving a street sweeper and a truck. Russ Klisch remembers him bringing home short fills to his dad. He recalls, even as a kid, that it was a cool job if you got to bring beer home at night. Taverns were also owned by several family members. With that family history and their common interest in beer making, the brothers started their business. They decided to start small. Initially, they bought an old pizza bakery building down the street from their home in Riverwest. They liked the location and the fact that they could walk there from home. They sold their first barrel on December 2, 1987. They stayed at that location until winter of 1998.