Free beer given out during Estabrook Park beer garden's grand opening
the WTMJ News Team
Annie Scholz reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - For the first time since prohibition, a Milwaukee County Park has a beer garden.
A special grand opening event got underway Wednesday night to celebrate the city's unique brewing heritage.
Beer flowed at the Estabrook Park Beer Garden on Milwaukee's north side.
Crews tapped a free keg in honor of the beer garden's opening.
The park has already been operating the beer garden before the official grand opening.
"When I drove into Estabrook Park the other day to go for a nature walk with my kids and I saw the big Bavarian flag, I got very excited," said Pablo Muirhead.
The concept isn't new, but for a Milwaukee County Park, it is -- at least in recent times.
The city was home to a string of similar beer gardens along the Milwaukee River until prohibition in the 1920's and early 1930's.
"This actually was common place in Milwaukee with all the German immigrants who came here," said Hans Weisgerber III.
Now, it's attempting a comeback, but not with complete support.
"Just walk over here, and who do you see in the park?" asked Sheree Sanders, who is against the beer garden.
"I see a lot of 21-year-olds, and that's half the park."
"I think they're great to have fun and be with people, but I don't think the park would be the place to do it," said Christy Smith, who also opposes the beer garden.
The beer garden's owner and the Milwaukee County Parks System agree that this is a safe, peaceful, family-oriented place and a win-win for taxpayers.
Milwaukee County receives 20 percent commission on beer and 10 percent on food sales.