By Cassandra Vinch, Internet Director, WAOW
We’re excited to bring you a brand new series here at Newsline 9. We are opening the doors and giving you the Inn-Side Story to unique and inn-teresting hotels in our state.
“I’d like to welcome you to the Brewhouse Inn and Suites,” said Sue Kinas.
This Milwaukee building has only been a hotel for a little more than a year, but the walls carry a much richer history.
“If you look straight up, you’ll be looking up into one of the six original brew kettles. These were the original kettles. These were put in here in 1882,” Kinas said.
Those six kettles brewed hundreds of barrels of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer a day – but they didn’t always look this way.
“Pabst left town in a very big hurry. They were operating here for many, many years.”
The brewery closed its doors in 1996, leaving an uncertain future for the area. That was until a Milwaukee man bought it in 2006. Then the restoration process began.
“That was part of the preservation project, that as much of the integrity of the original building was kept in tact,” Kinas told Newsline 9.
Many of the walls are part of the original architecture and the columns have been preserved as well. As you can imagine, turning it into a hotel had its challenges.
“It was a huge mix of making sure the original integrity of the building was kept in place, as well as making sure the sustainability of the neighborhood’s needs were met.”
If the brew kettles weren’t enough of an ode to beer, the more than 1,500 bottles on the front desk do the trick.
“All the different beer bottles represent the local breweries in Milwaukee, both old, new, large, small and the craft beers in the area too.”
Construction workers had the tough task of drinking the beer.
Also on the first floor – the Blue Room, which used to be a break room for Pabst employees and their guests.
“The Milwaukee Police Department would come in between their shifts and come and sip the beer and talk to the employees.”
So, it was named the Blue Room after Milwaukee’s finest.
Now, we head upstairs.
“The space you are looking at down here is the original brewing floor. And these were the six brewing kettles that were here.”
Milwaukee visitors who aren’t staying at the hotel say they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check it out.
“It’s quite awe inspiring to see the original architecture, some of it’s still in place with the brew kettles,” said Curtis Polley from Coerdalene, Idaho.
So we’ve seen the lobby and we’ve seen the former brewery floor. Now it’s time to check out the rooms.
“A lot of the kitchen tables throughout the building are re purposed. And a lot of the headboards in the suites are all re purposed from the building too,” Kinas said.
Pieces of wood left here and there, given new life. There are plenty of rooms to choose from – from standard to king suites – 90 in all.
“One of the things that we always tell everybody when they come for a tour is that they can come and stay here 90 times because we have 90 suites and every time you stay your experience will be great. But it will be different every time.”
The front of the Brewhouse Inn and Suites is no different. The interior may have change, but architects ensured the outside was just as recognizable as it was years ago.
The average room will cost you between $189, up to $459.