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History on Tap
8/13/2014
Drink deeply of Milwaukee's genealogy resources and ethnic heritage with our guide to the historic best of the brewing city.

If you have roots in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest, you need to know that there's more to Milwaukee than beer. Yes, it's the home of Miller Brewing (4251 W. State St., 414-931-BEER), and the sudsy legacy of Capt. Frederick Pabst lives on in such historic sites as the Pabst Theater, an 1895 Baroque historic landmark (144 E. Wells St., 414-286-3663) and the 37-room, 14-fireplace, 1892 Pabst Mansion (2000 W. Wisconsin Ave., 414-931-0808). And, sure, there are days when the perfume of brewers yeast tempts I-94 commuters to roll down their windows and take a deep sniff.

But Milwaukee also boasts a rich ethnic heritage (perhaps not unrelated to the origins of its brewing industry). Germans helped build the city in the 19th century, and it remains home to some of the nation's best German restaurants, including Karl Ratszch's (320 E. Mason St., 414-276-2720) and Mader's (1037 N. Old World Third St., 414-271-3377). Milwaukee has also seen influxes of Irish, Poles and Italians (who also contributed mightily to the dining scene, such as the richly authentic Mimma's, 1307 E. Brady St., 414-271-7337). It's even home to one of the country's few fine Serbian restaurants, the Old Town Serbian Gourmet House (522 W. Lincoln Ave., 414-672-0206).

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