Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column heading home to chilly Wisconsin. Once a year, we board a plane and fly to one of the most lovely (and under-rated) places in the United States.
For those of you who don’t know where it is, it borders two of the five Great Lakes and four U.S. states (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota).
In case you’re head has been buried in the sand, Wisconsin is “America’s Dairyland” and boasts a plethora of great cheddars and cheese curds. California is trying to say that it’s the cheese and wine state now, but we know better. It’s imposible for Cali to compete with our home state in terms of milk, cheese and cows. And we love cheesy items and must mention that they can be bought at great prices throughout Milwaukee, our birth city.
Milwaukee is also known to many as the “beer capital of the world” and it’s home to some of America’s largest brewers ” Pabst, Schlitz, Miller, Blatz. Wisco prides itself on its alcohol production and consumption. (We have proof ” just look at all the drunk Wisco kids posting photos on Facebook.) There’s a large number of breweries and bars per capita. And we like it.
We think Wisconsin (and Milwaukee) has so much beer because it’s too cold to go outside without a little alcohol in the blood. Our favorite micro-brew beer is Sprecher, a small company that also produces root beer and cream soda. Tasty. Tune in soon for a travel story on Sprecher Brewing Co.
The Milwaukee Beer Museum was established to preserve and display the incredible variety of artifacts from the city’s rich history of beer, brewing and the beer barons. We think the city itself is a museum, so visitors should try to seek out all of Milwaukee’s surviving taverns, brewery buildings and malthouses when exploring the city.
Milwaukee also hosts Summerfest, “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” every summer at the lakefront Henry Maier Festival Park just south of downtown. So much fun ” the smells, sounds, beers and bad outfits make for a grand ol’ time.
What do musician Steve Miller, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, baseball commissioner Bud Selig, person of interest in the O. J. Simpson criminal trial ” Kato Kaelin (we’ve seen him working out at our parent’s gym), football player Tony Romo, comedian Chris Farley and actor Willem Dafoe all have in common? They hail from the great cheese state.
Wisconsin is popular for outdoor activities, like camping, hunting and fishing. Each year in Wisco, more than 600,000 deer-hunting licenses are sold. Visitors to Wisco during Thanksgiving (and potentially all year due to some questionable fashion sense) will see hunters swathed in blaze orange.
The Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is known for its interesting architecture and it houses Lynde Bradley’s art collection.
Wisconsin is also the only place we know of that we can buy lefsa ” a flat, potato bread product originating from Norway ” in the supermarkets. We love to snack on this yummy treat whenever we head home.
Readers are likely wondering: “If you like Wisconsin so much, why don’t you live there?”
The answer to that, our friends, is: “Wisconsin is too flat and cold to truly enjoy its long winters. We prefer to love it from a distance and ski without frostbite. Colorado is our home.”
We’re out on this fine Saturday, trying to figure out how to bring some Sprecher brew back to Colorado as a carry-on. Maybe we’ll hide it in our cheese-head hat.
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