Day trip to the east side

Day trip to the east side

Who else likes weekend getaways to Milwaukee, especially during the summer? I have become well acquainted with a particular neighborhood, the Lower East Side, given its swell of breweries and artsy character. I traveled there recently to check out the East Side Art Market, as it’s been on my to-do list for a while.

Art market details

The market is open during the second and fourth weekends at 1915 E. North Avenue from 12 pm to 4 pm. It’s presented by The East Side BID and Milwaukee Makers Market with beer provided by Brew City Distribution. Stroll the many vendors selling their fabulous wares while listening to local musicians. The painted picnic tables are fun conversation pieces. You can see all the tables and the artists who painted them here.

Thom J. Ertl Designs

I typically look for funky greeting cards or postcards while traveling, which is the reason I was drawn to a vendor. Thom J. Ertl Designs had several carousels filled with unique cards. I bought a bunch because there were so many good ones. I plan to share and keep some for myself to frame as functional art.

Beer options

I planned a brewery right after the market, so I played it smart and only had one beer. They offer a nice variety of canned options, including an IPA, a Porter, a Hefeweizen, a Kolsch, and two Hard Seltzers. It was a bit chilly, so I turned on the heat with a Donner Party Porter by FiftyFifty Brewing. This is a tasty porter with notes of dark chocolate, mocha, molasses, and espresso.

Return visit in my future

The East Side Art Market is a great place to collect some unique treasures, meet people, relax, and enjoy the surroundings. I will definitely be back!

Hacienda Beer Company

The next stop was Hacienda Beer Company’s North Avenue Taproom. I’m not too familiar with them since the original brewery is in Door County. It didn’t take long to realize that I would become more acquainted with their beer in the future. Road trip to Door County, anyone?

What I ate and drank

My server helped me choose beers for a flight including The Invisible Landscape, Everything Eventually, DDH Everything Eventually Phantasm, and Closer Everywhere. All the beers were winners and enjoyed on their colorful patio.

There were several things I wanted from the food menu; however, the only menu available on the weekend is brunch. My server told me I could substitute soy for most of the items, so I chose the Eastside Hash. It was the perfect accompaniment to all that beer.

Black Cat Alley

Next up was Black Cat Alley. I have been here several times; however, there is a new mural I was anxious to see. I also wanted to explore with eyes wide open (seeing the more obscure art). 

This beauty by Adjua Nsoroma was well worth waiting for. I hope this talented young woman continues to paint outdoor murals!

All three venues are within five minutes of one another. There are also lots of restaurants and bars nearby, so relish hanging out in this eclectic neighborhood.


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  • Thank you for a wonderful tour! I'm glad to know about so many options. When I saw the East Side headline, I remembered my dad's friend Hank, who would react to a (suburban) friend messing up West Side of Chicago addresses with a large East number by saying "Isn't it a little damp there?"

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thank you so much, Margaret! I greatly appreciate your kind words! And, cute memory:)

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