Milwaukee Road 'Beer Line' exhibit to make hometown debut Nov. 30

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The Center's "Beer Line" exhibit at an earlier engagement in 2017.
Center for Railroad Photography & Art
MILWAUKEE – Beer has long been a defining trait of Wisconsin life and culture. The state's history with brewing is intertwined with its railroads. To shine a light on both, the Center for Railroad Photography & Art will open its Milwaukee’s Beer Line exhibition at Lakefront Brewery on Nov. 30.

In its first appearance in Milwaukee, the exhibition travels to Lakefront Brewery following a brief tour in the Madison area. It has appeared at the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, Octopi Brewing, and Grumpy Troll Brewery. The show will be on display at Lakefront Brewery through Feb. 5 during business hours.

The exhibition features 1950s-era photographs from the Center’s Wallace W. Abbey Collection. In celebration of the exhibition’s opening, Lakefront Brewery will hold an opening reception for the show’s unveiling. The event is free and open to the public. Beginning at 6 p.m., the event will feature a limited-edition tap called Smokestack, a smoked lager, available as a one-day special in conjunction with the exhibition opening.

“The rail and brewing industries played key roles in developing Milwaukee, as well as the state of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Road’s ‘Beer Line’ served three of the city’s largest breweries, Blatz, Pabst, and Schlitz, and ran right past what is now Lakefront Brewery," says Scott Lothes, the Center's executive director. "Lakefront is even renaming one of their beers ‘Smokestack’ in honor of the exhibition.”

Lakefront Brewery is based in the Beerline B neighborhood of Milwaukee and was founded in 1987 by brothers Russ and Jim Kilsch. With strong support for community ties and growth the brewery famously names their flagship beers after Milwaukee neighborhoods, such as the Riverwest Stein and East Side Dark. Their current location similarly ties into local history by residing in the building that once housed the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company’s coal-fired power plant. Also conveniently located along the route of the once great Milwaukee Road’s Beer Line, Lakefront became a natural custodian for the Milwaukee’s Beer Line exhibition.

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