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The state’s only urban forest will soon have a beer garden

An artist's rendering of a stone archway positioned over a walking trail that leads into a heavily wooded area, with several people walking and talking on the trail.

There are a lot of flavors of beer garden around the Milwaukee area. You’ve got your lakefront (South Shore Terrace). There’s the more zen-like approach (The Baaree). You can go poolside (The Landing), urban (Third Ward Beer Garden at Catalano Square) or even mobile (Traveling).

Forest-adjacent is not a variety that pops up too often, much to the chagrin of beer/nature enthusiasts. So members of that demographic were no doubt thrilled this week to hear about plans for the area’s newest beer garden, which will be located right next to Wisconsin’s only urban state forest.

A computer rendering of a taproom with an industrial-looking exterior, a long row of windows and several people walking through a parking lot.

Havenwoods Taproom and Beer Garden (TBG) will take over a portion of the former Pereles Brothers space located at 5840 N. 60th St., just north of Silver Spring Drive. The plastics manufacturer shut down in October 2020, leaving the site dormant for nearly three years. That’ll change this fall, when HavenwoodsTBG opens its doors — literally and figuratively, considering the indoor/outdoor nature of the planned gathering place.

“HavenwoodsTBG aims to be more than just another taproom,” according to its website, “but a destination for outdoor recreation and leisure, a space to showcase local music, host public events and provide exclusive beer for the craft beer enthusiast.”

On the interior side of things is the taproom, which will occupy the northwest corner of the former warehouse. Behind the bar will be several tap lines dispensing the wares of beverage makers both local and national, as the facility plans to operate independently rather than partnering with a specific brewery.

The exterior portion is what will set Havenwoods apart, as its beer garden will occupy part of the 12,000 square feet located between the warehouse and the state forest. In just a few steps, you’ll be able to go from relaxing at the outdoor seating to taking your cream ale for a stroll on the quarter-mile trail through a heavily wooded area.

Altogether, Havenwoods State Forest occupies 237 acres and sports six miles of hiking trails, giving you ample opportunity to burn whatever calories you might gain from your beverage consumption. Although owner Chase Jaffray plans to go beyond the drinkable when the facility opens.

According to the HavenwoodsTBG website, the alley between the taproom and beer garden will host a rotating selection of food trucks, which will park alongside the shipping-container bar providing exterior beverage service. Jaffray toldUrban Milwaukee construction on the interior will get underway soon, with the goal of opening sometime between October and December of this year.

An artist's rendering of an outdoor beer garden next to an industrial building, with several picnic tables positioned on the grass and string lights overhead.

For updates on the project, visit the HavenwoodsTBG website, or follow its Facebook and Instagram accounts.