Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

PROST! German Heritage<br>on Old World Third Street

Where can you find classic German beer, cheese and sausage all on one cobblestone block?

Since the 1800's, Old World Third street in Downtown Milwaukee has been spilling over with German heritage and roots.

And to get a quick history lesson and to brush up on my German, I paid a visit to two men that know Old World Third Street well: Franz Usinger, owner of Usinger Sausages and Hans Weissgerber III, owner of Old German Beer Hall.

"Well, Third Street back in the day was the shopping district for German-speaking folks back in Milwaukee... my great-grandfather was a trained sausage maker in Germany. He came from the outskirts of Frankfurt and immigrated to Milwaukee... in 1880 the Usinger name went on the business!"

And still making sausages out of that same location, Usinger now stands as one of many German hubs on cobblestoned Old World Third Street - one of the few places in Wisconsin where you can still get a fresh sausage, cold beer and enjoy some German polka on the same block.

"This is Milwaukee as it was envisioned by the Germans who came here and worked in the brewing industry and tried to share their culture with us. This sort of atmosphere was prolific in this city prior to Prohibition... and it just kind of dwindled away over time. But now, it's back!"

To learn more about the history of Usingers or Old German Beer Hall, you can visit or