After 25 years in business, Water Street/Milwaukee River staple Milwaukee Ale House (233 N. Water St.) will close its doors for good on September 11. The closing date coincides with the end of the Ale House’s lease.

Why the sudden closure? “Unfortunately, we lease this famous space, and the building owners have decided to go in a different direction,” a message posted to social media Monday night explains.

Here’s the full post:

To Our Ale House Family and Friends

While we love that you spend your fun times with us, we need to be serious with you today.

We’ve spent the past 25(!) years with each other, celebrating your milestones, eating and drinking together, watching the sun set on the river from the patio. We have brewed many pints of fresh beer, trying over 400 different recipes. There could be nothing better, and we thought we had at least another 25 years to continue our traditions.

Unfortunately, we lease this famous space, and the building owners have decided to go in a different direction. Our lease is expiring and our last day at this location will be September 11, 2022. Very few places have been around for this long. After such a long tenure here on the water, we are losing our beautiful home, and the city is losing a staple in the restaurant and brewing scene.

In true Ale House fashion, though, we’ll be tapping kegs and frying curds until the very end. Please, come join us one more time over the next four weeks, and raise your glasses with us to toast the amazing memories we have here. We will have some special releases and some throwback pricing to send us off in style. Did you know that pints of our fresh brew were just $2.50 when we started out in 1997?

And hopefully, it’s not goodbye forever, it’s just goodbye for now…to be continued.

Pints for $2.50. Incredible.

Milwaukee Ale House—opened by Jim McCabe in 1997—is the original home of Milwaukee Brewing Co. That company moved to a larger space on Second Street in 2007; then, in 2019, it moved to Ninth Street near the old Pabst Brewery. Earlier this year, due to “unmet expectations, increased competition, bad luck and, of course, COVID,” the company put itself up for sale.

R.I.P. Milwaukee Ale House. (The Grafton location remains open.)

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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