Event Schedule

Milwaukee Cocktail Week 2015 – Sept 16th – 22nd

Mark your calendars! Milwaukee Cocktail Week returns for our third year this September, Wednesday the 16th – Tuesday the 22nd.

Like last year, we’ll have a full schedule of amazing events every day, from nightly cocktail dinners to late-night parties. We’re in the process of bringing on your favorite spirit brands, bars and restaurants for another great year of cocktail celebration! Stay tuned for a full schedule of events.

We’ve consolidated our main ticketed events this year to one weekend. On Saturday, September 19th, we’ll host our Cocktail College & Spirit Festival. Taste dozens of spirits and meet representatives from each distillery. Discover a new love or enjoy familiar favorites in this, our grand tasting event. As usual, we’ll also curate several spirit and cocktail seminars throughout the event. Mark your calendar and as soon as we have final details we’ll put tickets on sale for this great event.

On Sunday, September 20th our famous Cocktail Tailgate will return. Once again we’ll be pairing up some of Milwaukee’s best chefs and bartenders as they create inventive tailgate fare for an experience unlike any you’ve had before. Unless, you know, you’ve been to this event in past years. In previous years, we’ve had the football game on in the background of the event, but this year the game is a night game. So rather than showing the football game during the event, we’re just going to focus on the food and drink during the afternoon as a “pre-game” so you can get home (or to your favorite bar) to catch the game on your terms.

Great Northern Distilling Dinner @ Goodkind
Sep 16 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Few restaurants in Milwaukee better fuse the worlds of dining and imbibing like Bay View’s Goodkind. Great Northern Distilling is proud to present an elegant yet casual evening of cocktails and cuisine as they team with Goodkind in this multi-course dinner.

Great Northern Distilling produces premium grain-to-glass spirits out of central Wisconsin. Their spirit line-up includes their Potato Vodka, Herbalist Gin (made exclusively with botanicals native to the northwoods of Wisconsin), Opportunity Rum, and their Vanguard Whiskey.

Date: Wednesday, Sept 16th
Time: TBD, likely 7pm plate time
Location: Goodkind – 2457 S Wentworth Ave
Price: Coming Soon
RSVP: (414) 763-4706 ; info@goodkindbayview.com

Thatcher’s Opening Night Cocktail Competition @ The Hamilton
Sep 16 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Thatcher's Comp

Hypothetically, if we told you we were hosting an event on the opening night of MKE Cocktail Week in which you could sample cocktails from 8 of Milwaukee’s finest cocktail bars (and vote for your favorite), and you could do this all for FREE, would that be something you might be interested in?

Well … this year, we’re celebrating the launch of Milwaukee Cocktail Week with a BIG cocktail competition at The Hamilton, presented by Thatcher’s Organic Artisan Spirits!

Join us on Wednesday, Sept 16th as 8 of Milwaukee’s top cocktail bars compete for YOUR VOTE for the best Thatcher’s cocktail. That’s right, unlike most other cocktail competitions where a panel of judges solely decides a winner, this competition features a HUGE popular vote component. Here’s how it works.

The Details:

  • Each bar can build a team of 4-5 bartenders, working together to create the best possible cocktail from chosen igredients
  • Each bar draws a number 1-8
  • Whomever picks #1 is able to choose a Thatcher’s flavor of their choice, then #2 will choose theirs, so on until #8. There are no duplicate flavors, so once a flavor is picked, it is gone.
  • After all teams have picked their Thatcher’s flavor, they then pick their “Market Fresh Bag” in reverse order, so #8 starts the picking first, then team #7, and so on. The Market Fresh Bag contains a fruit, vegetable, & spice that they must use in their cocktail.
  • Once everyone has picked their items, each team will have 20 minutes to batch a cocktail using all market items and their Thatcher’s flavors into 64 oz pitchers
  • Teams are allowed to use any other ingredients (spirits, simple syrups, bitters, etc) in their cocktail, but must also use the Thatcher’s flavor and the contents of their Market Fresh Bag.
  • The teams then sample out their cocktail to guests, who each have three (3) organic coffee beans they can use to cast votes for their favorite cocktail.

A cash bar will also be available for guests that wish full-size cocktails or other beverages. The Hamilton will be providing a small, special menu containing their own Thatcher’s cocktails. The Hamilton also has a FREE PARKING LOT!

Date: Wednesday, Sept 16th
Time: 7:00 pm 
Location: The Hamilton – 823 East Hamilton Street
Price: FREE + cash bar for full-size special Thatcher’s menu provided by The Hamilton
RSVP: not required



Herradura Happy Hour & Tequila Tasting @ Cempazuchi
Sep 17 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


Milwaukee’s foremost tequila restaurant and bar, Cempazuchi, is teaming with Herradura tequila to bring you an agave-fueled evening of premium spirits, cocktails and food in this Happy Hour-style event. For just $15, guests can sample 7 premium tequilas, including a very special Scotch barrel-aged expression, and enjoy complimentary appetizers. A cash bar featuring a discounted special Herradura cocktail menu will also be available for those who wish full-size cocktails.

Tequila Tasting Menu:

  1. Herradura Silver
  2. Herradura Reposado
  3. Herradura Anejo
  4. El Jimador Silver
  5. El Jimador Reposado
  6. El Jimador Anejo
  7. Herradura Special Reserve Scotch Barrel Reposado

No reservation required, but are appreciated. Pay at the bar or through your server.

Date: Thursday, Sept 17th
Time: 5 pm – 8 pm
Location: Cempazuchi
Price: $15 / person for 7 tequila samples
RSVP: Appreciated, but not required — (414) 291-5233

Tour Through The Cellar w/ Guy Rehorst @ Great Lakes Distillery
Sep 17 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Take a “Tour Through the Cellar” with Guy Rehorst at Great Lakes Distillery. This special tour, led by founder Guy Rehorst, will take you deep into the depths of the distillery’s “research and development.” Guy will pull unfinished samples directly from barrels that are aging products yet to be released and rummage through his cellar of products that may or may not ever see the light of day as he recounts tales of concepts –both successful and, well, not so much. One such sampling will be Wisconsin’s oldest bourbon. Laid in barrels in 2009, this whiskey is still aging to perfection. Be among the very few who will ever get a sneak peek. Truly, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This special tour is $18 / person and includes samples of several limited or rare products and selections from the GLD core line. A cash bar will also be available with a special event cocktail menu. This event start at 5 pm with the tour to begin promptly at 6 pm.

Date: Thursday, Sept 17th
Time: 5 pm, tour to start promptly at 6 pm
Location: Great Lakes Distillery
Price: $18 / person + tax & service
RSVP: tickets only, reserve yours here 

Great Lakes Distillery Dinner w/ Madison Guest Mixologists @ Bavette La Boucherie
Sep 18 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Our celebrated friends from Madison, Tom Dufek (Merchant) and Ricky Pajewski (Oliver’s Public House), are collaborating with Chef Karen Bell to craft a tasting menu with Milwaukee’s own Great Lakes Distillery products. This multi-course dinner will include paired cocktails and cuisine with a focus on local.

Date: Friday, Sept 18th
Time: 6:30 pm welcome; 7:00 pm seating
Location: Bavette La Boucherie – 330 E Menomonee St
Price: Coming Soon
RSVP: (414) 273-3375

Cocktail College & Spirits Festival @ Broadway Theatre Center
Sep 19 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Click here to Get Your Tickets Today!

$35 Early Bird Tickets (until Sep 7th), $40 Advance Tickets, $45 at the door, or $65 for the Weekend Pass (admission to both our Tailgate and a VIP ticket to our Cocktail College)!

At our Cocktail College & Spirits Festival you’ll be able to sample the distilled spirits that helped make Milwaukee Cocktail Week possible. Each sponsor brand will have a table and be pouring samples for you to enjoy. You’ll have the chance to speak with many of the distillers or distillery representatives, ask them questions and, with luck, find a few new favorites.

In addition to all the sampling, guests will be invited to attend cocktail seminars throughout the afternoon on a variety of topics. Seminars will be announced in September. By the end of the day, we’re confident you’ll have a few new tricks up your sleeves and a better working knowledge as to how to improve your cocktails at home or at your next cocktail party.

For the real enthusiast, there’s the Weekend Pass. This pass gets you tickets to both the Cocktail College & Spirits Festival and to our MKECW Tailgate for just $65!


1. Tonic Lab presented by Bombay Sapphire & Bittercube  In early 2015 Bittercube teamed up with Bombay Sapphire to craft tailor made tonics for 100 bars in ten cities around the country.  The program, though in its infancy, has garnered national attention.  Beyond bespoke tonics for bars, Bittercube and Bombay also executed a consumer event at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.  Milwaukee Cocktail Week is proud to be the home of the second Consumer Tonic Lab.  The first 50 attendees to sign up for the Cocktail College will have the chance to walk through the Tonic Lab with Bittercube founder Nick Kosevich and craft a custom tonic.  Each attendee will receive a 32 oz bottle of their very own tailor made tonic.


Date: Saturday, Sept 19th
Time: 1 pm – 4 pm
Location: The Broadway Theatre Center – 158 North Broadway
Price: $35 Early Bird Tickets (until Sep 7th), $40 Advance Tickets, $45 at the door, or $65 for the Weekend Pass (admission to both our Tailgate and a VIP ticket to our Cocktail College)
RSVP: Buy Tickets on EventBrite

More details coming soon!

MKECW Tailgate Party @ Horny Goat Hideaway Tent
Sep 20 @ 11:30 am – 3:30 pm

TailgateBannerClick here to Get Your Tickets Today!

$35 Early Bird Tickets (until Sep 7th), $40 Advance Tickets, $45 at the door, or $65 for the Weekend Pass (admission to both our Tailgate and a VIP ticket to our Cocktail College)!

This all-inclusive, ticketed event will feature unlimited food sampling with paired cocktail samples. Additional beverages will be available at the Horny Goat Hideaway cash bar.

Meet and greet local restaurateurs, chefs and bartenders, mingle with other cocktail enthusiasts and indulge in all the great Milwaukee food and drink as you play classic tailgate games and watch the football game on Horny Goats giant TV!

Participating Resturants Include:
BelAir Cantina
The Cheel
Harbor House
Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub
Horny Goat
Mekong Cafe
Participating Bars Include:
The Hamilton
Boone & Crockett
Story Hill BKC
La Masa
Sponsoring Spirit Brands Include:
Copper & Kings
Panther Distillery
Great Lakes Distillery
Great Northern Distilling
Vikre Distillery
Pierre Ferrand
Gamle Ode
Bombay Sapphire
Date: Sunday, Sept 2oth
Time: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Horny Goat Hideaway Tent – 2011 South 1st Street
Price: $35 Early Bird Tickets (until Sep 7th), $40 Advance Tickets, $45 at the door, or $65 for the Weekend Pass (admission to both our Tailgate and a VIP ticket to our Cocktail College)
RSVP: Buy Tickets on EventBrite


More restaurants, bars and brands will be announced soon!
Heaven Hill 4-Course Whiskey Cocktail Dinner @ Distil
Sep 21 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Heaven Hill, one of the countries largest producers of quality bourbon, teams up with one of Milwaukee’s best whiskey and cocktail bars for this four-course whiskey cocktail dinner. Featuring a cocktail from Evan Williams Single & Domain de Canton as a reception cocktail and followed by four delicious food and cocktail pairings featuring Bernheim Wheat, Elijah Craig 12, Henry McKenna Single and Parkers Heritage, this super-exclusive dinner is the whiskey-lover’s dream.

Seating is limited to the first 20 RSVPs, so reserve your seat TODAY! Each attendee will receive a special Heaven Hill gift bag, and one guest will win (via raffle) a $50 Distil gift card at the end of the dinner.

Date: Monday, Sept 21st
Time: 6pm reception, 6:30 pm seating
Location: Distil – 722 North Milwaukee Street
Price: $65 / person
RSVP: (414) 220 9411 ; distilmke@gmail.com

Menu: (food coming soon)

Evan Williams Single w/ Domain de Canton *reception cocktail*

Bernheim Wheat (Opening Cocktail)

Elijah Craig 12

Henry McKenna Single

Parkers Heritage

A Cocktail Celebration of Bay View @ Boone & Crockett
Sep 21 @ 9:00 pm – Sep 22 @ 2:00 am

Celebrate Bay View at Boone & Crockett with cocktails made with Bay View’s own Twisted Path Distillery and Bittercube Bitters. Enjoy a specially crafted one-night-only cocktail menu during this Milwaukee Cocktail Week SIN-oriented event.

Date: Monday, Sept 21st
Time: 9 pm – 2 am
Location: Boone & Crockett – 2151 S Kinnickinnic Ave
Price: Free event, special cocktail prices
RSVP: Not Required

Thatcher’s 5-Course Cocktail Dinner @ Wolf Peach
Sep 22 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Thacher's Bottles

Join Wolf Peach in their beautiful downstairs dining room as they craft a very special five-course menu surrounding the organic cordial offerings of Thatcher’s Artisan Spirits. Wolf Peach is at their best while exploring the elegant flavors of nature, and Thatcher’s organic liqueurs are the perfect complement to this extraordinary strength. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind dining experience. Menu below.

Date: Tuesday, Sept 22nd
Time: 6:30 pm, cocktail 1/2 hour; 7:00 pm dinner starts
Location: Wolf Peach – 1818 N Hubbard St
Courses: five courses, each paired with a cocktail + a reception cocktail
Price: $70 / person  (+tax & gratuity)
RSVP: (414) 374-8480

thatcher's menu