24 Aug 2006

Milwaukee: Land of Beer and Cheese

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Milwaukee, Personal

Milwaukee: Land of Beer and Cheese

People often ask me why I send greetings from “the land of beer and cheese” in my letters. And I tell them because that is a humorous and affectionate way of describing what is unique about where I live. Unfortunately some folks do not always have a sense of humor.

A news story came across the wire today on Yahoo News titled “Milwaukee is Named ‘Drunkest City.'” Here is a link to the headline: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060824/ap_on_fe_st/drinking_ranking_1
A more detailed article can be found in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the following address http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=487336

Now, I have “scientific” evidence to support my greetings (which is always tongue in cheek btw). I have heard it boasted that they spill more beer at Miller than they drink in Canada. We have more bars per capita than any city in the USA and a large number of labels are made here or were in the past (Pabst, Old Milwaukee, Schlitz, Miller, Old Style). Most of your better restaurants have their own microbrews.

Milwaukee certainly has more going for it than beer. We have magnificent parks, great libraries, a world class art museum and a baseball team named “Brewers.” Though I live in the land of beer and cheese Milwaukee is not the party town like New Orleans.

As a preacher I do not quite know what to do with our latest honor as the beer capital of the world. I am sure I can work it into a sermon somewhere.

Stoned-Campbell Disciple

29 Responses to “Milwaukee: Land of Beer and Cheese”

  1. preacherman Says:


    Maybe your church can have Octoberfest!

  2. Angie Says:

    I can’t believe you just said the word “beer.” I’m never checking this blog again!

    I’m soooo joking! I do have a sense of humor!

    Even worse than a lack of sense of humor, it disturbs me when Christians attempt to shield themselves from anything that might resemble the world to the point of becoming so heavenly that they’re no earthly good.

    Cheers, Bobby!

  3. steven clark goad Says:

    Wisconsin reminds me of my time in Freeport, Illinois. It was my first full time pulpit work and I recall with fondness the oft trips to Monroe, Wisconsin for cheese and other goodies. No beer. I also recall the lovely time I had at Fall Hall Glen with Julia and Monroe Hawley and their son at the Christian Camp there. I woke up one morning with snow on my sleeping bag. Fond memories. Beer? Spilt beer? I remember Tommy Exum (Ray Exum, his son, was a teacher in the public school system in Freeport while I was there and a great friend) talking to me about whether to preach against drinking where he ministered, with members of the flock in Lynchberg working at Jack Daniels. Enough reflecting.

  4. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    SCG, welcome to my blog. I delighted that you have come by. I hope you will join in the discussions we have … on things beside beer and cheese, 🙂

    Bobby Valentine

  5. Larry James Says:

    Bobby, I’ve got your text for next Sunday. Let me know if you preach it: Proverbs 31:4-9. The good thing here is you get to challenge the political leaders while defending the poor! I think an Octoberfest for the poor would be a dandy idea! Hey, it’s in the Book!

  6. Charles Says:


    The ugly underside of this however is what happens at Wisconsin football games. As a sportswriter, I have been around a bit to other stadiums, but I’ve never, ever seen a more angry crowd of drunks than in Wisconsin. The stories of the families of Big Ten players from other teams are horrible, and I had an e-mail box full of people telling how they were groped or pushed into traffic or shoved down into the ground the last time Ohio State played Wisconsin in Madison (2003). It was so bad, the university president went door to door down fraternity row to talk to them about getting drunk at the football games. Sadly, most of the stuff I saw or heard about came from older men and women.

    Clearly, Jesus and his followers had ‘adult beverages’ 😉 “He was a ‘wine-bibber!’ to use KJV language. The problem of course is the excess – especially at sporting events.

    Of course, we could also ask about the current American sports scene and whether a Christian has a part in it at all… 😉

  7. CFOURMAY Says:

    I have heard of wine and cheese! Anyway there is no offense taken here in anyway with you land of beer and cheese phrase here. It is only a matter of fact.

  8. MommyHAM Says:

    I can’t believe that people would take offense to that greeting….it is what it is, after all.

    Now, if you gave greetings like our paper has lately, “Greetings from Money Magazine’s #1 Place to Live,” I’d take offense (and do) because it sounds like the marketing ploy that it is….gag.

  9. MommyHAM Says:

    oh, and personally, I’d GO to a church-sponsored Oktoberfest, lol, and actually DRINK a beer *gasp*!

  10. Steve Puckett Says:

    I’ll tell you may take. Start and/or add to those recovery ministries and get out in the highways, hedges, and bars and bid them come in!

    Even though I know the dangers that going along with ministering in the world, I am concerned that we are totally isolated from people in the real world. I cherish the time I have with what I sometimes call “normal” people because I get not only a chance to take a break from “church world”, but I get to work my way around trying to minister to people the way Jesus did.

    I believe that every church staff minister should have at least one volunteer job or part time job in some setting where he/she regularly rubs shoulders with Milwaukee Mike and Milwaukee Marilyn. Schools are great place to start since they are always looking for workers/volunteers. Emergency services/hospitals are other places to find a niche.

    On a somewhat personal note–if it ain’t Shiner Bock, it ain’t beer.


  11. Mark Says:

    Hey Bobby,
    I don’t quite know what to say…I’m sure there are plenty around who take that with a great sense of pride. I’d just say proceed with caution in how you address it. People’s cultural identity tends to run pretty deep. I don’t know if I’m much better off. Rose Bud is most famous for its bull semen. I’ve chosen not to mention that one from the pulpit. Hope you’re having a good week.

  12. Tom Says:

    Your post reminds me of a joke.
    A young preacher was called to a church in Kentucky, his first pastorate.
    Week 1 – The Sin of Drinking
    Deacons pull him aside after the service. Now Pastor, we know this was your first sermon but you just can’t preach against drinking. We have several members here who are in the Bourbon industry.
    Week 2 “The Sin of Gambling”
    Deacons pull him aside. Pastor, in these parts thoroughbred racing is a big industry and we have several members involved in that business. Preach on something else!
    Week 3 – The Sin of Smoking
    Deacons pull him aside “Don’t you realize how many tobacco farmers are in this church?
    Exasperated the pastor cries out “If I can’t preach against drinking, gambling or smoking, what can I preach on?
    The deacons think for a minute and declared “Witchcraft. We don’t have any of those here.”

    One thing I cannot stand is a Christian without a sense of humor. It’s one of our most treasured gifts from a loving heavenly Father.

    BTW I have a few groaners today over at Blessings.

  13. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Now, Mark yours is truly funny! I would have to work really hard to come up with an illustration from Rose Bud’s claim to fame, 🙂

    Bobby Valentine

  14. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Larry that is actually an interesting text. I will play with it for a while and use it on a Sunday night … I have an open date on my sermon calendar coming up … I have my title “God’s Ocktoberfest!”

    Sprecher’s all around …

    Bobby Valentine

  15. The Gallagher Says:


    Maybe you can sing your psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to the tune of Irish Drinking songs?

    Maybe you have found a new outreach opportunity?

    God bless,

    Chris Gallagher

  16. cwinwc Says:

    Bobby, what I like about your posts is you don’t “hop” around the issues. Yes, your blog and all of us who read it certainly are not “Busch” league.

  17. Velcro Says:

    Any homes for sale in Milwaukee? Just kidding! Interesting.

  18. Velcro Says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. Bob Hendren Says:

    Cheese is good, unless someone moves it. Perhaps someone could move the beer? We need to develop an automobile that would burn beer, and then Milwaukee could lead the nation in sudsoline production.

  20. Kevin Burt Says:

    As a past preacher, I know what I’d do: have a beer. Though I think I’d choose a good German or English brew over Old Milwaukee or Pabst.

    I like the old ditty by Chesterton’s good friend, Hilaire Belloc:

    “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
    There’s plenty of laughter and good red wine.
    At least I’ve always heard it’s so,
    Benedicamus domino!”

  21. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Chris welcome to Stoned-Campbell. I hope to see you again.

    Some have already done what you suggest. Martin Luther, the great reformer, used bar tunes for his hymns. Why should the devil have all the cool music …

    Bobby Valentine

  22. Stoogelover Says:

    Other than the cold winters, I’d take your city of beer and cheese any day over the sheer idiocy of Hollywood! I refuse to watch local “news” because there is nothing newsworthy on it … just the latest sensation. Or, if it’s raining, the top story has video of rain running down a street gutter.

  23. Dee O'Neil Andrews Says:

    It’s really hard for me to believe Milwaukee is the nation’s drunkest city, Bobby. I thought that “honor”?? belonged to New Orleans, for sure.

    I know at various times in various polls New Orleans (and/or Louisiana) has reigned as the “fat” capital of the world, with all the great Cajun cooking via Chef Paul Prodomme and Emeril.

    I know you’ve got some good blues and BBQ there, too, as I mentioned before in comment. Tom had a great time on his business trip there.

    As for some people not having a sense of humor – what a loss on their part. God certainly had an enormous sense of humor, I think. He made all of us, didn’t He? What a joke THAT sometimes is! (Just kidding!)

    Cheers! Dee

  24. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:


    Having lived in New Orleans and Milwaukee I can say the cities are nothing alike. It does not surprise (after having lived here for 4 yrs) that Milwaukee is the beer capital of the world. But Milwaukee is not known as the “party capital” of the world. One local here commenting on the recent honor said that there is a difference between a beer CULTURE and a PARTY culture. I agree with that observation.

    Milwaukee is a blue collar city (Harley Davidson, Happy Days, Leverne & Shirly … blue collar). But it is blue collar with a heavy German and Eastern European accent. Germans brew and DRINK beer.

    New Orleans did not have a beer CULTURE (steins [beautiful ones], master craftsman working on microbrews … some beer so thick you can nearly eat it). No, Mardi Gras and h@#l raising are what NO caters to.

    Yep, if you know where to go you can find the blues and bbq here in Brew City.

    Thanks for coming by as always.

    Bobby Valentine

  25. Candle (C & L) Says:

    Booby- It’s been a while since I came by — I’ve been pretty much a “tee totaller” all my life–due partly to my mother’s strong views about the “evil of drink” and a lot to do with the ugliness of abuse — including a high school acquaintance who was killed racing his car after an night of drinking — but I don’t see how someonecan take offense at your greeting–

    I do question one of your comments — I doubt that a check of the Beer store records vs. the brewery spillage stats would support the comment about spilling more than they drink in Canada. I can tell you there aresomeserious brewhounds up here!! 🙂 🙂

    God Bless

  26. MommyHAM Says:

    This is off-topic, but I was wondering if ya’ll who are reading would stop by my blog today and pray for me and the Colorado Statewide Homeless Count, which begins tonight. I’ve got the specific requests mapped out on my most recent post.

    Thanks in advance!

  27. Tony Arnold Says:

    I have studied the scriptures carefully on alcohol consumption and here is the understanding I have gained:

    Having a drink is okay, having money…I am not so sure about.


  28. Velcro Says:

    At least you’re not in Detroit, the crime capital of the world.

  29. Anonymous Says:

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    Propose to join video chat & welcome to this useful site:swingers


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