What Made Milwaukee Famous
What Made Milwaukee Famous
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, 2 comments



Well, according to Rod Stewart, What Made Milwaukee Famous (Made a Loser Out of Me). Rod’s 1972 hit-song title is actually all about beer; and the heavy consumption thereof. Milwaukee is the world’s beer capital and has at one time or another had 4 major breweries based there: Blatz, Pabst and Miller, but it was the fourth Company, the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company that came up with the catchy slogan “The beer that made Milwaukee Famous.”


But in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District, what made the Milwaukee Hotel famous was the fact that it was once the headquarters for the Chinese Consulate. Completion of the Jackson Street upgrade in 1909 and the opening of the nearby Union Station for the Union Pacific and Milwaukee railroad lines in 1911 created new opportunities for Asian entrepreneurs. Goon Dip, a leading merchant and consul for the Chinese government, built the Milwaukee Hotel in 1911 for the influx of Asian businessmen and also based his consulate office there.


For the past year or so, Seattle’s dance troupe Massive Monkees have run the hip-hop dance academy The Beacon out of the basement of the old Milwaukee Hotel  (now also converted into smallish and cheap apartments). Facilitating the residency: Seattle Storefronts, the Shunpike-run program connecting arts groups with empty retail spaces. Typically, such placements are strictly temporary, but the Massive Monkees’ first year of classes – the 4,000-square-foot dance studio pulses with youthful energy as students from the Community Day School Association dance to boom-box beats – went so well, the Beacon’s been invited to stay put, with MM signing a long-term lease with building owner Coho Real Estate.


Leica R8 & 90mm Elmarit-R

Kodak Tri-X (@250)

HC-110 (Dil. H – 8:30min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan




  • "What'll you have?--Pabst Blue Ribbon." The beer that really made Milwaukee famous. PBR won the blue ribbon at the Chicago World's Fair in 1892. I was born in Milwaukee during the big blizzard of 1947. Not sure I know the song-- though I was for sure long gone by 1972, the year we moved to Seattle.

    • I don’t believe you’ve never heard of the Rod Stewart classic of an old song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmHTpvc691A). There’s actually now an indie rock group from Austin, Texas, called What Made Milwaukee Famous (http://www.whatmademilwaukeefamous.com), who took their name from Rod’s 1972 hit.