NEWaukeean: Bradley Ward
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
Mobcraft Beer. My job as a bartender and taproom manager is an absolute joy because of the people I get to meet. Whether it is our fantastic regulars or people visiting town, talking to people about delicious beer and their adventures is a most excellent career.
How long have you lived in MKE & what brought you here?
I have lived here for a year and a half. I moved here from New Zealand but am from South Dakota originally. When you have family in the Midwest you will eventually return to the area. I chose Milwaukee for a new adventure… and the beer.
What do you love most about MKE?
We are a laid back city. People are genuine and friendly. Great food and even better beer. Milwaukee has a great art scene and plenty to offer for live music. I like going to new places and recognizing friendly faces. Milwaukee is great!
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
In my time I have lived in Milwaukee there hasn’t been anything missing. So far, I have been able to find everything I have been looking for. We were missing arcade bars for a while, but 1983 and Up Down are open now and that hole has been filled.
What is one word that you would use to describe MKE?
Where do you see MKE in 5 years?
Evolving and growing step by step. I think change happens often and gradually but 5 years later whole neighborhoods will have turned into something new. In the year and a half I have lived here, I have seen many new restaurants and breweries pop up. I think a lot of what makes Milwaukee great continue to thrive.
If you could create one thing in MKE, what would it be?
The city really has a little bit of everything. If I could create anything though, I’d like to create a Pinball Museum. Give me 75 different machines and 65 craft beer lines and I would be a happy man. Tournaments every couple of months.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
Depends on what I am looking for. Odd Duck is the place to go for fancy food and celebrating a big occasion. Crafty Cow in Bayview for the best burger. Camino or Vanguard for late night eats after working a long day at the bar.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
For the community to become closer. I have heard that we are a very segregated city. This isn’t something I have experienced personally but I want everyone to come together to make this city a better place to live.
What is your favorite MKE tradition?
Is beer a tradition? This city is so rich with beer history. I love hearing stories of beer caves and knowing that many buildings in the area have been used by breweries in so many ways. The tradition of having a glass of beer with your neighbor is the greatest tradition for me.
What does your ideal MKE weekend look like?
Well, my weekend is Tuesday through Thursday. Ideally, I would have a cup of coffee and play with my lovely cat, Martin. Spend some time on the treadmill. If I don’t have any concrete plans I will do some reading or gaming. Likely I would go out and visit a brewery or play some pinball at 1983 or Up Down. Perhaps check out a film at the Oriental or the Avalon. Sugar Maple has a guess the beer flight night which is awesome.
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
I live in Bay View and I do love it very much. Within 3 blocks I have Burnhearts, Crafty Cow, and Vanguard. I can buy used records within those same blocks. I can take a short walk and have a flight of beer at Sugar Maple. Humboldt Park has an excellent beer garden and live music in the summer.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
I suppose if I did have one, I wouldn’t tell you! I’ve lived here for less than two years, and am still learning lots of new things. Every day I hear other peoples hidden gems and am constantly exploring new places and finding new things.
What do you think is going to be a game changer for the city in the year of 2019?
The Fiserv Forum has been a huge game changer this year. Many new businesses have been opening up in the area with the new venue. The Bucks have been doing great and big musical acts and events are happening there. It is exciting going downtown and experiencing a newfound pride in our city and our team.