Summertime in Milwaukee is a special time, but when it includes the World Cup it's like a slice of heaven on earth.
The drama of the world's most watched sporting event is set to unfold this June in one of the sport's global hotbeds, as coaches, players, and fans alike descend on Brazil.
In just a couple of weeks, South America's largest country will begin showcasing the highest quality soccer while simultaneously offering the chance for cultural exchange to myriad fans around the world.
Whether cheering on your home country or simply taking in a match between two countries you visited while backpacking, there's nothing quite like downing a couple of cold beers while enjoying the moment with fellow soccer fans from home and abroad.
While your neighborhood tap may meet your needs for World Cup enjoyment, the five bars listed below serve as oases for thirsty soccer fans no matter the season in Milwaukee.
If you're seeking a truly authentic "futball" experience, look no further than these fine establishments to wet your whistle while immersing yourself in the sporting bliss that is the World Cup finals.
1. Nomad World Pub (1401 East Brady Street, 414-224-8111)
If there's an unofficial World Cup headquarters in Milwaukee, few would argue that place is Nomad World Pub. Nomad goes all out for the event and basically opens every nook and cranny inside and out for drinking their impressive inventory of international brews.
The Nomad draws an extremely diverse and jubilant crowd that can pump up the volume so high it often feels like you're standing right outside the stadium. If you want to feel like you are truly part of the festivities in Brazil, look no further than the Nomad.
2. Allium (2101 North Prospect Avenue, 414-287-2053)
Within walking distance of Nomad is a hidden gem in Milwaukee known as Allium, a bar/restaurant that specifically caters to people that frequently check the standings in the English Premier League.
Allium serves not only fresh international brews and killer house cocktails, but some truly delicious food as well. Fans making Allium their base of operations for the 2014 World Cup will go home smiling even if their favorite team takes a loss.
The staff at Allium are a truly exceptional group and the copious amounts of outdoor seating provide the perfect setting to enjoy both the jaw-dropping soccer and warm weather in Milwaukee.
3. Three Lions Pub (4515 North Oakland, 414-763-6992)
If this list was geared toward the suburbs, then the Three Lions Pub in Shorewood may have rung in at number one. Sporting a British theme in terms of decor and menu, the Three Lions Pub offers a truly exceptional soccer experience.
The staff are mostly comprised of current or former soccer players and you can bet any question you have about a particular rule or score will be answered faster than you can slam a shot of Irish whiskey.
The bar is packed by 6am on weekend mornings by die-hard international soccer fans looking for their weekly fix. There's absolutely no doubt that the Three Lions will be hopping this summer from the moment the first ball is kicked in Brazil.
4. The Highbury (2322 South Kinnickinnic, 414-294-4400)
If you live in the southern hemisphere of the Land of Beer and Sausage then The Highbury might be the perfect spot for you to get your World Cup groove on.
The Highbury is a soccer-themed bar nestled in the heart of Bayview, the unofficial center of hipster-ism in Milwaukee. Pop up the road to Anodyne Coffee for your morning fix before strolling down to the Highbury for a little World Cup action.
The Highbury is surrounded by several other high-quality drinking establishments, so if your favorite team is down and out you'll have plenty of options if you want to escape the loud celebrations of the opposing team's fans.
5. Cafe Hollander (2608 North Downer Avenue, 414-963-6366)
A popular East Side destination, Cafe Hollander provides another great backdrop for the World Cup experience in Milwaukee. This European-style cafe features a high-end draft beer list that pairs extremely well with the kitchen's delicious frites.
While the crowd may at times skew heavily toward the Netherlands, any fan will find their World Cup appetite satiated at this well-known East Side watering hole.
One small strike against Hollander is that they don't actually serve any beers from Netherlands on tap. The bar devotes almost every tap line to beers from Belgium, which may indicate that it's time for a name change.