Brew City Brand Apparel: A Hometown Feel

The Milwaukee Public Market, in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, is home to over a dozen food and lifestyle venders. While the majority of the venders are there to satisfy sweet-tooths or cheesy cravings, Brew City Brand Apparel is the sole clothing vender at the market, providing customers with Milwaukee-themed goodies and attire. According to the Milwaukee Public Market website, Brew City Brand Apparel was established in 1986 as a Milwaukee-based and family-owned business that is known for their hometown apparel. Founded by Rick, Frank, and George Keppler, the company sells a variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball hats, drinking glasses, notebooks, stickers, and a number of other accessories and novelties, all pertaining to the great city of Milwaukee.

Having been a Brew City Brand Apparel customer in the past, I was interested to learn more about the brand and in specific, their location at the Public Market. I talked with employee Xavier, who gave me a run down on the company’s success at the market. While he has only worked as a vender for a few weeks, he says that it has gone very well and that is has been a fun job for him to have. He believes the booth has been at the Public Market for about two years and says it is incredibly advantegous for the company to have such a prime location for tourism, with hotels and shopping so close by. He says that the majority of customers they get on a daily basis are tourists in their thirties, which seems to be the company’s target demographic.

The busiest times of the week for the booth is on the weekends, when people are out and about in the city and enjoying their free time. Xavier says that while he hasn’t worked during Christmas quite yet, he has heard from other employees that the holiday season is their most popular season. Still, new products are shipped in every single day and popular items are constantly being sold out. Many of their items have funny jokes or clever sayings printed on them, adding to the appeal of the clothing items themselves (which are incredibly soft, I must note from personal experience). When asked what their most popular item is, Xavier chuckled and replied, “Probably that shirt right there that says ‘Make American Grate Again.’”

Brew City Brand Apparel has numerous other locations in the Milwaukee and general Milwaukee area, including at the Grand Avenue Mall, the Southridge Mall, and the General Mitchell Field airport. The company also has booths at large events like the Summerfest music festival and the Wisconsin State Fair. The Milwaukee Public Market website mentions how the brand has expanded their style to work with vintage beer companies like Miller High Life and Pabst and that they are now featured in stores such as Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic, and Nordstrom. As they continue to grow and find a niche in the marketplace, the Brew City Brand Apparel booth in the Milwaukee Public Market will stay true to the hometown feel and its origin in the heart of the Brew City.

Find them across from the West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe.