Final Deadline For Our Next Artist In Residence

At the Pfister, we’re known for our expansive Victorian art collection,  but we are also very proud of the continued evolution of our Artist In Residence program. We have been fortunate to have such talented artists like Reginald Baylor, Katie Musolff, and currently Shelby Keefe, create amazing works of art within our own walls.

Now heading into our fourth year, we are on the search for the next great artist to continue the great tradition. We are looking for artists to work in the studio and gallery in the hotel lobby, interact with guests and visitors, and have others witness the evolution of each piece first hand.

If you are interested, applications must be submitted by December 1st and can be downloaded at our Artist In Residence page on our website.


Bird Wines, The All-American Way

Heather Kanter-Kowal

Oh yes, viagra the most gluttonous, diet-busting, football-watching, truly American holiday of the year is upon us once again…Thanksgiving.  An extravaganza of traditional autumn foods in heaping excess, from the cranberry sauce, the candied yams, unhealthy the fluffy mashed potatoes, the pecan pies, the apple pies, the pumpkin pies, to the centerpiece of it all- the turkey (or tofurkey, however you choose to celebrate).  With so many varied culinary flavors at work, finding wines to enjoy with the feast is truly a pleasure.  Here are a few of my personal favorites, and keeping with the reason for the season, this list is just as all American as baseball:

  • Pinot Noir- The soft and silky texture of Pinot Noir backed by juicy cranberry, cherry and spice flavors makes it a slam dunk for something to sip with a drier bird like turkey.   Some of my favorites are from California, such as Sea Smoke, Steele, Au Bon Climat, Folk Machine and Belle Glos.  A few stunners from Oregon would be Argyle, Domaine Serene, Ken Wright, and Beaux Freres.
  • Riesling- Because it tastes better than white zin and you just might be able to convince your Great Aunt Hilda to try it.  The bright apricot and peach notes balanced by zesty acidity are a natural match to many of the sweeter flavors at the table, and prove to be thirst-quenching to the more savory dishes.  Try “Eroica” (think Beethoven) by Dr. Loosen & Château Ste. Michelle, Kung Fu Girl by Charles Smith, or Hogue Family Cellars, all of which are from Washington State.  For something closer to Milwaukee, Stone Throw Cellars from Door County also bottles a delightful Riesling.
  • Gewurztraminer- Think of Riesling, and then throw some exotic spices and a bouquet of dried flowers at it.  A fun alternative that is a tongue-twister to boot.  Say “GUH-vertz-trah-meener”.  Now you even sound German.  Don’t let the wine snobs tell you that the only good stuff is from Deutschland and France…Covey Run and Chateau Ste. Michelle from Washington State make Gewurztraminer that is terrifyingly affordable and delicious.
  • Zinfandel- Yes, the RED one.  Juicy, jammy red raspberry and cherry tumbling over holiday spices.  Pick up Seghesio, Turley (if you can find it), Rosenblum, Ridge, or Four Vines…all from the Golden State.  This grape may have had Italian or Croatian origins, but this expression has been pure Americana since the Pre-Prohibition years.

Enjoy your holiday and please comment with any tasty pairings that you have come across!


Heather Kanter-Kowal

The Pfister’s Annual Tree Lighting Event

We will kick off the holiday season with our annual tree lighting ceremony on Friday, treatment Nov. 25, 2011, from 5 – 6:30 pm.

Our tree lighting ceremony is a magical experience for the whole family. This year’s event will include cupcake decorating, decease complimentary holiday treats and much more. While the actual tree lighting will take place at 5:30pm, additional activities will extend to 6:30pm.

Parents are invited to bring their cameras, as Santa will be making an appearance for photo opportunities. Guests will be encouraged to write down their holiday wishes and drop them in a special wish mailbox that will be presented to Santa at the end of the evening. Additionally, Accompany of Kids, a non-profit group made up of gifted singers and dancers, will be performing throughout the event.

While the event and parking is complimentary to visitors and guests, we will be collecting food for Hunger Task Force to distribute to those in need within the local community. Guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the event.

Hope to see you all there.

Photo by Christine Butt

A Message from Joe Kurth, General Manager

At this special time of year looking ahead to the holiday season we are especially thankful for the overwhelming support for the Pfister in our Brand Madness final four run.  It is a true privilege to have been voted as not only Milwaukee’s number one hotel brand within the contest, viagra but also as one hotel to have reached the final 4 of the 64 other outstanding partners within the community.  Your public support and votes are appreciated, and our entire team is humbled and appreciative of you taking time in multiple voting rounds to show how much this special hotel means to so many.

For over 118 years the Pfister has been proud to continue Charles Pfister’s original vision as a “Palace for the People”, ask and also our founder, Ben Marcus’ tradition of “People Pleasing People”.  These traditions are alive and well based on the comments and support received from: our many past guests that have stayed overnight, enjoyed a meal or spa appointment, or simply walked through the hotel for family photos during the holidays; our friends across the country at Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotels; our statewide supporters within the Department of Tourism and Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association; the many college students helping champion the message of travel led by our friends at UW Stout and other campuses; the thousands of you joining in the campaign through our social media connections; our friends at Marcus Theaters; and certainly the overwhelming pride shown by our associates and their families over these past weeks.

A special thank you to the Business Journal for the campaign itself – allowing us a platform for increasing our engagement and sense of partnership with so many over these recent weeks.

After a tight voting battle in the recent victory for the Milwaukee Art Museum, let’s shift our support to them in their championship match with Associated Bank.  Vote via the link below and let’s close out this contest with the iconic Art Museum leading the way as the gateway for many future visitors to join us in downtown Milwaukee!

“Wine-ing” about Winter

Heather Kanter-Kowal









Good grief.  It has already snowed in Wisconsin.  Yes, for sale I have lived here my entire life, but no- I won’t ever welcome the snow.  I don’t ski, snowboard, snowshoe, sled, ice skate, or anything else wholesome and Nordic.  I like to overdress for the cold, grumble, and hibernate.  Here are a few of my favorite beverages that help me cope with the joys of living in the Midwest.

  • Hot Buttered Rum.  The first thing that you are greeted with at our annual family Christmas gathering is a soul-warming mug of booze.  Many aMilwaukeeblizzard was made far more entertaining by the buffering comfort of a Hot Buttered Rum.  A stick of un-salted butter, no rx a cup of brown sugar, a pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, and crushed cloves all mashed together are placed in the refrigerator to cool into a spoon-able texture.  Find a generously sized coffee mug; add an ounce and a half of dark rum, diagnosis a heaping teaspoon of the sugar and spice mixture and top with piping hot water.  Stir and enjoy!
  • Scotch.  I love Scotch.  One of my favorite wintertime sippers!  I enjoy complex, layered, and viscous styles of Scotch such as any bottle that Balvenie has ever made (my heart really goes out to the 14 year Caribbean Cask Balvenie…aged in rum barrels!).  Also a big fan of Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, Bunnahabhain, and Bruichladdich.  I’m looking for bolder flavors, whether it is from a smoky/peaty character or the more luscious notes that can be translated via barrel aging.  Generally neat, but sometimes with one tiny cube of ice.
  • My Goodness, My Guinness.  Rich, toasty stout enjoyed fireside in the “Saint’s Snug” at Co. Clare.  I could watch snow fall all night!  And no, I don’t think that Guinness is “too filling” or “too heavy”, it just looks naughty.  It is actually a fairly low calorie & low alcohol brew.
  • Zinfandel & Syrah.  So zesty, brambly, rugged, bold, and just plain spiked sometimes!  But I can give the generally high alcohol nature of these grapes a pass in the colder months.  Homemade pizzas, mushroom risotto, a filet with a Bordelaise sauce are delightful matches.  Also, fond memories of enjoying a bottle of big, bad Syrah with an Artichoke ala Mode pizza at Pizza Man on theEast Side, watching the North Ave bar crowd trudge through the blizzard in their party dresses.

Maybe, Wisconsin winters aren’t so bad after all…


Heather Kanter-Kowal

A Concierge Favorite: “Sunday Afternoon”

By Keia Wegner, healing Assistant Manager at the Pfister Hotel                                                                         

Originally, sovaldi I was going to write about one of our paintings that are a bit more nationally known.  I had heard through the grapevine that one of our beloved concierges, Peter Mortensen, knew a great back story on the piece I wanted to blog about. After lingering around the lobby for a bit I finally caught Peter at a free moment to ask him about this infamous story.  His response was something along the lines of “Well…that one does have a good story, there but can I tell you about the Lorenz?”  Of course I was immediately intrigued.  Peter is a wealth of knowledge; having worked at the Pfister for 20 plus years, he knows this art collection like the back of his hand.  No matter if you are a guest, local or a random passerby coming to view the grandiose hotel lobby, if Peter has a free moment, stop by to pick his brain.

We went up to the 2nd floor mezzanine to a painting titled “Sunday Afternoon” by Richard Lorenz.  A picturesque scene of three people riding in a horse and buggy, dressed in their Sunday best enjoying the countryside; a painting I may have chose to blog about in the Spring.  From my research I knew Lorenz was recruited to come to America (Milwaukee specifically) from Germany as he was a proficient panorama artist.  When he came to the states, Milwaukee was known as the “Hollywood of Panoramas”.  Boasting two major studios, a fair number of famous American panoramas were created here.  Unlike most artists who were brought to America, Lorenz decided to stay.  He fell in love with the American West and is considered to be one of the most well known Western genre painters of his time.  He had is studio in the Mitchell Building on Michigan Ave from 1898 until his death in 1915.  Also, he often displayed his artwork at the famous Layton Art Gallery which was not too far from the Pfister.

What I did not know however was that half of the year he spent here in Milwaukee, teaching and mentoring students as well as taking on commissions.  The other half of the year he would spend out West sketching, painting and gathering inspiration.  Peter informed me that each year, he would hop on a train, take it as far West as he could and from their get a couple of pack mules and head out into the unknown.  Imagine, being able to explore the untouched landscape of the American West and having the ability to record it through artistic expression.

Unlike his more famous Western scenes, this particular painting was done locally, a little north of the city.  The two girls in the painting were daughters of the Memler Family.  Their parents ran a Gasthaus/Beer Garden in the city and their mother (in Peter’s words) was an unofficial “den mother” to new artists that were coming into the city.  The Memler’s would often times let them stay at their house until they could get on their feet find a place to live.  Another interesting fact is that one can most assuredly say that Charles Pfister and Richard Lorenz had some kind of personal interaction; he may have even commissioned the painting for the collection.  The story behind the story is what I love to learn about and I hope you enjoyed this snippet of Peter’s knowledge as much as I did.

Please stop by to see one of Peter’s best loved paintings in the Pfister!  The new self guided tour should be rolling out soon…keep checking back with us for updates.  In the meantime we still encourage guests and non-guests alike to come view or fabulous collection!

Brand Madness with Charles Pfister: Final Four

Charles Pfister has a few things to say about the Pfister’s latest battle with the Milwaukee Art Museum and about The Pfister’s room service. Cast your vote for The Pfister in Brand Madness today.

News Update: Familiar Voices rally behind the Pfister Hotel

Familiar Voices Rally Behind the Pfister Hotel


My fellow Americans – and Marcus employees

I’m sue you are aware that I and other former leaders of the free world have had the honor of being a guest here at the fabulous Pfister Hotel. My honey bunch Hilary likes it too.

We see that there has been some in the entertainment industry who have tarnished the good name of our beloved Pfister, there claiming that Stubby is being held against his will.

I’d say that is not the case. Stubby remains a free American mascot, unhealthy able to make his own decisions because of this great democracy we call the United States of Marcus – er America.

Now you know that each of presidents know that the Pfister brand is unimpeachable. And yet, the Marcus Theaters division has targeted this landmark for demolition wishing to turn it into an Ultra Screen.

We cannot let this happen. I say Save the Pfister!

So my fellow Americans, ask not what the Pfister can do for you, ask what you can do to save the Pfister.

A vote for the Pfister is a vote for all that is good and just in this country.

BREAKING NEWS: Marcus Theatres Mascot Missing Over Weekend

generic Marcus Theatres” src=”×264.png” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”264″ />Stubby, the mascot for Marcus Theatres, click was discovered missing from the Majestic Theatre on Saturday morning. Several unverified sightings were reported throughout the day.

According to reports, Stubby was seen from I-94 in the parking lot of the theatre where he was driven away, cialis possibly against his will, in an unidentified vehicle. He also was seen that afternoon at The Pfister Hotel, incidentally, also owned by Marcus Corporation, receiving services at the WELL Spa, sipping on a cup of Starbucks and taking a dip in the pool. This was reportedly followed by a famous Pfister Mary in the Lobby Lounge.

“He seemed to really be enjoying his time here,” says a Pfister employee. “It’s just my opinion, but it didn’t seem like he was being held against his will.”

Hotel employees say Stubby received a key to the Heritage Suite and enjoyed a restful afternoon nap before heading to the Milwaukee Wave game. At the game, Stubby high-fived fans and went onto the field and tossed t-shirts to the crowd. According to sources, his final action was leading the crowd in a spirited rendition of “YMCA.”

Stubby mysteriously returned back to the Majestic Theatre by Sunday evening. It was reported that he was heard muttering about the Business Journal’s Brand Madness contest. “Marcus Corporation’s Theatre Division was up against its own internal rival, the Hotel Division’s Pfister Hotel. One modest hotel against a massive 700+ theatre division.” Sounds like Milwaukee’s own David and Goliath story. “I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog,” he reportedly mumbled.

Rumor has it Stubby voted in the Brand Madness contest while perusing a complimentary-use iPad in The Pfister’s Café. Only time will tell if he voted for his home team, or if he switched sides, supporting the historic hotel—the little guy.

Bubblegum, Bananas & Wine, Oh My!

Heather Kanter-Kowal

Every year on the third Thursday of November, health no matter where I work or what I do, the same thing happens every year.  Everyone in the world wants to know where we are hiding the Beaujolais Nouveau on our list.  Often, I will feature Beaujolais but never a Beaujolais Nouveau.   Inevitably, we must talk about why these are not, in fact, the same thing.

Beaujolais (Bo-zho-lay) is technically a sub-region found at the southern foot of larger region of Burgundy in France.  Most of the wine produced within Burgundy will either be Pinot Noir (some of the finest you can drink on planet Earth) or Chardonnay (white wines that can make a grown man weep).  Beaujolaisis known for something else entirely- Gamay.  Gamay produces a light bodied, high acid red wine with soft, fruity flavors such as cherry, raspberry and strawberry with some notes on the nose of flowers like roses or violets.  The delicate nature and high acid of wines produced from this grape can be really fantastic for food pairing possibilities…roasted turkey, chicken, guinea hen, rabbit, ham, funky French cheeses (think Camembert or Brie) and even some hearty fish entrees.  The best Beaujolais will be found with these names of villages (or windmills) prominently featured on the label: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly.  These are wines that can be enjoyed for several years past the vintage date.

And now, for something completely different:  The Nouveau.  This is the wine that is made from Gamay grapes from the same region (but never the villages listed above) that are handled in a very similar fashion.  When the hand-harvested grapes come back to winery from the field, they are thrown in vats as whole clusters, allowing only gravity to crush the juice out the grapes at the bottom.  The uncrushed grapes will begin to ferment within their own skins, rather than the usual process of juice and grape skins being mashed together over time.  In short, this process called Carbonic maceration, reduces the amount of oxygen in a tank, increases carbon dioxide, naturally occurring yeasts react to the sugar in the grapes, and VOILA- the magic of fermentation!  Big difference between BoJo Novo and Cru Beaujolais besides the actual plot of land the grapes lived at…how long it sits in the fermentation state.  The process can take as few as four days in the production of Beaujolais Nouveau, which is not much time for the finished wine to gain tannins or color from the grape skins.  The wine is then pasteurized, bottled and ready to drink only 6-8 weeks after harvest.

Now the party is ready to start.  What began as a simple marketing gimmick by Georges Duboeuf to move some inexpensive wine with a “Race to Paris” between other Beaujolais producers and his own company has become a worldwide event.  Beaujolais Nouveau is a huge sales event in the United States, Asia and still, Paris.  Boxes of Nouveau sit around the world with tape sealing them shut, declaring that it would be illegal to sell this vino until the third Thursday of November.   Many are shipped over via air freight (quite uncommon for wine to be sent this way) just to ensure that it arrives at the destination in time.  Air freight adds a few dollars to the price of this non-expensive bottle, so if you were wondering why the same bottle costs $15 on Beaujolais Nouveau day, but only $12 on December 17th, the rest of the shipments come over on boats.  The Beaujolais celebration is noted with balloons and banners that declare “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!”  Many restaurants and wine shops will be pouring wines from producers such as Drouhin, Bouchard, and of course, Duboeuf.  Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau will be stacked in every grocery and bottle shop across the land, adorned with a fresh new abstract label to denote a fresh new year.

To put things quite simply now, this is wine that was rushed from the field to your table.  It was intended for near immediate consumption, it is low in alcohol, has the tannic structure of a white wine, tastes like cherries, bananas, bubblegum, and cotton candy.  It should be served chilled, and quaffed like punch as this is not a wine to sit and ponder the complexities of vitis vinifera.  Beaujolais Nouveau is a fun wine for Thanksgiving dinner (such a soft fruity wine is great for a drier bird like turkey) and can be served with flair throughout the holidays.  A word to the wise, do not try to cellar this wine, or hoard it past Valentine’s Day.  No added benefit will come of aging this particular Beaujolais.  Don’t try to wax cerebral over this one, just kick back on that Thursday night and chug wine like a real Parisian.  à votre santé!


Heather Kanter-Kowal