By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 08, 2020 at 1:01 PM

Since it began brewing 414 lager in collaboration with Vernacular Brewing last year, Too Much Metal has been packaging the beer in special can designs. There have been ethnic flag-colored cans, American flag-themed cans and cans in Bucks and Brewers colors.

Now, a series of "canlaborations" is on tap, too, with designs created in collaboration with local organizations.

The first collabs up are with Milwaukee Turners, Ignite the Spirit and Dream Lab.

Too Much Metal's Fred Gillich says the promo is a way to build and strengthen community. Partners have the chance to design their own cans.

The can sleeve designs are based on each organization's mission.

Milwaukee Turners is dedicated to fostering health of body and mind through an array of diverse programs in physical education, public forums, music and art events; Ignite the Spirit provides emotional and physical support and financial assistance to Milwaukee Firefighters during times of need; and Dream Lab is a business, art gallery and bar serving Milwaukeeans on National Avenue.

All three of the new can designs should be on area shelves after Sept. 16. At the same time, a version of the can in Packers colors will also be released.

"This canlaboration promotion is such a purposeful way to invest in Milwaukee's bottom line," says Gillich. "We want to celebrate the visionaries, risk takers and mold breakers who define Milwaukee. I think this program facilitates a mechanism for collaborators to share and express their story."

The beer is brewed by Vernacular, which is owned by Mike Brenner, who formerly ran Brenner Brewing in Walker's Point.

So far, Vernacular has produced more than 120 barrels of 414 lager, according to Gillich.

"Finding creative ways to support local organizations I believe in is what I’ve spent my career focused on," says Brenner. "In Milwaukee, I’ve always known beer is the solution."

The beer is available at Ray's Wine and Spirits, Discount Liquor, Dream Lab, Milwaukee Turners and Avenue Wine and Liquor.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.