By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 20, 2022 at 9:04 AM

The 40th Bockbierfest takes place at Okauchee Lions Park, N48W34350 E. Wisconsin Ave., in Okauchee on Saturday, April 30.

The traditional annual Maifest celebration will feature live music, a stein-holding competition, food – like Usinger’s sausage and World Famous Herring Sandwiches, Maypole dance performances, a bock bier king and queen contest and, of course beverages.

There will be, as always, a tapping and blessing of the bock bier, Hofbräu München Maibock Anstich, and free bier from the tapped keg, while it lasts.

Admission to the family friendly event is $5 and proceeds benefit Spielmannszug Milwaukee Drum and Bugle Corps – founded in 1957 – which will perform at the event.

The fest used to be held at Hart Park in Tosa before moving to Okauchee in 2021.

“I know a lot of work goes into a festival like this and it's the people who work together who really make this flourish in our area,” says Andy Hacker, founder and director of  Blaskapelle Milwaukee, a brass band that will perform at 7:30 p.m.

“Come on out for some great entertainment while enjoying a brat, bier, and Gemutlichkeit!”  

More information at

Beer & Blades

Is there a more natural combination than beer and ultra-sharp cutlery?

James Larson says that his Enlightened Brewing, 2020 S. Allis St., in Bay View, will host a series of knife-sharpening events this year, called Beer and Blades The Spring Tune-Up, beginning on Sunday, April 24 at noon.

“We have teamed up with The Sharpening Company owned and operated by Cody Berg who I went to high school with,” says Larson. “He spent a number of years sharpening knives for another local company and decided to take the leap and set out on his own.

“He contacted us last year to see if we wanted to put something together and we had a great time with him and Iron Grate for the first run of sharpening.”

The event will take place this weekend rain or shine and The Sharpening Company will be on hand to sharpen everything from kitchen knives to gardening tools to axes and lawn mower blades.

”Pretty much anything with a sharp edge he can get done,” says Larson. “He has partnered with a few restaurants and operates his sharpening equipment from the back of his pick up truck.

“We hope to grow these events into more involved things including food trucks and possibly even pairing them with Rough Draught Series beer releases.”

Let's be careful out there, folks.

Lager is life

Gathering Place Brewing has begun announcing the participating breweries for its fourth annual Lager & Friends, which takes place Saturday, June 4, from noon until 4 at Old Heidelberg Park, 700 W. Lexington Blvd. in Glendale.

Here are the out-of-state collaborators that have been announced so far:

  • Breakside Brewery - Portland, Oregon
  • East Brother Beer Company - Richmond, California
  • Notch Brewing - Salem, Massachusetts
  • 2nd Shift Brewing - St. Louis, Missouri
  • Alma Mader Brewing - Kansas City, Missouri
  • Kansas City Bier Company - Kansas City, Missouri
  • Bad Weather Brewing Company - St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Fair State Brewing Cooperative - Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Moontown Brewing Company - Whitestown, Indiana
  • Seedz Brewery - Union Pier, Michigan
  • Transient Artisan Ales - Bridgman, Michigan
  • Dovetail Brewery - Chicago, Illinois
  • Metropolitan Brewing - Chicago, Illinois
  • Roaring Table Brewery - Lake Zurich, Illinois
  • Sketchbook Brewing Company - Evanston & Skokie, Illinois

See a full list of participating breweries here.

The special collab lager for the event will be brewed by Gathering Place and KC Bier Co. Although the plan had been for KC Bier’s team to come to Milwaukee to brew, the collaboration will now be a long-distance one.

Details at

Roasting Tim, the birthday boy

Black Husky's Tim Eichinger turns 60 this weekend.

At its fourth annual Celebrity Roast on Sunday, April 24, The Sugar Maple will take good-natured aim at Black Husky's Tim Eichinger, whose 60th birthday just happens to be that day.

Join the fun as a panelists of friends hurl witticisms at the Riverwest brewer, beginning at 5 p.m. There is no cover charge.

Complete details are here.

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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.