By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 02, 2023 at 5:19 PM

If you know beer in this town, you surely know Eric Gutbrod.

Most recently of New Barons, Ope!, Central Waters Milwaukee and Draft and Vessel, Eric has also worked at Sugar Maple, Tin Widow and one of the area’s original beer bars, Sir James Pub in Port Washington.

Now, Gutbrod is opening his own place, called Biersal Tavern, on Vliet Street in Washington Heights, and he’s seeking support from his friends and fans to get it going.

“After several years of kicking around the idea of finally opening my very own bar, I am finally in the perfect position to do so,” he wrote on the Go Fund Me page he recently set up.

“The space I want is in the Washington Heights neighborhood and is perfect for what I want to do. I am now in the final stage of making this a reality.”

Gutbrod hopes to close on the building later this month and open in April after making a series of upgrades, etc.

As the current owner's clientele does not yet know, Gutbrod will announce the location once the sale closes.

“I am hoping that with this GoFundMe Page and your help, I can accumulate the last $20,000 I need to cross the finish line. Offers have been made and accepted, and loans have been secured. I just need this last little bit to complete the downpayment,” he wrote.

Biersal – named for a potentially helpful and potentially mischievous sprite that lives in breweries and pubs – will, of course, have a great beer list, as you’d espect from Gutbrod, but also, in his words, “a fun cocktail list and a well-curated whiskey list.

“And of course, there will always be great music playing. In addition to operating the bar itself, I have plans for several charitable programs.

“I have worked for and with some amazing folks over all these years, but it is time to finally work for myself. I am beyond excited to grow this location and be a part of the Washington Heights Neighborhood.”

If you want to help make the biersal happy and get Biersal off the ground, check out the Go Fund Me page 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.