By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 20, 2023 at 9:03 AM

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If anyone was concerned that the annual Blessing of the Bock – one of the beer events of the year in Milwaukee – wouldn’t survive the transition to new owners and operators of Riverwest’s Falcon Bowl, fret not thyself.

Organizer Jeff Platt says the new owners are all-in, and the 35th annual Blessing of the Bock is scheduled for Sunday, April 23, from noon until 4 p.m. at the Falcon, 801 E. Clarke St.

“Dan (Gnadt) told me that he wants Falcon Bowl to become Riverwest's premier craft beer bar,” Platt says.

“With that in mind, we've added Riverwest Brew Fest to our event mix, allowing us to invite non-Bock breweries.”

At the time of writing Platt says he’s secured 25 breweries and is meeting with more this week.

Platt is working on a polka band to lead the annual “Ein Prosit” singalong, there will be brats and Jericho Food Truck barbecue on the menu, as well as the fourth annual Blessing of the Brat.

“While not the formal setup that Falcon Bowl intends to unveil this fall,” adds Platt of the tavern's outdoor space, “for the fourth year, we spotlight the return of the Falcon Bowl Beer Garden!”

Of course the highlight will be Lakefront Brewery co-founder Jim Klisch, enrobed, blessing the beer.

New this year, says Platt, will be a focus on homebrewing.

“The first Blessing of the Bock began at Saint Casimir's Church, and has always welcomed homebrewers,” he says. “The tradition continues, and we have added a homebrew competition, with several homebrew clubs committed, including the oldest, Milwaukee Beer Barons.”

The competition will be called the John EO Memorial Homebrew Competition in honor of longtime homebrewer and Riverwest resident John E. O'Brian, who passed away recently.

Platt promises updates as he has them and I will add those here as the event nears.

Admission to the event is $30.

If you’d like to read a history of Falcon Bowl from about a year ago when it was in the process of being sold, check out this Urban Spelunking story.

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.