By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 03, 2021 at 4:31 PM

As Central Standard hinted a couple months back, it has launched the first installment in its new collaboration series called the Brewmasters Series, in which the craft distiller teams with a craft brewer on a special release.

This first one is Central Standard's Toppling Goliath Barrel-Aged Brandy.

For this limited run – just under 240 cases – Central Standard’s brandy was aged in barrels that previous held Iowa brewery Toppling Goliath’s collaboration with Wisconsin’s Central Waters, Toppling Waters Stout.

So, it’s sort of a collab within a collab.

Plus, before they cradled the stout, the same barrels previously aged maple syrup in northern Wisconsin, so I guess it’s a collab within a collab within a collab.

The result is a brandy with hints of espresso and chocolate and caramel and, of course, a touch of maple syrup.

“The flavor profile of our Toppling Goliath Barrel-Aged Brandy makes it great on the rocks or in an Old Fashioned,” says Central Standard co-owner Evan Hughes. “It’s also perfect for wherever and whenever people relax, unwind or celebrate this fall and holiday season.”

This spirit is the first in a planned series with other breweries.

“We live in the Brewers’ hometown, so we thought from a business perspective it was only natural to embrace Milwaukee’s great brewing heritage and launch a series of collaborations with brewmasters from across the Midwest,” says Hughes. “And no better one to start with than Toppling Goliath. They were recently named the 2021 Grand National Champion at the U.S. Beer Open Championship.”

Hughes, not unexpectedly, won’t divulge any of the future collaborators.

“We are talking with a few Wisconsin breweries also a few International ones,” he says. “What's so cool about this first collaboration is the word started to leak out through our distributors and we are getting breweries contacting us for future partnerships. This is such a fun industry as you well know!”

The next few partners are being finalized at the moment, says Hughes.

“I can confirm they will be breweries,” he adds with a smile.

The brandy is available now in limited supplies at retailers in Wisconsin and Iowa.

The collabbing on these barrels isn’t over yet, either. Central Standard is returning the barrels to Toppling Goliath so they can be used for yet another Toppling Goliath brew.

“We appreciate what Central Standard is doing on the innovation front and welcomed a collaboration with Pat and Evan with open arms,” says Clark Lewey, owner and founder of Toppling Goliath.

“It’s great to see two Midwest family-owned companies dedicated to quality and built on innovation excelling in our industry.”

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.