By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 08, 2022 at 10:02 AM

Holy Smokes, folks!  It’s Brandy Old Fashioned Month and Central Standard is pulling out all the stops to celebrate. That includes bringing in everyone’s favorite Sconnie comedian, Charlie Berens, to serve as the inaugural guest mixologist for their new “Cocktails for a Cause” series.

And truly, who is a better match for celebrating Wisconsin’s favorite cocktail than Berens who showed us all the “proper” way to build the Wisconsin drink at home during the pandemic?

Stop by the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen at 320 E. Clybourn St. for happy hour on Tuesday, Sept. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. and you’ll not only have the opportunity to meet Berens in the flesh, but also sample his twist on the classic Wisconsin old fashioned.

Even better, all tips during the happy hour event, plus $5 from every one of Charlie’s signature Brandy Old Fashioneds sold, will be donated in support of the Near West Side Partners (NWSP), a non-profit which works with both public and private partners to revitalize and sustain thriving business and residential corridors on Milwaukee’s near west side. 

If you’re not a cocktail drinker, Berens will also be happy to pour you a pint of his favorite local brew, Leinenkugel’s, during the bartending-for-charity event.

“Charlie is Wisconsin through and through and giving back to the community is in his – as well as our – DNA,” says co-founder Evan Hughes.  “We couldn’t think of a better guest bartender or charity to kick off this new community-building initiative. For us, it’s all about ‘Local Helping Local.’ After all, that and ‘Crafted Together’ are the guiding principles upon which we founded Central Standard.”

More where that came from

Guests who can’t make the inaugural “Cocktails for a Cause” event can look forward to more of the same in the coming months, including an appearance from curling gold medalist Matt Hamilton, who will be making an appearance in the coming weeks.

“We are honored to have Charlie and Matt among our first guest bartenders for charity,” says co-founder Pat McQuillan. “We’re also looking for others to get behind the bar to spotlight and support their favorite nonprofits.”

To inquire about serving as a future guest bartender to benefit a local charitable cause, please email your contact information and favorite charity to

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.