By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 19, 2021 at 9:03 AM

After throwing a successful block party in front of its Bay View home to celebrate its anniversary in May, Enlightened Brewing is doing it again.

“We had such a good time and the model was so simple we decided we would continue to do them throughout the summer and into the fall,” says co-founder and brewer James Larson. “Not every month, but once or twice over the course of the outdoor season.

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The next block party is slated for Saturday, July 31 from 3 until 10 p.m. at 2020 S. Allis St., where the brewery and taproom occupies part of the sprawling former Louis Allis complex.

1840 Brewing, a few blocks away, will host its 4th anniversary block party on the same day, from noon until 10 p.m. Details here.

There will be food from The Vanguard as well as sweet treats from Happy Joy Candy Floss, and music will be provided by the mobile Funk Club Wagon and Milwaukee Hot Club.

Both the food and music should arrive around 5 p.m.

But most intriguing to hopheads will be three new installments in Enlightened’s new “Rough Draft Series” of pilot brews, which creates three beers from a single wort.

The first trio of brews – three hazy IPAs called Known Knowns, Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns (a little bit is still in sixths and will be available at the upcoming event) – was launched at the first block party and the second batch arrives in time for the next street bash.

“The Rough Draught Series (RDS) utilizes the old and the new: our new 10-barrel brewhouse from the Louis Allis building meeting with three of our 3.5-barrel fermenters from the Lincoln Warehouse which we brought over.”


Enlightened was founded at the nearby Lincoln Warehouse in 2015.

“Each turn on the RDS is three unique beers made from the same ‘mother wort’,” says Larson. “For this next batch we made two saions and a CBD blond ale.

“We went a traditional route with the French saison, we dry-hopped the Belgian saison and we are working with the CBD company in the building, Good Land Extracts, with a water soluble CBD powder that they made to make the blond ale.”

Larson says the idea for the series came when he and his partner Tommy Vandervort decided to close the smaller brewery at Lincoln.

“We can make more wort then we need on one turn of our 10-barrel brewhouse so we only needed to take four tanks out of the smaller 1st Street brewery,” he says. “We could still run the smaller tanks the same way as we were before, filling three of them at a time and keeping one tank free to move beer around.

“We already had the infrastructure in place to get them all piped in so it was pretty simple.”

Larson says the series will continue on and the next batch will again be another round of hazies, but after that, expect something different.

“After we are done with the next round of hops we have pilsners on the brain and once we get into winter we may take a little slow down and create some dark lagers,” he promises. “There was a shout for a series of hopped British beers mild or an ESB, something along those lines.

“All we want to make sure we do is not think about it too hard and just go for it. It's fun to be at a point where we need to fill all of the tanks with Cream City Brix, but we all get into this line of work because we love playing around and this series will help us fill that creative outlet.”

To that end, if you have suggestions or ideas for a trio of interesting beers that can be made from the same wort, let them know when you stop in or hit the block party.

“Any and all suggestions for the RDS program will be considered so definitely put your requests in and maybe we will get it on the schedule,” says Larson.

Another block party is in the works for September, so stay tuned for details. Larson also says the events will keep coming.

“We are absolutely going to be doing them every year, and hopefully we can grow them to be bigger and bigger.”

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.