By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 13, 2021 at 8:58 AM

When folks think about Milwaukee, two things often come to mind: beer and cheese. But how about vegan beer and cheese?  The two go hand in hand at Dead Bird Brewing Co., a craft brewery that’s making a splash with not only its beer, but its housemade plant-based deli offerings, including cheese.

This week we’re chatting with co-founder Nick Kocis about how the plant-based brewery got its start, the story behind its name (of course) and the cool things they’ve been brewing up, including their Big Baby Vegan Deli product line.

Along the way, we geek out about the science behind creating vegan cheese, why the brewery chose sunflower seeds as the protein source for its cheese and the cheese-making technology that informs the process. Kocis also gives us a glimpse into the exciting things on the docket for the crafty vegan brewery.


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Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.