By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 03, 2023 at 11:24 AM

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After more than five years as head brewer at Gathering Place Brewing, Corey Blodgett left last month and the Riverwest brewery, with an East Tosa taproom, has hired Matt Cisz for the position.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Matt to the Gathering Place family,” says Joe Yeado, founder of Gathering Place Brewing.

“He brings a wealth of brewing experience, passion for excellence and commitment to community engagement that perfectly aligns with our company and will help us continue to grow.”

Cisz, who started as assistant brewer and was later promoted to brewer during his nearly five years at Third Space Brewing, will start at Gathering Place on March 20.

Since started as lead brewer in 2021, he has helmed a team of eight brewers.

At Gathering Place Cisz will lead the brewing team, says Yeado, and oversee beer production on the main brewing system and small batch pilot system in Riverwest as well as on the small batch system in Wauwatosa.

“I am excited about getting to grow a brand and further grow my creative process,” says Cisz, who participated in the Barley to Barrel program, "(and) to work with Joe and the rest of the Gathering Place team to continue to grow a brand that focuses on community engagement and brewing beers that put a modern American twist on traditional European styles.

“I recently finished reading Rick Rubin’s new book ‘The Creative Act: A Way of Being’ and it affirmed my thoughts that I was ready for my next chapter or in musical terms my next record. I am a person who constantly needs to be creating and this role will allow me to do that.”

Last year, Cisz created the One in Four collaboration beer to raise awareness and funds for victims of domestic abuse.

The beer was first brewed at Third Space but was then picked up by other breweries around the country.

“I will forever be grateful for Kevin (Wright) and Andy (Gehl) for taking a chance on me and giving me my start in the industry at Third Space Brewing,” says Cisz.

“I look forward to hopefully collaborating with them on a project in the future that builds upon the community approach that both companies share.”

Before becoming a brewer, Cisz worked as a graphic designer at BizTimes Media and Summerfest.

A Milwaukee native, Blodgett had worked in brewhouses at McMenamin’s, Maritime Pacific and Craft Brew Alliance in the Portland, Washington area before returning home to Milwaukee to work at Gathering Place.

“Corey mentioned that he was interested in taking a break and after 23-plus years as a professional brewer he’s certainly earned that,” says Yeado. “He’s a very talented brewer who certainly helped Gathering Place grow to what it is today and I look forward to seeing what he does next after a well-deserved break.”

Blodgett's last day there – before departing for a trip to Germany – was Feb. 10.

Blodgett says he’s taking some hard-earned time with his family.

“After 20-plus years in the brewing industry, over five of those at Gathering Place, I have decided to take a step back and let my mind and my body take a much needed break,” he tells me. “The industry asks a lot of its workers and I felt I could not give the amount of time and effort it demands.

“As it stands right now, I have no plans except to spend time with my family and friends, as well as continue to be an insufferable Kölsch Style evangelist. I appreciate the opportunity Joe gave me to return to my home of Milwaukee and help build Gathering Place. It was a wild ride. This is not the end. It is a new beginning.”

Cisz says, “I feel super honored that Joe has picked me to build on the foundation that Corey started when the brewery opened in 2017. As we grow the brand, you will continue to see the same approach of creating brands that focus on beers that we can gather around, but with some introductions to different hop and malt flavors that play on the past, present and future."

In other beer news:

Eagle Park Brewing and Distilling Company brings back the Joint Beer Fest collab beer event on Saturday, April 22 at the Muskego taproom, S64 W15640 Commerce Center Pkwy.

There will be live music, DJs, self-guided brewery tours, a live glass blowing demo, a munchies-themed food buffet and, of course, beer, from more than a dozen Midwest craft breweries.

Among those creating beers exclusive to the event are 1840 Brewing Company, 608 Brewing Company, BlackStack Brewing, The Brewing Projekt, Central Waters, Drekker, Hop Butcher, J Henry & Sons Bourbon, Lion’s Tale, Phase Three, Toppling Goliath and the Eagle Park-owned Milwaukee Brewing Company.

“We’re obviously thrilled to showcase the dedication and talent of our regional brewers and friends, and we’re excited to share what we’ve all come up with for this year’s Joint Beer Fest,” said Eagle Park Brand Director Jake Schinker. “The true benefit of collaboration brewing is sharing information, methods and experiences, but it’s really our fans and customers who we hope enjoy the benefit of these creative little balls of energy we’ve crafted.”

Tickets are $95 with a $115 VIP option. Both get a a mixed 12-ounce six-pack of event beers, unlimited beer samples, a limited edition glass and the buffet. VIPs get early admission and two cans of exclusive barrel-aged brews.

There’s also a $20 Designated Driver / “I Don’t Like Beer” ticket includes the entertainment and buffet.

There will be a pre-party on the eve of the event with special tappings, early registration for Joint Fest attendees and live music from 6 to 9 p.m.

Complete details at

Meanwhile, over in Walker’s Point, MobCraft, 505 S. 5th St., hosts its fifth annual Sour Fest on Saturday, March 25, from noon until 7 p.m. with more than 25 MobCraft wild and sour beers hitting the tap lines throughout the day.

The taproom will open at 11 with all the draft lines packed with wilds and sours, although a few non-sours will also be on tap.

There will be Wisconsin Wild and Sour Sampling Sessions with sours from brewers around the state.

The VIP session, which provides early access to the tastings, is $65 and goes from noon to 3. VIPs also get early access to the taproom and bottle shop.

General admission sessions are 1-3 and 4-6 p.m. and are $50 for both sessions.

All sessions include unlimited samples and a commemorative glass.

The event also marks the annual release of MobCraft’s wild and sour seasonal Sour Golden Ale 2023 and its variants:

  • Sour Golden Ale 2023- Oak aged Sour Golden Ale fermented with Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus and blended using a solera method. Draft Only. 6.2% ABV.
  • Sour Golden Ale Shrub Cherry- A collaboration with Siren Shrub Co. Sour Golden Ale refermented on second use cherries. Draft only. 6.2%.
  • Sour Golden Ale Stone Fruit- Sour Golden Ale refermented with peach, cherry and apricot. Draft and cans to-go. 6.2% ABV.
  • Sour Golden Ale Blueberry Lemon- Sour Golden Ale refermented with blueberry and lemon. Draft only.  6.2% ABV.

“We are excited to be hosting our fifth annual Sour Fest that showcases the awesome variety of this beer style,” said MobCraft Founder and CEO Henry Schwartz. “Sour Fest is a great chance for us to show off the extensive MobCraft Sour portfolio along with all of the great brewers in Wisconsin that make this style of beer which we love so much. This year’s lineup is our best yet!”
Tickets and more here.

Lastly but by no means leastly, and the one that’s coming up quickest is the Wednesday, March 8 release of the Pink Boots Society and Third Space Brewing Like a Girl collaboration release at the Third Space taproom, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave.

You can read more about this collab here.

At 6 p.m., Third Space brewers Sam Danen and Amy Rohrschneider will talk about the collaboration IPA and then there will be live music by TAE.

Plus, food trucks and more.

A portion of proceeds for Like a Girl IPA benefits the Wisconsin Chapter of the Pink Boots Society, which helps fund scholarships, educational opportunities and other services to women working in Wisconsin’s beer 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.