By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 19, 2022 at 10:02 AM

This weekend, a new vodka distilled at Monroe’s Minhas Distillery was launched in a blaze of glory.

MoneyBag Vodka is owned by fire-breathing KISS bassist and co-frontman Gene Simmons, who is also set to become one of Milwaukee’s newest restaurateurs.

Rock & Brews, a restaurant Simmons owns with bandmate Paul Stanley, will open at the Menomonee Valley casino soon.

On Saturday, Simmons visited Minhas Distillery & Craft Brewery – located south of Madison – during its Oktoberfest celebration to launch the new premium spirit.

“Whether it’s for family, friends or 20,000 fans at a concert, I’ve always wanted to create a versatile and approachable drink that encourages everyone to celebrate life and its good times,” said Simmons, who founded the brand with Brandon Marek and Harlo Entertainment.

“Thankfully, we found the perfect partner in Minhas Distillery, the country’s second-oldest brewery and distillery, with whom we spent months developing the MoneyBag recipe and designing a distinctive, eye-catching bottle."

The vodka is dressed to kill in a Simmons-designed decanter, which is shaped like a money bag, natch.

“We are so excited to be working with the legendary rock star and business tycoon to share this super-premium vodka with Gene’s army of fans and other discerning consumers,” said Minhas Distillery founder Ravinder Minhas.

MoneyBag retails for $49.99 and will begin to appear at retail in January in the Midwest, New York and California first.

Surely it will be hotter than hell.

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.