By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 10, 2023 at 1:05 PM

Cheers! It's Bar Month at OnMilwaukee – so get ready to drink up more bar articles, imbibable stories and cocktailing content, brought to you by Potawatomi Casino Hotel and Miller Lite. Thirsty for more? To find even more bar content, click here

Great Lakes Distillery will release the second batch of its single barrel Chicken Shack Straight Rye Whiskey, bottled at 91.7 proof in reference to the FM frequency of WMSE, which airs the Chicken Shack Radio Show, hosted by local musician Johnny Z.

Since 1997, Johnny Ziegler has played vintage country music and modern alt-country on his popular weekly show.

“We don’t have many hard and fast rituals around here, but tuning into the Chicken Shack with Johnny Z on Friday mornings is definitely one of them,” says Great Lakes Head Distiller Nate Newbrough.

So, of course, they decided to make a whiskey for Johnny Z.

The first batch of 215 bottles was released in May 2022 and sold out in just a few days.

“Milwaukee is a city where partnerships don’t have to be forced. When good people work with good people, good results generally follow,” says Great Lakes Tasting Room Manager Brendan Cleary.

The new batch will be launched with fanfare, which which I mean a ticketed party with live music out in the parking lot behind the Walker’s Point distillery, 616 W. Virginia St.

The show will be headlined by Horseshoes & Hand Grenades – which was also on hand for the first batch release last year – and Chicken Wire Empire will open.

Central Waters Brewing Co. will be bring some beer – including its HHG Pale Ale, which was inspired by the music of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades – and there will be local food trucks there, too.

Tickets for the event are $25 and the first 500 tickets sold will include a Plucker’s Punch cocktail featuring rye whiskey.

“Since we moved to this location in 2008, we have always wanted to utilize this backspace behind our building,” says Great Lakes Distillery Founder, Guy Rehorst. “The 6th Street viaduct is such an underrated Milwaukee landmark, and this show will be a great way to enjoy it,”

Entry starts at 6 and the 21-and-up show starts at 7 p.m. You can buy tickets online at The show will go on rain or shine but in the case of an extreme weather event, it will be rescheduled and refunds offered.

It’s also a nice way to kick off the great Milwaukee summer, says Chicken Wire Empire Bassist, Jordan Kroeger.

“This is such a great bill for the city,” he says, “especially as it will be one of the first outdoor shows of the season.”

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.