By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 12, 2021 at 12:28 PM

The folks at East Troy Brewery have really done it now.

As if it’s not bad enough that I’m already addicted to the cruller bites from Grebe’s Bakery, now the brewery has created a Grebe’s imperial stout beer in tribute to the legendary West Allis bakery and its delectable crullers, which are crunchy on the outside and beautifully soft inside.

The beer, called Mrs. Grebe's Beer for Breakfast, was created in collaboration with Grebe's Bakery.

“It was inspired by Grebe's Famous Cruller Donuts, which are a staple at their bakery in West Allis,” says the brewery’s General Manager John Turner.

“We brewed this beer with several chocolate malts and experimented adding Cruller donuts themselves. This is a big stout on the sweeter side with notes of roasted coffee and vanilla, hence the ‘Breakfast’ aspect.”

Grebe's stoutX

The stout packs 10 percent alcohol by volume and 40 IBU.

“The impetus for the collaboration was a standing relationship between myself and Brandon Grebe, co-owner and president of Grebe's Bakery,” says Turner. “I've known Brandon for many years. My wife, Ashley Turner, is the executive chef at East Troy Brewery and we had been visiting with Brandon about bringing on some of his products – buns, rolls, even donuts, etc. – at the brewery.

“Supporting and featuring small and local businesses in our products at East Troy Brewery is something that is very important to the both of us. As the conversations progressed, we naturally turned to beer and donuts, and decided to do a beer/donut collaboration back in January of last year.”

After ideation, the next stage, says Turner, was experimentation.

“We went through several trial batches together and settled on the Imperial Stout,” he says. “We had originally planned to do a huge release party for the beer in late August with bands, fair-style food and even a station to cook up some of Grebe's donuts on site on our patio in East Troy to celebrate.

“COVID, of course, changed everything. We'd still like to do it, though. Who doesn't like live music, beer, and donuts?”

For now, the beer is only available at the brewery’s East Troy taproom, but that will soon change.

“As of now we quietly released the beer on draft at our brewery in East Troy and haven't done much of an advertising push just yet, as Grebe's only just got permission from West Allis to start selling this beer at their store only just a few days ago.

“We soon will have it available at our brewery and at Grebe's in 16-ounce cans and 22-ounce bottles, in addition to on draft at East Troy Brewery.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to try it.

Not sure yet if there will be red velvet and chocolate variations, but when I asked, Turner replied, "We're hoping to do several of these, actually. Good call on the Red Velvet."

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.