By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 24, 2022 at 12:02 PM

Hops for Hearts, a beer tasting event to help fund Project Bubaloo, a local nonprofit that helps to fund congenital heart disease research, is back.

The event, which debuted at the Domes in 2020, raising $40,000, returns on Friday, March 25, from 7 until 10 p.m., at Coast and the Miller Room, 931 E. Wisconsin Ave.


“I started this non for profit after I lost my son Theo in 2018 to CHD and other complications,” says Callie Chiroff. “Over the past four years we have raised over $300,000 to improve the lives of people with CHD and with a goal of no parent ever having to say goodbye to their child.”

The tasting event, which includes live music by Rebel Grace’s Jeremy and Amileigha, will feature the beers of 10 breweries, including 1840, Third Space, Lakefront, Component, Westallion, 1 of Us, Supermoon, War Pigs, New Glarus and Black Husky.

There will also be food from Zilli Hospitality, an online auction and a 50/50 raffle at the event, which is hosted by Alley Faith from 103.7 Kiss FM.


Some of the auction items include a Brewers vs. Yankees box with 20 tickets, seven parking passes and food/beverage worth $4,ooo; a Kohler spa package; a charter fishing trip;  signed Bucks Gear; Bunzel's meat raffle, and poker coaching and instruction from a World Series of Poker Champion.

The presenting sponsor is the Josh Lindblom Foundation, set up by the eponymous Brewers pitcher, whose daughter has congenital heart disease.

“We are expecting 400 patrons and have a goal of raising $20,000 for our research fund,” says Chiroff. “We want to appeal to beer drinkers who want to make a difference.”

OnMilwaukee had a moving, in-depth article on Theo and his parents’ struggle, and the launch of Project Bubaloo when the first Hops for Hearts event was announced two years ago. You can read that article here.

Project Bubaloo also organizes a series of Heart and Sole run/walk events. It funds projects at Children’s Wisconsin, including a quality improvement feeding project in the cardiac intensive care unit and an annual nursing research lectureship at Children's Wisconsin.

“The money raised at this event will go specifically to our Project Bubaloo research fund,” says Chrioff. “We have a board comprised of parents, physicians, nurses and therapists, and after the money is raised, we send out a call for applications. Researchers from around the Midwest apply for the grant money to support the CHD research that they are doing.

“When you come to our event you are making a direct impact and know exactly where your money is going. It fulfills our mission of advancing the quality of care to those affected by congenital heart disease. CHD is the most common birth defect and the No. 1 cause of infant related death, so we feel the community needs to be aware and involved so we can continue to make a difference.”

Tickets for Hops for Hearts are $65 – money very well spent – which includes commemorative glass and food, and can be purchased here.

In other beer news this week:

Pabst Blue Ribbon announced the 10 winners of its annual Art Can Contest and Milwauke’s Alyssa Borkowski (aka NeatCoolFun) is among them. She, and each of the winners, will not only have their artwork printed on PBR cans, they’ll each also get $10,000.

Read more about the contest and Borkowski’s submission here.

A detail of Alyssa Borkowski's winning entry.X

On Monday, Molson Coors, which owns Miller, announced it will donate $1 million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to support the leadership development and education programs for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the next three years.

In the past 35 years, the brewing giant has donated more than $10 million to TMCF.

Eagle ParkX

Eagle Park is celebrating Mardi Gras with two taproom-only can releases this weekend.

Double Push Play is the brewery’s flagship American pale ale (7.5 percent) that’s amped up to 11, and Born on the Bayou is a 9.5 percent ABV pastry stour with Cafe du Monde chicory coffee and milk sugar.

Members only release is Friday, Feb. 25 and Saturday at 11 is the public release. Both taprooms.

Miller sister brewery Hop Valley is issuing a Spring Break Hazy Days multipack with fruity IPAs, including Operation Vacation (peach/pear, dry-hopped with Simcoe Cryo hops), Pineapple Stash House (pineapple, also Simcoe Cryo), Stash Panda (Grapefruit, Citra Cryo) and Stash Bandicoot (apricot/berries, Citra, Ahtanum, and Chinook Cryo hops).

Next weekend, March 4-6, Sand Valley Golf Club in Nekoosa hosts its second annual Brews & Brats Weekend, which focuses on regional and local craft breweries, including  New Glarus, 3 Sheeps Brewing, Founders Brewing, Hinterland Brewery, Milwaukee Brewing Co, Surly Brewing Co. and others.

There will be tastings, beer pairing dinners, gourmet brats and other comfort food stations, live music, cigars, games, outdoor activities and more. For details go here.

Stay tuned next week for details from Riverwest’s Amorphic Brewing on its three-day celebration of Pi Day, which is March 14. Brewer/co-owner Ron Hockersmith promises “several beer releases, engineering challenges for everyone and an astrophysics presentation from UWM.”

Not long after Pi Day, it’ll be Spring already, so expect news of the coming season’s beer gardens to begin to emerge! Slainte!

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.