By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 19, 2021 at 3:35 PM

In celebration of the Milwaukee County Historical Society’s new “Milwaukee: Where the Waters Meet” exhibition, the society has collaborated with Indeed Brewing on a new Irish-style stout that commemorates the tragic sinking of the Lady Elgin in 1860.

Lady Elgin Foreign Extra Stout will be released next week to coincide with the current show, which examines Milwaukee’s relationship with water from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

The beer is part of Indeed’s Indeed We Can collab series which raises funds for nonprofit partners. One dollar from the sale of every Lady Elgin Foreign Extra Stout on March 10 will go to MCHS.

About 300 lives were lost when the Lady Elgin sank on Lake Michigan on its return from a charter trip to Chicago on Sept. 8, 1860. The ship, many of the passengers of which were connected to the Third Ward’s Irish Union Guard, was struck by a schooner.

“Collaboration is essential to our mission of preserving and promoting the history of Milwaukee. We are so grateful to partner with Indeed Brewing because they truly understand and support that mission,” says MCHS Curator Ben Barbera.

“The sinking of the Lady Elgin devastated the Irish community in Milwaukee in 1860. By partnering with Indeed Brewing to make this beer, we hope to honor not only their place in our history, but also the contributions of all immigrants to Milwaukee.”

The 9 percent ABV stout, with 50 IBU, is dark black with aromas of roasted coffee and a medium to full body.

The beer will hit tap lines at Indeed on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Maya Ophelia’s will be on site from 4 until 9 p.m. with its from-scratch, vegan comfort food.

There will also be bluegrass music from members of Chicken Wire Empire and The MilBillies from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

A virtual program about the Lady Elgin disaster and beer will take place on Thursday, March 4 from MCHS’ Facebook page.

I'm getting a taste of Lady Elgin early next week and will report back.


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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.