By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 30, 2021 at 9:06 AM

Wisconsin IPA Fest returns to Third Space Brewing, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., in the Menomonee Valley, for the fifth year.

Taking place out in the beer garden, the event – 2-5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 28 – crowns the Badger State’s best IPA.

There will be hundreds of IPAs to taste and state brewers will judge the best of the best in a peer-judged competition to pick the best in state. Guests also get to vote on their favorites.

 “We created the Wisconsin IPA Fest to showcase the awesome hoppy beers brewers are making in Wisconsin," says Third Space co-founder Andy Gehl. "The coasts always get the love when it comes to IPAs but we are making great hoppy beers right here in the Midwest, too.

"That’s why we called Happy Place a Midwest Pale Ale – technically it’s a pale ale and not an IPA, just to be clear – and it’s why we created the Wisconsin IPA Fest.”

Early bird tickets are available now for $49 and include all the beer you can responsibly sample, along with a limited edition IPA Fest pint glass and sticker. The price rises to $59 on July 10.

One of the most anticipated features of the fest is the annual collab IPA that Third Space creates with another Wisconsin brewer. This year’s was made with the 2020 Virtual IPA Fest People’s Choice Winner, Waukesha’s Raised Grain Brewing.

That beer has not yet been made, so what it will be – beyond the obvious fact that it'll be an IPA – is still something of a mystery. Third Space co-founder and brewmaster Kevin Wright will meet with Raised Grain next month to get going on it.

"The recipe will be developed soon but we won’t brew it until August so it will be super fresh at the Fest," says Gehl.

A VIP experience ($99) includes a four-pack of the new collaboration, early bird entry at 1 p.m., access to a VIP lounge, a T-shirt and access to a VIP bar that will pour some exclusive brews (plus you get the sticker and glass).

There will also be a variety of food trucks on hand to help you build a base, as well as a make-your-own-T-shirt station to create a memento of the event.

Buy your tickets here.

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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.