By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 14, 2024 at 4:36 PM

Kegel’s Inn, 5901 W. National Ave., is partnering with the War Memorial Center and The Explorium Brewpub on the second in its series of beers celebrating the family owned restaurant’s 100th anniversary.

A limited-edition American light lager (4.8 percent ABV) called 200 Yards will be released on Friday, May 24 in 16-ounce four-pack cans. It will be available only at the War Memorial Center’s Beer Garden, 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., operated by Kegel’s.

A pre-sale link is here.

The name of the beer – which is being released to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, which occurs on June 6 – is a D-Day reference.

“Allied Forces had to traverse 200 yards under withering enemy fire to clear the beaches at Normandy. Designed to stop and eliminate all of the invading forces at close arms range, German Field Marshall Erwin Romen knew if the Allies took Normandy, it was the beginning of the end for Nazi-controlled Europe,” according to Dan Buttery, President/CEO of the War Memorial Center.

“Architect Eero Saarinen, designer of Milwaukee’s War Memorial Center, interviewed four Veterans of the Normandy landings in the 1950s to draw inspiration for the Center’s design. He intended to place the pillbox-inspired building 200 yards from the shores of Lake Michigan to visually remind citizens of how far the Allied forces had to struggle to clear the beaches in 1944.”

According to Buttery, half of the forces that landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day were Allied Combat Engineers whose job it was to clear mines and others obstacles to allow troops to land effectively.

The Explorium’s owner Mike Doble, whose team brewed the beer, is a former U.S. Army Combat Engineer officer.

“It’s an honor to help remember the heroes who fought and died to protect freedom, even with this small token of support,” says Doble.

The beer’s label art includes imagery that highlights the way the pillbox design influenced Saarinen’s War Memorial building.

The first beer in the Kegel’s series – Kegel Brau Centennial Lager, brewed with all-German ingredients by Mobcraft – was released in early February.

Other beers planned for the series include:

  • Giggle Water Berliner Weisse, 5 percent, to be released in June, brewed by 1840 Brewing
  • Lakefront / Hofbrau Sommerbier, 6 percent, kellerbier, brewed by Lakefront and Hofbrau
  • Shuttered Saloons Schwarzbier (dark lager), 7 percent, brewed by 1840 Brewing
  • Trap Door in the Floor Dunkel, 6 percent, brewed by Broken Bat
  • True Confessions: Great Grandma was a Criminal Barrel-Aged Doppelbock, ABV TBD, December, MobCraft

Read about the history of Kegel's Inn
in this Urban Spelunking story

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.