By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 24, 2022 at 2:28 PM

Each year that Gathering Place Brewing Company has hosted its great Lager & Friends festival, it has made a collab beer with one of the festival participants.

This year, that partner is KC Bier Co., a brewery I fell in love with when I visited Kansas City last year and which, I know, KC native Joe Yeado – founder of Gathering Place – also loves.

KC Bier Founder Steve Holle and Head Brewer Karlton Graham did a virtual collab with Gathering Place’s Head Brewer Corey Blodgett – which had initially been planned as an in-person one in Milwaukee – to create Landbier Dunkel, which will debut at the fourth annual Lager & Friends Beer Festival, Saturday, June 4, at Old Heidelberg Park, 700 W. Lexington Blvd. in Glendale.

“Doing a Collaboration with KC Bier Co. has always been a dream of ours,” said Blodgett. “Landbier Dunkel grew out of our shared passion for German Lagers. We brewed their flagship, Dunkel, using ingredients almost entirely from the Midwest. It is truly a dark beer from the region.”

Lager & Friends tickets, which are $55, include a take home 16-ounce four-pack of the collaboration beer. The tickets, available here, also get you a commemorative festival glass and unlimited sampling of more than 60 beers.

“Including a collaboration four-pack to take home from Lager & Friends truly is a unique offering for a beer festival.” said Joe Yeado, Founder of Gathering Place Brewing. “I have long admired the quality and authenticity of KC Bier Co. and can’t wait for event attendees to taste this collaboration.”

I can't wait to try it as KC Bier's dunkel is not only my favorite beer of theirs, but rekindled my love for this sweet dark lager. Three 12-packs of KC Bier (dunkel, pilsner and kellerbier) were all I brought home from my trip, besides a KC Bier T-shirt.

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.