By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 22, 2023 at 1:35 PM

One of the coolest beer festivals in town has been Lager & Friends, organized by Gathering Place.

Now celebrating five years, the event was fun even when it was online during COVID. I loved the virtual tour of Chicago's Dovetail Brewery one of those years.

This year's event takes place Saturday, May 20, from noon to 4 p.m. and tickets are $50. Once again, it's at the Bavarian Bierhaus in Glendale.

Lager & Friends, as you might expect, celebrates lager beer in its many forms.

A list of participating breweries is here.

Each year, Gathering Place also does a collab brew with one of the participating breweries. This year's partner has not yet been named but last year it was KC Bier Co., which was pretty formidable.

The ticket price gets you unlimited samples of more than 60 lagers from around the country; a four-pack of 16-ounce cans of the collab brew; a commemorative glass, a sticker and a coupon for 20 percent off a purchase in participating brewery taprooms.

A $15 Designated Driver option gets you the glass, sticker, coupon and soft drinks.

Gathering Place and the nonprofit Guitars 4 Vets, which helps veterans suffering from PTSD, will partner on a Music Bingo game during the festival. Attendees can win prizes and proceeds benefit Guitars 4 Vets.

Players can register ahead of time on the brewery website, or when they check in to the festival.

“We wanted to do something special for the festival’s 5th anniversary.” said Gathering Place Marketing Associate Michelle Braun.

“Having Guitars 4 Vets host Music Bingo during the event gives us an awesome opportunity to have fest-goers donate to a wonderful cause, while also having an interactive, engaging addition to our beer fest. Collectively we can help raise awareness of the work this amazing nonprofit does for its community.”

Get your tickets online 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 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.