By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 11, 2020 at 10:01 AM

As has become tradition, Lakefront Brewery will launch its much-anticipated Black Friday brews this year. But when they go on sale on Friday, Nov. 27, it won't be at the Commerce Street brewery.

Instead, with COVID-19 cases surging, the annual line-encouraging release event will be canceled and the three brews will be distributed to more than 100 Milwaukee-area liquor stores, including Otto's, Discount Liquor and Total Wine, to name but a few.

In addition to the 5,000 bottles of the new beer, retailers will also get 3,000 bottles of the 2019 Black Friday, according to brand manager Michael Stodola.

“So, at this point, 2020 has become a punchline and even Black Friday won’t be spared this weird moment in our history.” said Stodola. “It may be a treasure hunt for some folks, but there are 5,000 2020 Black Friday bottles and 3,000 2019 Black Friday out there, waiting to be found.”

Here are the details on the new beers, with descriptions provided by the brewery.

2020 Black Friday Imperial Stout – Lakefront’s biggest stout has been aging in bourbon barrels all year long. This year’s vintage is one of the best Black Fridays brewed and sports a 14.2% abv.

2020 Black Friday Barleywine – With flavors of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, almond and oak, the Black Friday Barleywine has been aging in bourbon barrels since February. It has a 14.9% abv.

2020 Black Friday Christmas Ale – Featuring holiday spices and complex depth that have been aged in Wollersheim brandy barrels all year. Perfect for holiday enjoyment and has a 13% abv.

5-year-old Black Friday V – It’s been in bourbon barrels for over 5 years and will be bottled as a 750mL. It will be available at the brewery only. More information to come.

“We’re doing our very best to keep Covid at bay, and doing a good job of it,” said Lakefront President and Founder, Russ Klisch. “Which is why we decided not to have a party with a couple thousand of our friends. They can find Black Friday at their favorite stores and we’ll be back to a big Brewery release again next year.”

For more information on the Black Friday release, visit


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.