By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 01, 2023 at 9:45 AM

As we noted back in November in this post, Lakefront Brewery is ditching its bottles and going to all cans, in an attempt to cut costs and ease its carbon footprint.

Lakefront has been using bottles across its 35-year existence, but also began introducing cans in 2017.

According to spokesman Michael Stodola, some small-tank series and special beers for accounts may still be packaged in 500mL bottles.

Benefits of cans including cutting costs, improving shipping efficiency, better preservation of beer, fasting cooling, less use of cardboard packaging and more.

The addition of a canning line – Lakefront has used other breweries to can its beer – at the Commerce Street brewery means the bottling line has to go, says founder and President Russ Klisch.

“We wish we had the room for both canning and bottling, but in our historic brewery building, space is very limited. And considering all the benefits, all cans were, by far, the way to go.”

The new canning line was made, in large part, by Waukesha-based KHS, and the labeler is a product of Krones in Franklin.

The system's conveyor is made by Oshkosh-based Arrowhead Conveyor Corporation in Oshkosh.

“We had been canning a few brands via Stevens Point brewery,” said Lakefront’s Director of Brewery Operations, David Karrer. “But obviously, all our brands will now be canned here in Milwaukee. We soon will have the ability to can from 8-ounces to 19.2-ounces; from four-packs to 24-packs.”

The canning line should be running by the end of the month, but bottles will still be available for a few more months.

Last January, Sprecher, which also had long used bottles for its beer, switched entirely to cans, too.

Remember to recycle your cans (as well as bottles and Pak-Tech can holders, which are now made from No. 2 plastic, which is recyclable in Milwaukee!), but resist the urge to smash them before you do. To learn more about recycling beer packaging, read this.

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.