It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's 71 stainless steel kegs – formerly foaming with beer – appearing to tumble off the side of Lakefront Brewery, 1872 N. Commerce St., into a remarkably neat stack.
In fact, the kegs – each illuminated with a pair of strands of LED lights that can be programmed in any color combo – are the Kegnado, a hypothetical beer spout of epic proportions, minus the beer, or, more plainly, an art installation.
The Kegnado is a collaboration brew with Retailworks Inc. and local craftsmen. Engineering and design for the project was handled by GRAEF.
"The river and the people of Milwaukee have been very good to us over the years. In trying to give back, our brewery has built one of the most unique and beautiful art pieces that any brewery in the World has ever built," said Lakefront Brewery Co-founder and President, Russ Klisch, in a news release today. "It’s been years in the making.
"We hope this unique project will spur other luminous art installations along the river and encourage people and guests to stroll, kayak or boat up and down the Riverwalk."
The tornado of steel along the RiverWalk will be illuminated in a special ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12. The lights will be tapped, I mean turned on at 7:15.
There will also be an appearance by Lakefront's CurdWagon food truck – serving rainbow-hued curds – and inside the beer hall, you can taste Coast to Costa, a coffee blonde ale made in collaboration with Great Lakes Brewing Company. Growlers will be half-price, too.
After the ceremony, expect to see the lighting combinations change for holidays, the annual arrival of the Lakefront Oktoberfest brew (OK, I made that up) and other important events.
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.