By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 10, 2020 at 12:04 PM

While some will be disappointed that Miller was unable to make its seasonal chocolate lager this holiday season, maybe the return of the Miller High Life Champagne bottle, along with some new glassware will help soothe the sorrow.

Frederick Miller Classic Chocolate Lager, an herb and spice Christmas brew, was launched in 2006 as a special beer available only at the Miller Inn during the annual Holiday Lites display in the Miller Valley. In some years, it was also available on tap at select area taverns, too.

Today, a Molson Coors spokesman told me, “we were unable to make the Chocolate Lager this year because of the limitations the pandemic caused, (but it) should be back next year.”
 
However, the Champagne bottles of Miller High Life, another annual tradition these past few years, are back.

In 2016 MillerCoors tested the bigger bottles in the Chicago market and brought them to Milwaukee the following year. In 2018 the bottles became be available nationwide. Last year, Miller put a vending machine of the unique bottles in New York City.

High Life, which Miller positioned as a high-end beer, debuted on Dec. 30, 1903, and the Champagne of Beers tag was a reference to the fact that the beer was packaged in a bottle – a rare luxury back then.

In an effort to help distant friends and loved ones toast one another and the new year with their Champagne of Beers, Miller has created wifi activated coupe glasses with light-up bases.

Purchase a pair – one for you and one for toasting partner, wherever they may be – then follow the directions to connect to your Wi-Fi, and toast from afar.

Visit MHLToastsFromAfar.com on Dec. 15 to get a pair of the limited-edition glassware for $19.03, naturally (while supplies last). All the details are there.

And to find a retailer for the 750ml High Life Champagne of Beers bottles, check out this locator.

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 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.