By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 12, 2018 at 9:01 AM

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Milwaukee Brewing Co. didn’t really need to add another IPA to its portfolio that already includes Hop Happy, Hop Freak –  a potent double IPA laced with Rishi jasmine tea – and Citrus Happy, which adds grapefruit juice.

But the more the merrier, right?

"The era of the IPA has arrived in Milwaukee," says Milwaukee Brewing Co. CEO Jim McCabe. "As our market has matured and Wisconsin craft beer drinkers have become very savvy, there is a demand for modern flavors and experiences."

Don’t worry about duplication, because the new MKE IPA – launched in February – and Hop Happy are not especially alike.


MKE IPA rolling off the line at Milwaukee Brewing Co. (PHOTO: Jordan Crawford)

While Hop Happy’s got a kick of 7.7% ABV and a subtler IBU of 51, MKE IPA is not quite session-level in terms of alcohol, clocking in at 5.5%.

It’s blend of Citra and Mosaic hops – and a scaling-back on the malt – that boost its IBU up to 60, giving it a nice flavor profile. Hop Happy, for the record, uses a blend of Columbus, Cascade and Fuggle hops. This contrasts nicely with the sweetness that Hop Happy gets from the addition of oats to the mash.

While both boast a citrus quality, the juicy new IPA boosts it, with hints of grapefruit as well as other tropical aromas like mango.

"As beer geeks ourselves, we are constantly experimenting with new flavors, trying other beers, etc.," says McCabe.

"Over the last six months, our talented brewing crew each put together an IPA that was their personal favorites. We whittled it down to the MKE IPA recipe, which incorporates and features Mosaic and Citra hops. These are newer varieties that were not even available when Hop Happy was released."

Because the new brew is a Milwaukee IPA, Milwaukee Brewing Co. has wrapped the new brew in the People’s Flag of Milwaukee.

Read more about MKE Brewing Co.’s new brewery on the site of the old Pabst Brewery 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 an episode of TV's "Party of Five," 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.