By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 21, 2022 at 9:26 AM

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On Friday, the owners of Milwaukee Brewing Co., 1127 N. 9th St., announced that the business – including 9th Street brewery and taproom and the Milwaukee Ale House in the Third Ward – is for sale.

According to a press release issued Friday, offers will be accepted this month in the hopes of securing, "a strategic buyer."

The 9th Street location occupies a brilliant remodel of a hulking old Pabst distribution center in the Brewery District. (Read some history of the building here.)

The craft brewery, which opened in 1997 with the opening of the Ale House on Water Street, which includes a small brewhouse, pivoted heavily to contract brewing, leading to a big expansion, over the past couple years.

Before the pandemic, the brewery was turning out about 15,000 barrels a year but last year it was on pace to brew 100,000.

It also expanded into seltzer and launched some new brands, like the MKE IPA and the sessionable Local Haze.

You can read more about all that here.

Packaging line.

"We put our heart and soul into this brewery, building it into the operation it is today,” said primary stockholder Jim Hughes in Friday’s statement.

"We believe in the brewery and people who have been critical to our success but have made the decision to search for a strategic buyer to satisfy internal needs and secure the future of Milwaukee Brewing for decades to come.”

It will be interesting to see who steps up with a offer. Will it be an investment capital group? Will it be another craft brewer? Maybe someone looking for a turnkey entrance into the beer game? Or will it be a macro brewer seeking to add another craft brewer to its portfolio.

Maybe it'll be you?

New Mill Capital has been tapped to sell the company.

Lakefront's massive Drunk Uncle tap takeover

Neal Steffek, whose Drunk Uncle bar in West Alls holds the record for the largest Lakefront Brewery tap takeover ever, is planning to beat his record with Lakefrontmania II, on April 2 and 3.

The event will features 36 Lakefront brews.

“When I started this business in 2014, I only had eight draft lines in the bar, and seven of them belonged to Lakefront Brewery. I have since expanded my options to 48 draft lines and it will be great to get back to the roots of my business and help celebrate some of the best beers in Milwaukee, past and present,” says Steffek, owner of the Drunk Uncle, 1902 S. 68th St.

Even the prolific Lakefront can’t fuel four dozen tap lines, but it can satisfy three dozen of them, says Lakefront’s Brand Activation and Special Events Manager, Mitch DeSantis.

“Neal is wild and I love him for that. In a daring tone he once stated that if Lakefront Brewery had 48 different beer options, he would put them on tap for a big event… I took that as a personal challenge,” DeSantis says.

To meet that demand, Lakefront is pulling out all the stops, including some “special reserve products from the brewery’s cellar” alongside a range of flagships, seasonals and other familiar beers.
The name of the event is a nod to professional wrestling, which Steffek loves, and the event is timed to coincide with WrestleMania weekend.

“Wrestling is real,” says Steffek, and pro wrestling is the last real sport in America.”

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.