By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 28, 2023 at 4:08 PM

Weird Fest is back for its fifth installment at MobCraft Beer, 505 S. 5th St., and this year it will also serve as the brewery’s 10th anniversary party.

The annual festival fueled by oddball brews returns on Saturday, July 22 from noon to 8 p.m., both out on Virginia Street and inside the Walker’s Point taproom.

Mushroom Marzen
Mushroom Marzen

As always, Mondo Lucha wrestling will be on tap, along with  live music, food from trucks and the MobCraft kitchen, belly dancers, face painters, local vendors, and beer, too, of course.

"Clover plant shop, Style Pop Cafe, and face painting by Christian Sis have all become staples at Weird Fest,” says Event & Programming Manager Elise Strupp. “We're welcoming back 'Fishing for Bangers' vintage clothing game show which was an instant hit last year.

Dill pickle
Legit Dill Pickle Wit

“Aime's Botanicals and Blooms and Chillwaukee popsicles are new this year, along with Lili's Art Boutique, Moose Vintage, and Kelly's Greens."

Cover band Dad Strength will play toward the end of the event, after a pair of earlier performances by Overflow.

Admission to the family friendly event is free.

But what about the beer?

The MobCraft tap lines will be rocking the usual lineup of flagships, alongside seasonals and limited-releases.

Crush Mango Cayenne

Plus, for the 10th anniversary, there will be a bourbon barrel-agediImperial stout, which is a blend of beer aged in a 12-year Elijah Craig barrel and a 5-year Evan Williams barrel with vanilla beans and coffee.

This one will only be available in extremely limited four-packs of cans to-go.

Then there are the weird beers for which the festival is named. This year’s include:

Mango Habanero Crush, a mango smoothie-style beer with habanero heat; Dill Pickle Sour Ale with cucumbers, fresh dill and spices; and Mushroom Mobtoberfest Marzen-style ale with shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms.

There will also be unique beer cocktails, the details of which will be announced at a later date on the MobCraft website prior to the event.

“All of our brewers are excited for this year's Weird Fest releases,” says co-owner Andrew Gierczak. “Dill pickle sour showcases our staff's love of gardening and canning and Mango Habanero Crush is going to have a spicy and tantalizing kick to our incredibly popular smoothie-style beer.

“My personal prize of this year's Weird Fest is our Mushroom beer, a Marzen base beer which combines three different types of mushrooms to create a one-of-a-kind flavor that is as tasty as it is satisfying. This is the third iteration of a mushroom beer we have done for Weird Fest and our best one yet!”

For more information and a schedule, visit the Weird Fest web site.

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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.