By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 23, 2020 at 1:29 PM

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday life, but it doesn't need to change who we are. So, in addition to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus, OnMilwaukee will continue to report on cool, fun, inspiring and strange stories from our city and beyond. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed and stay joyful. We're all in this together. #InThisTogetherMKE

New Barons Brewing Coop – organizers of the recent Beer Drive-Thru sales events – has launched a virtual toasting movement as a sign of solidarity with Milwaukee bartenders.

Join the New Barons Bartender Cheers group on Facebook and then follow these rules from New Barons:

  • GRAB A DRINK: We prefer beer & encourage it to be a can of (New Barons) Hopped by Ziggy (juicy IPA) or another pint of New Barons Beer, but any beverage will do.
  • SEND A CHEERS: Snap a photo or record a video toasting your favorite bar/beertender.
  • GET CREATIVE: Seriously. Impersonate your favorite bartender, drink out of something that isn’t normally drunk out of, wear a costume. The crazier the better.
  • SUBMIT YOUR CHEERS: Post your submission to this group page – for it to count you must tag or note in your post the bartender you are sending a cheers to! Feel free to give a shout out to their place of employment if you want as well!
  • WIN STUFF:
  1. The bartender with the most cheers by May 10​ will get a $250 "tip" from New Barons.
  2. The submission with the most "reacts" will win a free six-pack of Hopped by Ziggy.
  3. New Barons member owners will vote on their favorite submission, winner of which will receive a one-of-a-kind trophy to commemorate the competition!

"The ultimate goal of this group is to show some love to the people we miss the most ... the beer and bartenders of Milwaukee," said New Barons Marketing Director Sarah Hand.

"Many are unemployed and times are tough. The least we could do is create a friendly competition to get creative, show how bad we miss them, spread a laugh or two throughout the industry and to give away $250!"

The group was created a couple days ago and already has more than 530 members and about 150 posts.

"Not only are so many of them in a tight spot financially," says New Barons’ Heidi Dalibor of area bartenders, "but for those that make a living serving patrons and often being the lifeblood of their respective establishments, it is very difficult to be at home with little to no social outlet,"

"New Barons mission, as a cooperative brewery, has always been to bring people together and since we can't physically do that, this was our way of creating that space.

"As a person who has bartended for over a decade in Milwaukee, it has been truly moving looking through all the memories people have shared as well as the funny and creative videos people have come up with. I am hoping that it is putting smiles on people's faces and making people laugh!"

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