By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 10, 2022 at 10:09 AM

Last year, Wisconsin Historical Society announced that it would open a new brewing experience that includes the relocation and renovation of a vintage tavern at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle.


The brewhouse is currently making test batches in its new building, the tavern has been in place since last year, and now the brewhouse is expected to open in June, the step in the bigger project.

Brewing a test batch. (PHOTO: WHS)

The $5.5 million The Brewing Experience – presented by The G. Heileman Brewery and Cleary-Kumm Family – is part of the two-phase New Arrivals Campaign, which will also include a number of new features centered around a new guest entrance complex to welcome its 50,000 annual visitors.

When both phases are complete, there will also be an outdoor beer garden, a hop garden, brewing demonstrations, workshops, tastings, collaborations with Wisconsin brewers and more in the Brewhouse – a gorgeous newly constructed building – as well as in the 1906 Wittnebel’s Tavern, which was moved to the site from Ashippun – in Dodge County, and will be made fully operational.

Inside the brewhouse during construction.

The brewhouse will be the new home of Old World Wisconsin's historic brewing program on which it partners with the Museum of Beer and Brewing.

Rob Novak, who most recently worked at Draft & Vessel, has been hired to coordinate the program.

Novak says Old World Wisconsin is seeking volunteers and paid employees for the Brew House and other historical programs. You can learn more and apply here.

I got a tour of the project last summer:

Here are members of the Wittnebel family talking about their family tavern:

Restoration work on the tavern is ongoing:


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.