By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 15, 2020 at 5:01 PM

Riveredge Nature Center has been known to partner with local breweries on events and other collabs and now its working with Grafton's Sahale Ale Works on Wisconsinade Gose, an ale that uses Staghorn Sumac from the Saukville nature center.

Wisconsinade Gose is a tart German-style wheat ale brewed with Himalayan pink salt, a common Gose ingredient at Sahale. The sumac adds hints of lemon, flowers, sweet cherry, green tea and other flavors.

Gose is a type of fermented beer that is typically sour with hints of lemon and salt.

The gorgeous, hazy apricot-colored beer is on tap now in the Sahale taproom in the heart of Grafton, and also available in cans to-go. One dollar from each pour and can (50 cents from each short pour) will go to support Riveredge Nature Center.

“We broke up the drupes (or berry clusters) and placed them in a mesh bag," says Sahale's Matthew Hofmann. "At the end of boil we steeped the sumac into the unfermented beer, essentially making a tea with the berries.

"In addition to the flavor, we also drew some color which made the beer a light pink. Native Americans harvested the berries to make a beverage reminiscent of lemonade.”

Five years ago, the Staghorn Sumac population (Rhus typhina)at the 379-acre nature sanctuary was aging and weakening.

Thanks to land management that includes fire and/or cutting disturbance, the sumacs are again doing well, accordiing to Riveredge's Research and Conservation Manager Matt Smith.

“We took these fruits from our most productive and easiest to obtain plant locations,” says Smith. “Staghorn Sumac is vital to provide both a healthy fruit supply for animals, as well as providing cover for them.

"We now also have a harvestable surplus of sumac stems for our Maple Sugar demonstrations in spring, as Sumac stems were the original maple sap tapping spiles."




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.