By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 07, 2023 at 8:30 AM

Lakefront Brewery is brewing its own Save A Weiss 988 collaboration brew to help raise awareness of National Suicide Prevention Week, which begins Sunday, Sept. 10.

The beer was created as a fundraiser by Phoenix-based O.H.S.O Brewing and is being brewed by craft beer makers around the country.

Unlike other such projects, this one did not create a special recipe but rather encourages brewers to rename any beer 988 to help raise funds and awareness.

"Rename or relabel any beer, whether it’s a beer on your tap list or a beer you distribute, the important thing is to get the 988 number in front of people and start conversations," reads the project website.

"If you want to brew a special batch, that’s great too! Can it or simply put it on tap. This collaboration is open to your creativity."

For its release, Lakefront renamed a Hefeweizen it created for German Fest.

From Sunday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept. 17, $1 from every pint sold of Save A Weiss German-style wheat ale will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Wisconsin, which offers prevention and education programs as well fundraising for research and more.

"For me, the number 988 is more than just a phone number," says O.H.S.O owner Jon Lane. "It represents life, something that can’t be summed up in a paragraph. I’ve lost too many close friends to suicide, and at one point, I even considered taking my own life.

"Now, as a 50-year-old who loves my wife and kids, I want to live forever. I consider myself lucky to have found my way back to the light. I would do anything in my power to prevent the list of people I’ve lost to suicide from growing any longer.  Life is short, but it’s precious. Let’s do what we can to help each other and make it longer. That’s why I urge you to support suicide prevention by spreading the word about 988."

The three-digit number was officially designated as a national lifeline for mental health crisis and suicide prevention services in summer 2020 by the Federal Communications Commission.

According to a Lakefront statement, the brewery, "sees their Save A Weiss 988 beer as a way to bring awareness to the service that provides a listening ear to anyone that needs it, at any time."

Because the brewery is closed for a private event on Monday, Sept. 11, the fundraising effort is extended a day beyond the official National Suicide Prevention Week.

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.