By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 08, 2021 at 4:01 PM

One of the most exciting kick-off events for this year’s Valley Week in the Menomonee River Valley is the Third Space Brewing 5th Anniversary Party at the brewery and taproom, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., Sept. 25, from 2 until 10 p.m.

Admission is free.


Rock the Green partnership

Each year, Third Space partners with a local nonprofit to support at the event and this year it has selected Rock the Green.

“This year the anniversary theme is ‘celebrating the past with our eyes on the future,” stsaysated Third Space Brewing Co-Founder and President, Andy Gehl. “Our anniversary party is a great opportunity to have some fun with our team and our loyal customers while doing some good for the community.

“We chose Rock the Green as our partner this year because they know how to throw a great party for a good cause. We love their mission to create a more sustainable ecosystem in concert with each other.”

The party will be fueled by live music provided by local bands beginning at 3 p.m.: V Funk, De La Buena andDerek Pritzl & the Gamble.

And the music will be fueled by people power. The Rock the Green pedal-powered stage minimizes the environmental impact of the lights and sound on the stage. Creating that power will be Black Girls Do Bike, Cadence, The Velo Femmes and the Tosa Spokesmen.

“A goal of this party and Rock the Green, is to have a maximum impact on landfill diversion by incorporating zero-waste methods including waste reclamation stations, food served on compostable serving ware and, of course, the crowd-pleasing pedal-powered stage, while providing on-site eco-education from our Eco-Champ’ partners,” says Rock the Green Founder & Executive Director, Lindsay Stevens.

“We love producing events that shine a light on sustainability, have a minimal impact on the environment and educate and engage attendees about how we can all pitch in to improve the health of the environment to live more sustainably.”

The party will also include eo-education from the Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Teens Grow Greens, the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO), the Education and Outreach Work Group of the City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity and others.

Providing food will be Twisted Plants, Hidden Kitchen and Triciclo Peru food trucks, which will all dish up locavore food on compostable serving ware.


New beer

Of course, there’s beer, too, as Third Space launches a pair of special birthday brews at the event.

One is a Rock the Green IPA, which will be available on tap and in six-pack 12-ounce cans. Twenty-five percent of proceeds from sales of the beer will be donated to Rock the Green.

The second brew is the more notable for the brewery as it marks the first time – but not the last, apparently, as they’re calling it the “start of a new tradition” – Third Space is releasing Five, a 16 percent ABV solera beer, which refers to the method of barrel-aging the brew.

“This special beer employs the Solera aging process used most notably in the aging of Sherry wine,” says to Third Space Brewing Co-Founder & Brewmaster, Kevin Wright. “The beer moves through three layers of different spirit barrels over time, each time leaving some beer behind to add age and complexity to the next year’s blend.


“It’s a complicated process and a unique beer recipe that will be fun to compare year-after-year as the blends built upon one another.”

Third Space’s solera includes a mix of bourbon, brandy and PX Sherry casks and by the time it’s released, says Gehl, it will have rested approximately 12 months in bourbon barrels, four months in brandy casks and six months in Sherry wood.

“Over time we will modify the aging lengths and recipes slightly and each year's new blend will have portions of each of the previous year's blends included,” he adds. “It should be really fun to compare each year's blend to previous ones.”

As you might expect, the beer’s name will change, sequentially, each year. So next year’s will be called Six.

The beer that went into the barrels, says Gehl, is unlike anything else Third Space has brewed.

“It's a unique recipe that Kevin created to match the flavor profile he was looking for which was inspired by the character of a Sherry, actually,” he says. “The recipe is closest to an Old Ale or English Barleywine, but is very much its own thing. We brewed it with raisin juice and local honey.  

The first batch was brewed in November 2019 and went into 16 Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

After a year, it went into 12 brandy barrels that were ex-Buffalo Trace bourbon casks.

“We left 25 percent of the original batch behind and then topped up the bourbon barrels with a brand new batch,” says Gehl, noting that the 2022 starter batch had a slightly tweaked recipe.

“In March 2021, we moved the beer again, this time into six imported PX Sherry barrels, again leaving a portion of the beer behind in the brandy barrels. At that time we moved the 2022 beer from the bourbon into the brandy as well and filled the bourbon barrels with 2023's future blend, again with a slightly tweaked recipe.”

At the party, Third Space will also tap some other new brews and past favorites, too.

Third Space Brewing is offering a special Solera Package for $60 that includes two bottles of “Five”, a 5th Anniversary commemorative glass, a pour of Five, and early access to the party to spend some time with the brewery’s founders to learn more about this new anniversary tradition.

A $35 VIP Package – $10 goes to Rock the Green – includes the 5th Anniversary glass, a pour of one of the 5th Anniversary beers and access to a VIP section in Third Space Brewing’s recently expanded beer garden space.

You’ll get dedicated seating, extra shade in the sun-drenched beer garden, primo stage viewing spots and special VIP-only beers.

You can also pre-order single bottles of Five for $25 each to pick up at the event or a special combined VIP + Solera Package that includes everything listed above for $75.

Learn more and purchase ticket packages here.

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.