By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 04, 2022 at 12:15 PM

Last week, Third Space Brewing, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., threw a party to celebrate the second phase of its three-stage Menomonee Valley tap room and beer garden overhaul.

That second phase focused on the newly air conditioned taproom and private events space, which included refreshing the menu board and back bar. There’s now a geometric mural in three shades of green that runs along the entire north wall of the space.

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There are also new custom tables, as well as some banquettes – a first for the tap room – along with new lighting, new paint, two large TVs, a privacy curtain and upgraded A/V equipment in the events space, as well as an upgraded taproom sound system that’s coming soon.

The first phase took place last year, when Third Space upgraded its beer garden, which got an expansion after mother nature toppled an adjoining structure.

Outside, there’s seating for 80, a green space for yard games, firepits with seating and an outdoor bar.

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A dedicated outdoor events space can accommodate up to 240 guests.

The third phase will also take place outside, with the addition of a big covered deck that will connect the interior taproom to the outdoor space.

There will also be upgraded lighting and sound systems.

According to Third Space Co-Founder and President, Andy Gehl, “The goal of the tap room refresh is to make our brewery an even more inviting ‘third space’ for our guests and a go-to event space for private parties,” says Third Space Co-Founder and President Andy Gehl.

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“Our company’s vision is to provide a welcoming third space for all. Brewing high-quality beer and employing friendly and welcoming staff are key components to achieving that vision but it starts with the space itself being warm and inviting.”

In other news, Third Space has obtained a license to make and sell wine, cider and mead, so expect to see expansion into those areas, too.

"Right now we are just purchasing and selling wine by the glass from established wineries but we will be playing around with some wine-based beverage concepts, especially in the mead realm," Gehl says.

“The Tap Room Tune Up Party was a blast,” says Gehl of the event last week. “It was fun to see people's reactions to all of the changes around the tap room.

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“People especially love the new seating and the back bar and we heard a lot of excitement around the new outdoor deck spaces for the upcoming summer beer garden season.”

The party also saw the return of Java Blanca Coffee Cream Ale, brewed in collaboration with Stone Creek Coffee, and is a a West Coast Pilsner called Cool Kids, brewed in collaboration with Neenah’s Lion’s Tail Brewing Company, which is currently building a second brewery and tap room in Wauwatosa.

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 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.