By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 12, 2023 at 11:26 AM

UW-Milwaukee Athletics is partnering with brewing incubator and craft brewer Pilot Project Brewing on a new beer.

Panther Pale Ale will be released at the Dec. 13 UWM Panthers men’s basketball home game against Longwood at the UW-Panther Arena at 7 p.m.

The 5 percent ABV American pale ale, which will be available via area retailers, bars and restaurants (as well as at Pilot Project and the UW Panther Arena), is a collaboration between Pilot Project – a Chicago brewer that opened a Milwaukee location in 2022 – Craft Beverage Warehouse, Milwaukee Athletics, the Collegiate Licensing Company and UWM’s Peck School of the Arts.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the beer will go to student scholarships and student-centered programming at the university.

In February, students from Marquette Universary teamed with area brewers on a beer, too.

“Milwaukee Athletics is pleased to support this cross-campus collaboration, highlighted by an opportunity for UWM students to obtain real-world experience, further enhancing the classroom instruction,” said UWM Director of Athletics Amanda Braun in a release on Tuesday.

“This project’s success is the result of the work by many, including proud Panther alumni and our partners within the business community. We are excited to showcase the Milwaukee Panthers’ brand throughout greater Milwaukee.”

The collab is a perfect one for Pilot Project, said co-founder and CEO Dan Abel (who went to UW-Madison).

“As a brewery incubator lowering the barriers to entry in an extremely difficult industry, we have always been interested in partnering with a university,” Abel said.

“We share a mutual goal of investing in the future and creating opportunities for classes of creative people that may not otherwise exist. As neighbors, partnering with UW-Milwaukee was a no-brainer. Not only do we get to make and design a great beer together, we get to celebrate with the university and alumni surrounding us!”

Peck students submitted design options for the beer’s packaging and senior design and visual communications major Gisselle Dominguez created the design that was selected.

“It’s a tribute to the vibrant energy that UWM possesses, which has been a significant source of inspiration in my creative journey,” Dominguez said.

“It’s a celebration, intended to resonate with the diverse and dynamic spirit of UWM. Not only the school, but Milwaukee overall – the city that has fueled my creativity and given me so much opportunity. I am proud to be a UWM Panther.”

“Hands-on learning is what we do best at the Peck School of the Arts,” added Peck Head of School Kevin Hartman.

“This collaboration highlights our dedication to providing occasions for our students to engage with the creative community and industry partners. We’re excited about the final product, we’re very proud of Gisselle, and we are thrilled that the project will support student scholarships.”

The cans are being printed by Milwaukee-based Craft Beverage Warehouse, whose president and co-founder Kyle Stephens is a UWM grad.

“One of the core tenets of our business is community involvement – and what better way to be involved than with one of the most impactful educational institutions in the state,” said Stephens.

“As a Lubar College of Business alumnus, it’s been fun to get into the classroom and share my livelihood and potential career opportunities with design students, and on such a fun beverage product. This multipart collaboration has created a product to bring Panther Nation together. Go Panthers!”

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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.