Black Friday at Lakefront Brewery will be different this year: Beer Biz MKE

Russ Klisch

How will Black Friday look different at Lakefront Brewery this year?

Lakefront Brewery is recognized as the first brewery in the country to embrace Black Friday. It was the first brewery to offer its Black Friday beer on site and even trademarked the Black Friday name.

This year will be the first time the brewery transitions to offering its barrel-aged Black Friday beers in cans, coinciding with Lakefront Brewery’s transition from bottles to cans earlier this year. It will also be the first time since 2019 that the brewery offers Black Friday celebrations inside its taproom at 1872 N. Commerce St. in Milwaukee.

Lakefront Brewery will unveil four different Black Friday beers. They will all be available in 19.2-ounce. cans beginning at 8 a.m. on Nov. 24.

The first beer is the 2023 Black Friday Russian Imperial Stout, a 14.8% alcohol-by-volume (ABV) beer aged in bourbon and brandy barrels.

The second is the 2023 Black Friday Triple Black India Pale Ale, a 9.6% ABV beer with Gratuitous Cascade, Citra, Chinook and Centennial hops.

The third is the 2023 Black Friday Five Year Russian Imperial Stout, a 14.5% ABV beer aged since 2018 in bourbon barrels.

The final beer is the 2023 Black Friday Double Barrel Christmas Cookie Barleywine, a 14.5% ABV barleywine aged in rum and bourbon barrels.

There is no limit to the number of cans customers can purchase. With the purchase of four Black Friday beers, customers will receive a souvenir-dated Black Friday glass on a first come, first served basis.

This will also be the first year since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that Black Friday festivities will return inside the brewery. Since the start of the pandemic, the brewery transitioned to Black Friday pickups and an outdoor event because of safety concerns.

Lakefront Brewery began its Black Friday celebrations in 2011.

“To me, it’s very special to think you’re the innovator out there of this,” Lakefront Brewery owner Russ Klisch said of starting the Black Friday brewery tradition.

Lakefront Brewery will open its CurdWagon and merchandise at 4:30 a.m. It will serve breakfast burritos, cheese curds, hash browns, breakfast croissants and coffee. The brewery will open for main bar service at 8 a.m. The beer hut on Lakefront’s renovated patio will also be open on Black Friday.

This year also marks a change in which Lakefront Brewery licensed its Black Friday trademark to another local beverage producer. Lakefront Brewery has been trading barrels with Milwaukee-based distiller Great Lakes Distillery for many years. This year, Great Lakes will release its Still & Oak Black Friday straight bourbon whiskey, which is finished in Lakefront’s Black Friday imperial stout beer barrels.

Margaret Nazcek, Milwaukee Business Journal

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