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Kevin Wright of Third Space and Jimmy Gohsman of City Lights collaborated on a limited wild rice lager. (PHOTO: Menomonee Valley Partners)

City Lights and Third Space collaborate on wild rice lager for Valley Week

City Lights Brewing and Third Space Brewing have partnered on a collaboration brew that will be launched on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 4:30 p.m. to kick off Valley Week, which runs Sept. 21 through 28, an annual fall celebration that showcases the ever-changing and evolving Menomonee Valley.

The new, limited beer is a lager called Menomonee River Valley Urban Escape and it's brewed with wild rice in honor of the fact that the valley was long a source of that grain for the native peoples.

In fact, the word "menominee" is derived from the Algonquin word for "rice."

A group including members of a dozen businesses in the Valley, as well as brewers Jimmy Gohsman of City Lights and Kevin Wright of Third Space, got together to discuss the idea for a beer and the the idea of using wild rice was hatched (pictured below).

It's an ingredient neither brewery has tried in the past.

"It will be golden in color with a unique nutty flavor from the rice," says Third Space's Andy Gehl. "It's hopped with Tettnang, a German noble variety. It will be herbal and floral with some spicy notes; 6 percent (ABV)."

Proceeds from the beer, which will be on tap at both breweries during Valley Week, will benefit Menomonee Valley Partners' efforts in the Menomonee Valley.

"The transformation of the Menomonee River Valley is monumental and a testament to the collective efforts of many, many partners over the last two decades. It seems only fitting that we celebrate by toasting this milestone – with a commemorative beer made by two breweries who have been key to turning the Valley into an urban escape," said Corey Zetts, executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners, in a statement.

The neighborhood brew follows on the heels of a recent collaborative brewing effort by the four craft brewers in the Riverwest neighborhood. Details of that beer can be found here.

Here's to hoping every Milwaukee neighborhood gets a beer to call its own.

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