New Barons' John Degroote and Heidi Dalibor are working to ready the coop's new facility for the public.
New Barons' John Degroote and Heidi Dalibor are working to ready the coop's new facility for the public.

New Barons' new brewery and taproom marks a return to roots

For the first time in its three-year brewing history, New Barons Brewing Cooperative will have its own taproom and brewery.

New Barons – the state’s first cooperatively owned brewery, with nearly 250 member owners – will occupy the former Enlightened Brewing space in the Lincoln Warehouse, 2018 S. 1st St.

"We started out brewing here," says CEO John Degroote. "We’ve been here all along, just not in a consumer-facing capacity."

So, you might call this a return to its roots for New Barons, which will continue brewing on a system it knows well.

"We are currently working with New Barons to have them take the equipment and have yet to finalize that deal, (but) we are confident we can get it done since we have such a good relationship with them," says Enlightened co-owner James Larson.

Enlightened, which started in 2015 a small second-floor space at Lincoln Warehouse that is now occupied by Component Brewing, moved into a larger space in Bay View, 2020 S. Allis St., last year. It kept the Lincoln Warehouse brewery after the move.

"We were operating both locations for a short period of time, both production and retail," says Larson. "The intended use of the space was to help us develop a pilot program to drive some really fun cool side project beers out on draft to see how they did.

"We quickly realized that having two breweries meant needing to have two or three of everything and that the small production team we operate with was overworked, a lot of the fun was being lost on the project."

The 1,700-square-foot space is a high-profile one with street frontage on the busy corner of Becher and South 1st Street.

New Barons’ Degroote and Heidi Dalibor – who were the driving forces behind the four Beer Drive-Thru events that took place between late March and mid-May – will run the new facility, with Degroote serving as head brewer and Dalibor, who is board president, managing the taproom.

Degroote – who was a home brewer for about a decade before …

Wauwatosa is hoping to help get businesses going again.
Wauwatosa is hoping to help get businesses going again. (Photo: VISIT Wauwatosa)

Tosa Restarts aims to bring more sidewalk seating, food trucks and more

As part of its Tosa Restarts program, Wauwatosa has approved a plan that aims to speed up the process of considering applications for sidewalk sales for retail stores, expanded outdoor seating for restaurants and bars, and, "other creative business solutions," during this difficult economic time.

Via the program, the city promises to review and approve, as appropriate, applications for activities like:

  • Outdoor seating on sidewalk, public property or private property in a new or expanded way
  • Sidewalk sales for retail shops
  • Food trucks on public lands or areas not ordinarily used for parking a vehicle (note: food licensing and safety regulations continue to apply in full)
  • Temporary signage
  • Special events, parking lot uses, road closures, and block party fees waived, but charges for any extraordinary services
  • Liquor licenses for curbside delivery areas, expanded sidewalk cafes, special events and parking lot uses

"Expediting approval processes is one small way we can support our businesses as they reopen and follow social distancing and reduced capacity guidelines," said Paulette Enders, director of development for the City of Wauwatosa.

"We will continue to prioritize public safety, ADA compliance, and other safety measures as we allow creative use of spaces throughout Wauwatosa."

Earlier in May, Tosa Restarts launched with a financial assistance package for business owners.

According to a press release issued Friday by the city, the program’s goal is to "generate vibrancy within Wauwatosa’s commercial districts, as well as eliminate or reduce fees where allowed," as a means of battling the financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

Business owners can submit a request online and small business owners may apply for financial assistance via the Wauwatosa Revolving Loan Fund Corporation and the Community Development Authority.

So far more than 100 small businesses have received financial assistance.

"As in every community, bus…

"Holiday Home" is getting a new look for 2020's Sculpture Milwaukee.
"Holiday Home" is getting a new look for 2020's Sculpture Milwaukee. (Photo: Sculpture MKE)

You know what's NOT canceled? Sculpture MKE 2020

Thank heavens for some good news.

Just when it seems the pandemic is taking aim at nearly every bit of summer fun, the organizers of Sculpture Milwaukee have announced that the annual Downtown outdoor art exhibition IS ON for the fourth straight year.

Installation of this year's works is expected to begin on June 8 and will run until mid-July and to make up for this phased-in approach, many of the sculptures will remain in place through next winter.

Last year's "Holiday Home" – by Richard Woods – will remain on view but with a new color scheme for 2020.

This is also the first year in which sculptures will be installed in the Third Ward, thanks to a partnership with the Black Box Fund.

Because of coronavirus, there will no related in-person events tied to Sculpture Milwaukee this year. Online resources will help folks explore the sculptures alone.

These include live-streamed and pre-recorded conversations with artists, virtual art lectures and other events.

In addition, there will be ground markings around the works to help viewers maintain social distance.

"The sculptures will be a visible and vibrant reminder of our city’s unwavering resilience, an invitation to reimagine our surroundings, take-in new perspectives, and get inspired," said Beth Weirick of Milwaukee Downtown.

"We want everyone to feel safe coming downtown; Sculpture Milwaukee’s plans fit right in with the larger effort to create a safe, inviting locale for our community."

Sculpture Milwaukee’s Executive Director Brian Schupper added, "We love Milwaukee, and, we want our exhibition to inspire people to get out and experience our beautiful city once again."

I can't wait to see this year's works and to try and guess which ones will stay in the city forever, like this onevtfvfvuyctfzvrxvaqqftzu and this one and numerous others.


2020 State Fair is canceled

No giant slide? No Cracovia potato pancakes? No flavored milk from the Bucks? No cream puffs? A whole lotta nothin' on a stick? Thanks for nothing, 2020.

State Fair Park Board of Directors Chairman John Yingling made the awaited announcement late Thursday morning in a press release, saying, "for the safety of fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled."

In a virtual meeting held Tuesday, May 26 – with the clock ticking on a self-imposed end-of-May deadline – the board voted to allow Yingling to make the decision on the future of this year’s State Fair.

"On behalf of the entire State Fair Park Board of Directors, please know that the decision to cancel the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair was not taken lightly," said Yingling on Thursday.

"Months of deliberation took place, considering all options to host a Fair that adheres to the highest standard of safety without compromising the experience. We explored countless models, but ultimately safety cannot be compromised. The risks associated with hosting an event of this size and scope right now are just too great."

The Wisconsin State Fair has only been canceled five times in its 169-year history, most recently in 1945, during World War II, at the request of the U.S. Office of War Transportation.

Three of the other cancellations were during the Civil War – 1861, '62 and '63 – and the fifth time was during the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

"The Wisconsin State Fair is so much more than just a fair – it is a celebration of everything we are so proud of in Wisconsin," said Kathleen O’Leary, CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park, in the news release Thursday.

"We understand the magnitude of disappointment you may be feeling. We feel it, too. However, safety is our top priority, and that cannot be compromised under any circumstance. We have tremendously loyal fairgoers, vendors, partners and exhibitors.…