What a Weekend Ahead!



Jimmy the Brewmaster’s Brut Wheat Rosé has been a taproom best-seller since it was released.  His crafty recipe features over two pounds per barrel of organic hibiscus added between the boil and dry flowering. Small whirlpool additions of Motueka hops and a touch of natural key lime extract round out the flavor. Bone dry and beautifully effervescent. Slightly tart with notes of berry and lime. 5% ABV 10 IBUS. 100% AMAZING.

I am worried about Bears' fans after their heart-wrenching, last second loss. I hope they too can bounce back.

Last September City Lights Brewing Company once again participated in Doors Open Milwaukee. Doors Open Milwaukee is a two-day public celebration of Milwaukee’s art, architecture, culture and history. This event offers behind the scenes tours of more than 170 buildings throughout Milwaukee’s downtown and neighborhoods.  City Lights was the 6th most visited venue in the City; trailing Milwaukee landmarks such as the new Northwestern Mutual Building, Milwaukee City Hall, Milwaukee Art Museum and the Basilica of St. Josephat.

Can I share an amazing statistic? We have 35 of the most passionate, energetic, fun-loving and nicest people ever on our hospitality team.  Since last spring when a few members of the team graduated and moved on to pursue their careers, we have had not a single person leave. Congratulations to Alexandra and to the entire City Lights team for being amazing!  

And speaking of amazing, I am profoundly proud to partner with an incredible distributor network. They work tirelessly to ensure your favorite beverage is available at the location of your choice. A special thanks to the retail stores, on-premise accounts and special event venues for featuring City Lights beers. Cheers to all!

City Lights will be an acoustic music nirvana this weekend. On Friday, Jamie Lynnwww.jamielynnmusic.com takes the stage at 7PM.  Saturday, City Lights’ favorite Ryan McIntyre https://ryanmcintyremusic.com/ performs for your listening enjoyment. What a weekend it will be!

I returned the bag of bird seed I bought as it didn’t grow a single bird.

We are proud to announce, “Magical Mondays.” Each Monday for the next three months, City Lights will donate 75% of all taproom beer sales to organizations we believe in and who do great things for the common benefit of the human community. Monday night our beneficiary is Project Echelon: https://www.projectechelon.org/. The mission of Project Echelon is to “Educate, Equip and Empower Veterans and Their Communities Through Physical Activity and Self Discovery.” Eric and his team are incredible. It looks like we’ll have over 100 cycling enthusiasts and community change agents in the house. Stop in and hang with some of the coolest and warmest people ever.


Robin Gohsman

Happy New Beer!



Wine-lovers rejoice! Jimmy the Brewmaster has concocted a delicious craft beer just for you. Here’s what Jimmy has to say about his latest innovation, “One of the most exciting aspects of being a brewer is the ability to play with ingredients and manipulate the process to yield exciting results. The Brut Wheat Rosé is a fine example of just that. The 'Brut'  part comes from the use of an enzyme that allows the yeast to consume all of the sugars from the malt leaving the beer to finish bone-dry without any residual sweetness. The 'Wheat' comes from the healthy amount of malted wheat we used in this beer to add some character and backbone to the flavor profile. Last, but not least, the 'Rosé' comes from Hibiscus that we used at a rate of over two pounds per barrel split between the boil and 'dry flowering' post-fermentation. The Hibiscus gives this beer a beautiful pinkish-purplish color with a wonderfully tart, berry-like flavor and delightfully effervescent aroma. It is very lightly hopped with late additions of Motueka to lend a natural lime-like flavor. Finally, to accentuate the hop profile, we added a hint of natural key lime extract which rounds this out wonderfully and lends a bit more depth of flavor. To bring these flavors to life even more, the beer is carbonated higher than normal for near champagne-like bubbly goodness. At 5% ABV and only 10 IBUs, it is sure to excite your taste buds and might even make you wonder, 'Is this even beer?'”

The Brut Wheat Rosé will be released in the taproom on Friday, so plan your week accordingly.  And what is the National Anthem of the Millennial generation? It is a slight variation of the Beatles’ classic, “I’ll get by with a little help…from my parents.”

To help you ring in the New Year, City Lights will be open today at 11:00am. City Lights will open New Year’s Day at 11:00am also. If you are Polar Plunging in Lake Michigan on Tuesday, stop in after for a celebratory brew. Our beer is so good it will warm your soul and fire you up for the best New Year ever!

Our entire team knows that everything we do is part of something bigger. Whether it be helping friends re-connect, celebrating family reunions, hosting business planning sessions, shuttling fans to the fun and excitement of the local ball park, providing the perfect ambiance and idyllic river-side setting for summer date nights or a myriad of other activities that weave joy and happiness into the fabric of so many lives; City Lights is grateful for the privilege of serving. We are proud to announce, “Magical Mondays.” Each Monday for the next three months, City Lights will donate 75% of all taproom beer sales to organizations we believe in and who do great things for the common benefit of the human community.

Our partner for the first Monday of each month is MS Run the US:https://www.msruntheus.org . Now in its 7th year, MS Run the US is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis (MS) research, while also aiding those living with disability due to MS.

Our partner for the second Monday of each month is Project Echelon:https://www.projectechelon.org/. The mission of Project Echelon is to “Educate, Equip and Empower Veterans and Their Communities Through Physical Activity and Self Discovery.”

Our partner for the third Monday of each month is Penfield Children’s Center:http://penfieldchildren.org/. Penfield Children’s Center creates a positive start in life for infants and children, many of whom have developmental delays or disabilities, by providing early education, health services and family programming.

Our partner for the fourth Monday of each month is the Menomonee River Valley:https://www.thevalleymke.org/. Their mission is to revitalize and sustain the Menomonee River Valley as a thriving urban district that advances economical, ecological and social equity for the benefit of the greater Milwaukee community.

Come, join us on Mondays and share the magic!

Saturday evening acoustic troubadour Patrick Van Bibbler https://www.patrickvb.com/takes to the stage at 7PM. Patrick is delightful to listen to and is becoming another City Lights’ favorite.

As we say “goodbye” to 2018 and welcome in the excitement and wonderment that 2019 is certain to bring, I look back and say a profound thank you to: the awesome guests we were proud to serve, an incredible team of talented, passionate and fun-loving bartenders and servers, the professionals in our kitchen who serve up deliciousness every day of the week, the robust community within which we operate, an awesome distributor network, an amazing shareholder and stakeholder cadre, vendors who have become partners and friends, a sales team who works with boundless energy and unbridled enthusiasm, much appreciated retail and on-premise accounts and Jimmy and the City Lights brewing team who make all of the above shout-outs possible.

Here’s to the best New Year ever!

Robin Gohsman

Cheers to Coconut Porter



Jimmy the Brewmaster’s Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake Stout was thoroughly enjoyed by many over the weekend. I especially liked the sight of Santa’s Rampage bike riders enjoying this always-to-be-savored favorite. So smooth and creamy, we were tempted to serve it in a parfait glass.

Just how good is Jimmy’s Coconut Porter? In addition to its well-deserved Gold Medal, Andy tells me about a customer in a remote area who drove two hours each way to purchase a case of Coconut Porter as a Christmas gift to herself. And I respectfully submit that the lyrics to “Twelve Days of Christmas” be reworked to “…Eight maids a-milking. Seven swans a-swimming. Six geese a-laying. Five Coconut Porters. Four calling birds….”

Guests at City Lights on Saturday saw Scaramouche, Scaramouche doing the fandango. It was mercurial.

Give a gift to others and get one for yourself. Buy a $25.00 City Lights gift card and get a $5.00 card for free. Buy fa $50.00 City Lights gift card and get a $10.00 gift card for free. Buy a $100.00 gift card and get a $20.00 gift card for free. And remember, City Lights T-shirts make great stocking stuffers! 

I am thinking of erecting a ferris wheel in the beer garden next summer and checked out a used one for sale. It was in fair condition. 

We are wrapping up our Annual Business Planning sessions with our distributor partners in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. I am profoundly proud that City Lights has the privilege of doing business with such an incredible group of professional men and women. And thanks to the retail stores, venues, bars, and restaurants who offer the refreshing deliciousness of City Lights to their customers. And with new distributors coming on board early next year, City Lights will continue to be enjoyed by an ever-growing circle of friends. With gratitude to all!

To keep track of weekly specials, new brews and other important information to help our hospitality team deliver exceptional guest experiences, we recently mounted a dry erase board. It is remarkable!

Join us for Happy Hour tonight, Wednesday and Thursday. There is no better way to kick-off the weekend than with Ben the Chef’s fabulous Friday Fish Fry. On Saturday, Dean Richard https://www.deanrichard.com/home takes to the stage. I am excited for his City Lights debut and confident that you will enjoy his energetic variety of classic rock and old soul music. It promises to be a rollicking good time inspired by artists such as Tom Petty, Tom Pettier, Tom Pettiest, Eric Clapton, the Blues Brothers as well as Motown Classics.

Have the best St. Nick’s week ever!

Robin Gohsman

It's A Wonderful Life!



One might be tempted to think that Jimmy the Brewmaster would rest on his laurels after winning a Gold Medal for his Coconut Porter. Quite the contrary! Jimmy’s recently added 1,000 pounds of Strawberry Puree to the kettle for his incredible Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake Stout. And wait till you taste his next brew. It is otherworldly!

It’s a wonderful life! The holidays have arrived at City Lights. Whether you celebrate Bhodi Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Pancha Ganapati or any other religious or secular holiday, let us use this wondrous season to promote peace, humanity, compassion and seek to understand and accept all.

Ben the Chef recently hired a fastidious assistant named Cole. Cole is extremely meticulous. He insists that Ben’s famous fish fry be served with a side dish made from shredded cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. I call this “Cole’s Law.”

It’s back! Our Mexican Lager is so popular that we recently sold out of it in the taproom. Fortunately, Jimmy and the team kegged and packaged a 90-barrel batch and the only supply-chain interruption was in the City Lights taproom.

Give a gift to others and get one for yourself. Buy a $25.00 City Lights gift card and get a $5.00 card free. Buy a $50.00 City Lights gift card and get a $10.00 gift card for free. Buy a $100.00 gift card and get a $20.00 gift card for free. And remember, City Lights T-shirts make great stocking stuffers!

The City Lights hospitality team decided to replace the “swear jar” with a “negativity glass.” Each time someone has a pessimistic thought, they put a quarter in the negativity glass.  The glass is currently half empty.

I love this season of giving and sharing. We are giving the Chicago Bears the NFL North Division title and sharing City Lights beers with people in the great state of Illinois. We are also giving the Vikings a likely Wild Card playoff berth and sharing City Lights with Minnesotans. Though this clearly isn’t the year of the Pack, it is the season of giving and sharing.

Join us Monday through Thursday for Happy Hour at City Lights. Get in touch with your inner Zen with yoga on Tuesday evening and relax afterwards with a complimentary City Lights beer.  Friday, Ben’s delicious fish fry (with Cole’s Law) is featured. Saturday, the incredible Nick Rincon https://www.facebook.com/nickrinconmusic/ makes his City Lights debut. City Lights is a great place to see and be seen.

Thanks to the greatest cadre of distributors and customers ever assembled. We are honored to have the privilege of your business. It is awesome that there are so many outlets featuring a selection of City Lights beers in cans and on tap.  With gratitude to the professional men and women who work tirelessly and passionately to make it happen.

Have the greatest week ever as the McCarthy era draws to a close.

Robin Gohsman

Gold Medal Winner!



We recently entered our first beer competition. Jimmy the Brewmaster’s epic Coconut Porter won the Gold Medal for “Best Flavored Porter.” Here’s what the judge’s panel had to say, “Walnut color. Confected aromas of mounds bar, snickerdoodle cookies, hazelnut cappuccino, and highlander grog with a satiny, vibrant, spritzy, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, quick seven-layer bar, fried ice cream shell, toasted coconut syrup, and roasted almonds finish. A sweet and flavorful coconut porter that makes for a fun twist on  a favorite style.” 92 Points! Exceptional! Read the full review here:  http://www.tastings.com/Beer-Review/City-Lights-Brewing-Co-Coconut-Porter-USA-12-02-2018.aspx

The week ahead at City Lights will be a busy one. The brewing team will be working tirelessly to keep up with the ever-growing demand. Monday, celebrate the kick-off to Thanksgiving week with Happy Hour from 4-6PM. Tuesday, Happy Hour continues as the short Holiday week ramps up. On Wednesday evening, the popular duo Evan and Tom http://evanandtom.com/ takes to the stage for some Thanksgiving Eve entertainment. We will be closed on Thanksgiving. We will open at 10AM Friday for a little Black Friday merriment. Fish fry? For sure! The incredible Ryan McIntyre https://ryanmcintyremusic.com/ plays Friday evening at 7PM. Ryan is one of the best and a City Lights favorite. Saturday the fun continues with the amazing Hearthfire:www.hearthfireband.com taking the stage at 7PM.         

Ben the Chef ran out of lettuce the other evening and I told the servers to romaine calm.

I was working in the taproom on Saturday. It occurred to me that seven of the eight members of our hospitality team who were working that shift have been with City Lights since we opened almost two years ago. I am incredibly proud of Alex and her team. 

We strive for excellence in all aspects of our operation: brewing, packaging, logistics, food service and hospitality. Here are the core values that guide us:


1.      Share the magic that is City Lights and deliver exceptional experiences that result in “WOW!”

2.      Respect the dignity of all and create a workplace culture that is empowering.

3.      Nurture passion.

4.      Embrace quirkiness and fun.

5.      Build a positive team and family spirit with open and honest relationships and communication.

6.      Champion the beauty and strength in the individuality and diversity of each of our team members and guests.

7.      Always remember that the beer business is a fun business and it is a privilege to work in this industry.

I love my dog “Doofus.” Last night I came home and greeted him with a rousing rendition of “Hello Barkness My Old Friend.” Doofus is quirky too, so I think he appreciated it.

Just how cool is the City Lights space?  So cool that a “Fortune 100” Company will be filming a commercial here in the not-too-distant future. Additionally, a top network is flying in folks from both coasts for a special segment that will be filmed at City Lights. Camera. Action.

During this Thanksgiving week, I am mindful of how thankful I am for the privilege of working with some of the best customers, guests, team members, partners and distributors one could hope for. I am profoundly grateful.


Have the best Thanksgiving week ever!

Robin Gohsman

Fall Into Fun!



 Congratulations to the Milwaukee baseball team for an amazing season! Thanks to so many of you who chose City Lights for their pre-game and post-game headquarters. With all of the entertainment and hospitality options in Milwaukee, we were profoundly proud to have the privilege of your business.  And just as the hometown nine will tweak their roster in the off-season in preparation for another World Series run in 2019, the City Lights team will work with passion, zeal and professionalism to brew and serve incredible beers and magical experiences.

Our uber-convenient shuttle service returns Wednesday for the Ed Sheeran concert.  So no matter the “Shape of You,” drop in at City Lights, enjoy a refreshing beer and delicious food and ride in style.

We love our guests of all ages – especially millennials. And just for them, we have a station where they can charge an iPhone. I call it “Apple Juice.”

Please join is this Saturday for our annual Halloween Party. Fun, fun and more fun. Prizes for Best Costume, Best Make-up and Best Couple/Group will be awarded at 8PM.  The evening promises to be fun and our team will be dressed in their Halloween finest, though I doubt I can top my last year’s costume when I went as Batman’s companion “Robin.” Blackthorn Folly takes to the stage at 7PM. 

Occasionally I buy natural almonds when I want a healthy snack and don’t want $11 in my pocket anymore.

Jimmy the Brewmaster’s Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake Stout sold out in record time and he will be brewing a double batch for your enjoyment. Could the Chocolate Strawberry Milkshake Stout match Coconut Porter’s and Mexican Lager’s status as specialty favorites?

We had a guest inquire about a Holiday party for fifty people with appetizers, food and beers. She keeps calling me asking for a quote. What is the best way to tell her that I am not a motivational speaker?

 A special shout-out to our distributor network who work tirelessly to ensure your beverage of choice is available at your favorite bar, restaurant, grocery or liquor store in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. City Lights is grateful for our partnerships. And “thank you” to the bars, restaurants, grocery and liquor stores who feature City Lights beers. We understand how many beer options are available and we are proud that you have made City Lights available for your patrons. Thank you.

Have the best week ever when we're not in the World Series!

Robin Gohsman

Most Important Update Ever


One of our shareholders recently moved back to Wisconsin from Florida’s Panhandle. Shortly after the hurricane, he drove to Florida with a trailer loaded with much needed supplies. In place of the usual weekly update, I am sharing his Facebook post from earlier today:

“Help Ohana Institute (my daughter Hailey's old school) support our neighboring residents of Lynn Haven FL. Ohana had over 100 volunteers and served 10,000 hot meals today alone in addition to supplying basic hygiene essentials, water, tarps, baby formula/food, and gasoline to power generators. This has been 100% volunteer run and all supplies have been donated. I have worked in Lynn Haven the past 2 days and these people desperately need help. There is no electric, water, city sewer with most homes severely storm damaged. Government help is invisible for many of these folks. They might be here and around however I have not seen it. For anyone looking to help this is the spot to do it! No donation is too small $10, $20 or whatever you choose to donate will go to good use.”

Here is the link to donate: 


For more information please visit www.hopepanhandle.org .

Thanks for your consideration. City Lights will be donating a portion of all taproom revenue this weekend.

Robin Gohsman