By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 29, 2022 at 9:01 AM

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us and it’s time to stock up on beer.

This year, the Brewers Association is skipping National Independent Beer Run Day on Sunday, July 3 but you can still use the day to support local breweries.

National Independent Beer Run Day was celebrated in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by the not-for-profit indie brewers trade association, which urged folks to seek out local beers adorned with the official Independent Craft Brewer seal when stocking up for your holiday parties, barbecues, picnics and all-around fun.

This year, in the absence of an "official" day, you can do it because it's good for the local economy or just to enjoy some good beer, or just because you want to. Or, if all else fails, do it for me, on my birthday, or in honor of the Stones' Brian Jones who died on July 3, 1969.

Go to your favorite local brewery or beer retailer and buy indie and buy local and show your support for Milwaukee-area brewers.

There are now an all-time record 9,247 breweries around the country, and now more than two-thirds of all Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery.

Though their market share is tiny compared to the big guns, consider that these local, independent breweries injected $62.1 billion to the economy in 2020 and were responsible for  more than 400,000 jobs, including nearly 14,000 right in their breweries and taprooms.

And this is tangible money. It’s right down the street. They’re paying local taxes, hiring your friends. They partner with local restaurants and food trucks and they hire local musicians.

Many local breweries also work with nonprofits to give back to the community. Good City donates to local housing, for example, and Indeed, Third Space and others have monthly give-back nights.

Indeed’s Indeed We Can program donated more than $26,400 to 52 Wisconsin organizations last year, and recently Lakefront raised more than $100,000 for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, and these are just two examples.

In Milwaukee there are dozens of these breweries, even more if you include the metro area, so the variety of styles and flavors and iterations are already nearly endless.

If you need to find yourself a favorite, use this handy dandy Find a Craft Brewery website.

And, we're told, stay tuned for a new Brewers Association initiative coming in July to help support America's craft brewers.

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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.