By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 09, 2023 at 10:26 AM

In a list published last week, USA Today named Milwaukee's Pilot Project Brewing's Brewery District taproom and its Chicago sibling as the best beer bar in the United States.

The list was compiled with a group of experts including well-known beer writer Beth Demmon, Executive Director of the American Homebrewers Association Julia Herz and others.

The Chicago taproom.

The Chicago-based Pilot Project opened its second brewery and taproom last November in the former Milwaukee Brewing Company facility at 1128 N. 9th St., which it purchased in August 2022.

The Milwaukee spot has since earned high marks not only for the taproom decor and beer, but also for the food emerging from its kitchen and for reopening the rooftop patio installed by Milwaukee Brewing after it renovated and moved into the former Pabst Brewing Company distribution center in 2018.

Here's what USA Today wrote about Pilot Project, which tops a list that also includes Side Hustle in Seattle; Hop Cat in Grand Rapids, Michigan; ChurchKey in Washington, D.C.; Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia; and others.

"No. 1: Pilot Project Brewing - Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"Not your typical beer bar, this brewery incubator helps to support startup breweries by providing two tasting rooms in Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both locations offer about 24 taps that are switched out regularly based on the breweries they're currently working with."

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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.