Every now and then, a company or an agency hired to do PR for a company will offer to send us something to try. Sometimes I’ll say yes and, if there’s a natural fit for our audience, I’ll write about it. Other times, there’s not a natural fit for our core audience, but I’ll still write quick, off-the-cuff reviews of something I was sent in the instance a few readers out there might be interested—even if it has little to do with Milwaukee. This is an example of the latter.

Here’s a collection of rapid reviews of stuff that was sent to Milwaukee Record headquarters over the spring. If you’re craving takes on beer, sotol, books, and bags of beef and cheese, then you’ve come to the right place.

Damn, Man – Sling Bag Of Meat

Earlier this month, a PR agency reached out to me to see if I had any interested in some products that were billed as being great Father’s Day gifts. Some of the items featured included nuts, chocolates, comfort wear, sausage and cheese, and sleep masks. I said they could send us whatever they wanted. A few weeks later, a box containing a camouflaged Sling Bag arrived at our door. Initially, I wasn’t sure what I had been sent, but when I reached inside I was happy to find…

A bunch of meat! This so-called “Sling Bag Of Meat” from a company named “Damn, Man” features a treasure trove of Old Wisconsin beef sticks, Smoke Stacks (meat and cheese stick pairings), summer sausage, and Beef Bites. While I’m not huge on the Damn, Man name, the dude-focused branding, and the antiquated “Snacks Guys Love” tagline (Fact: people of any and all genders like meat and cheese sticks, not just men), the products within the “Biggest” size meat bag—retail $54.95—are tasty and they’ve been stepping up to hold me over at the office lately if I need a snack or forgot to eat a meal. If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift or you just want to buy a mess of beef and cheese for yourself or anyone else in your life, you could do far worse than the Old Wisconsin delights you can find in Damn, Man’s “Sling Bag Of Meat.”

‘If These Walls Could Talk’ by Bill Schroeder

As a former Brewers player and longtime Brewers broadcaster, few people have experienced more Milwaukee baseball history than Bill Schroeder. “The Rock” wrote about many of his experiences and things he’s witnessed over the course of his decades as a Brewers player and broadcaster in his book, If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Milwaukee Brewers Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box. Though the book has been out for years, an updated and revised edition was published and was released May 9 via Triumph Books.

With the assistance of writer Drew Olson, Schroeder shares some of his memories from the clubhouse, offers some entertaining and interesting off-field anecdotes about players and personnel, ranks his favorite ballparks, mentions a few of his favorite restaurants he frequents during road trips, rehashes some strange Brewers injuries sustained in previous seasons, and talks about what legends like Bob Uecker, Bud Selig, and Robin Yount are like in real life. It’s light reading, is broken up into easily-digestible (or skippable, if a specific topic doesn’t interest you) segments, and is guaranteed to teach you something about the Brewers organization. At $19.95, it would absolutely make for a nice Father’s Day gift throw-in or breezy vacation read.

IZO Sotol

In recent years, tequila has quickly climbed to the top of my spirit rankings. So when someone doing PR for IZO Spirits offered to send me some of its award-winning tequila to sample, I got back to them as soon as I saw the email. However, in the time that passed between the email being sent and my response, the IZO brand tequila available to media had dwindled, meaning I would be receiving a bottle of the company’s sotol instead. To be honest, I had never knowing had sotol before and didn’t know much of anything about it. However, I was happy to try it out.

Though sotol is strikingly different than tequila, with a more earthy and grass-tinged character, IZO’s sotol was actually quite good. Others seem to agree, as it took home Gold at the 2021 World Spirits Competition and was named “Mexico Sotol Of The Year” at the 2021 New York International Spirits Competition. If you’re familiar with Cachaça—the fermented sugarcane-based liquor—used in the Caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail), I personally found the smell and taste to be somewhat similar to that. Thus, I made a Mexican riff on a Caipirinha that included sotol, fresh lime juice, a heaping spoonful of sugar, and ice. To be clear: Sotol isn’t for everyone, but I was happy after my introduction to it and I’m excited to try to find interesting ways to incorporate the rest of the bottle into drinks this summer.

Leinenkugel’s Juicy Peach

Around this time last year, Leinenkugel’s sent me a “Lodge Pack” that featured some of its summer-suited beers and shandys. Of course, I asked my mom to review it for us. One of her favorite Lodge Pack flavors was Juicy Peach and, though I never weighed in on that article, I thought it was a nice seasonal porch pounder as well. So when I was offered a six-pack of the very same beer again this spring, I said “sure!” and I’ll now take my turn reviewing it. It’s tart, slightly sweet, and pretty refreshing. While it’s probably not something I’d have more than two of on the same day, it’s a decent entrant into the Midwest summer drinking rotation. If you like peaches, beer…and beer with the faint taste of peaches in it, Juicy Peach is now available.

MOSO Natural Scent Free Bathroom Spray

From MOSO Natural comes this new scent-free bathroom spray that’s considered to be “a discreet odor eliminator.” After being sent a bottle for review, we sprayed a few squirts into the air and confirmed that, yes, it has no scent whatsoever. We then tried it in the bathroom and found that, yes, this natural mixture made from bamboo and charcoal successfully masks scents. So if you’re looking for a way to kill unflattering odors without letting folks know the damage you must’ve done when a cloud of artificial citrus scent hits their nostrils, MOSO is an effective and natural way to do so. You’ll know it works when you smell nothing at all.

The Bridgewater

We’ll leave you with a review that kinda-sorta counts for this series. Shortly after assisting a friend with something that’s only tangentially Milwaukee Record-related, I was surprised to see I had been sent a gift card to The Bridgewater. The “Modern Grill” located on the outskirts of Bay View is a swanky-yet-accessible new restaurant on the riverfront…pretty much right on top of where Horny Goat used to be. We saved the gift card for a special occasion and stopped by last week to finally give it a try.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. The space is gorgeous, the service was solid, the selection was great and wide-ranging, and the prices weren’t half bad considering the caliber and the volume of food I enjoyed.

The mussels were just plain awesome, as was the decadent duck tostada that was even more incredible than it looks. And we’re still thinking about both the lobster roll and the flourless chocolate cake we wolfed down as well. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a special night out, a cool place to eat along the river this summer, or you just want to break the Bay View dining routine with something a little out of the ordinary, The Bridgewater is the place. Honestly, it rules.

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Bag of beef, Duncan Sheik, booze, and knives: Rapid reviews of things we were sent
Beverages, pizza, and smooth cottage cheese: More rapid reviews of things we were sent

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.