Over the last decade or so, Milwaukee’s beloved Lakefront Brewery has established a new Thanksgiving tradition: releasing a bunch of rare, barrel-aged beers on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. More than 1,000 folks typically line up outside Lakefront on Black Friday (or the night before) to get a crack at the beers. What will they be lining up for this year? Well…

2023 Black Friday™ Imperial Stout – Aged in Bourbon and brandy barrels, the 2023 version of the famous brew combines massive caramel and roasted malts with huge vanilla and oak flavor. There are under 3,000, 19.2oz cans being sold for $20 + tax each.

2023 Black Friday™ Triple Black IPA – Big, bold, and hoppy, this Triple Black IPA hits the glass obsidian black with a foamy tan head kicking up aromas of chocolate, orange zest, and rose water. Gratuitous Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial hops yield up-front citrus and tropical fruit notes, while malts lend balance and sweet cocoa and caramel flavors. There are under 1,000, 19.2oz cans being sold for $20 + tax each.

2023 Black Friday™ Double Barrel-Aged Christmas Cookie Barleywine – Back by popular demand, this big, chewy Barleywine is brewed with honey, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon that forms the base of this delicious treat. It was first aged in rum barrels for a year, before it was transferred to Bourbon barrels for another year. The double barrel-aging imparts layered flavors of oak plank, toasted almond, and molasses. There are under 1,000, 19.2oz cans being sold for $30 + tax each.

2023 Black Friday™ 5-Year-Old – This big stout has been asleep in Bourbon barrels since 2018. The big, roasty, chocolatey Imperial Stout left all traces of alcohol heat behind in the barrel and picked up flavors of vanilla, pecan praline, marzipan, and a touch of pipe tobacco. There are under 1,000, 19.2oz cans being sold for $30 + tax each.

Lakefront will open its doors at 8 a.m. on Black Friday 2023—but, like we said before, you’ll want to get there much sooner…

Lakefront Brewery’s CurdWagon and merchandise tent will open for sales at 4:30AM. Breakfast Burritos, Cheese Curds, Hash Browns, Breakfast Croissants, and Coffee will be available for purchase. Starting at 8AM, for the first time since 2019, Lakefront plans to open its main bar for service as well as its Beer Hut on its newly renovated riverwalk patio. Black Friday will be available on tap.

Lakefront’s first brewery tour on Black Friday will be at 2pm. And the Friday Fish Fry will run as it normally would.

Responsible drinking will be enforced, and Lakefront will not serve individuals who are visibly intoxicated. Fans usually begin lining up on Thanksgiving night, with a line of over a thousand folks by the time doors open at 8am. Prepare.

And yes, Lakefront is all cans these days. No more bottles! Oh, and if you buy at least four Black Friday cans you’ll get a Black Friday glass, too!

Since Lakefront Brewery moved to canning, they are offering these limited beers in 19.2oz cans. Individually printed and boxed, these beers are colorful, dynamic, and rare. There will be no limit to the number of cans individuals can purchase, and they can be purchased in any combination. A minimum of four Black Friday cans purchased gets you a new, collectible, souvenir-dated Black Friday glass—while supplies last.

Lakefront will also be doing an extension of their Warm Hearts Community Coat Drive for the students of Dr. George Washington Carver Academy, a K4 through 8th grade school. For every new or gently used coat fans donate, they will be rewarded with a 2022 Black Friday bottle, with a maximum of 2 bottles per person. The 2022 Black Friday bottles will also be for sale for $20 + tax when purchasing your Black Friday cans.

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Lakefront Brewery switching to all cans in 2023

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.