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On Saturday, June 10th, in conjunction with WMSE’s Chicken Shack Radio Show, Great Lakes Distillery will be releasing Chicken Shack Straight Rye Whiskey for the second year in a row. Chicken Shack Straight Rye Whiskey is a single barrel straight rye whiskey, bottled at 91.7 proof, giving a polite nod to WMSE’s frequency that shares the same numbers.

To celebrate, Great Lakes Distillery is offering its first outdoor ticketed show with Horseshoes & Hand Grenades and opening act Chicken Wire Empire. To round things off, the folks from Central Waters Brewing Co. will be bringing out a bunch of tasty beers, including HHG Pale Ale, inspired by the music of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. Several local food trucks will be on-hand during the show to keep everyone fed.

Tickets for the event are $25 each and the first 500 tickets sold will include a Plucker’s Punch featuring rye whiskey. Great Lakes Distillery offers ample parking, however we advocate for a planned safe ride home and will have designated areas for Uber/Lyft pick-up and drop-off.

The idea of Great Lakes Distillery launching a product with WMSE starts right from the distillery floor. “We don’t have many hard and fast rituals around here, but tuning into the Chicken Shack with Jonny Z Friday mornings is definitely one of them,” says Head Distiller Nate Newbrough.

In 2022, 215 bottles of Chicken Shack Straight Rye Whiskey were released mid-May and sold out in under a week. “Milwaukee is a city where partnerships don’t have to be forced. When good people work with good people, good results generally follow,” says Tasting Room Manager, Brendan Cleary.

On Saturday, June 10th, the show will be held in the back parking lot of Great Lakes Distillery, in the shadows of the 6th St. viaduct and around the roundabout from The Iron Horse Hotel. “Since we moved to this location, we have always wanted to utilize this backspace behind our building. The 6th St. viaducts are such an underrated Milwaukee landmark, and this show will be a great way to enjoy them,” says Great Lakes Distillery Founder, Guy Rehorst.

Join us on Saturday, June 10th, at 616 W. Virginia St., to enjoy Bluegrass music, craft cocktails, craft beer, and local food. Gates open at 6:00 pm, and the show starts at 7:00pm. This show is rain or shine! *We will reschedule and refund any tickets necessary in the event of an extreme weather event.*

Great Lakes Distillery strongly suggests you purchase tickets only from or our FareHarbor page. GLD does not sell tickets on any other ticketing platform. If you don’t see the GLD logo on the purchase site, please check or feel free to ask us before you purchase.

Great Lakes Distillery does not advise purchasing tickets from Facebook, Craigslist, Ebay, ticket resellers, street vendors, or other private parties, and cannot guarantee the validity and subsequent admission on such tickets. These tickets are overpriced and sometimes counterfeit/duplicate that will not get you into the show.


Horseshoes & Hand Grenades is a high energy bluegrass quintet act out of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. After 10 years of touring from the west to the east coasts, they offer one of the tightest Americana acts in the country. Supporting them will be Milwaukee’s own Chicken Wire Empire, a bluegrass quintet from right in our own backyard. Chicken Wire Empire played the first Chicken Shack Straight Rye Release Block Party in 2022, and are jumping right back into action in 2023. “This is such a great bill for the city, especially as it will be one of the first outdoor shows of the season,” says Chicken Wire Empire Bassist, Jordan Kroeger.


Born in Wisconsin, Chicken Wire Empire began as a traditional bluegrass band. The band honed its traditional sound in 2014 with their debut album Chicken Wire Empire. With half of the group rooted in bluegrass, and the other half steeped in jamband music, a change occurred when CWE performed an Old & In The Way tribute show. A new sound was found in Milwaukee, and Chicken Wire Empire joined the roster of high energy acoustic music happening across the nation.