Creator of the World’s Largest Old Fashioned; a Former Wisconsinite Who Treks Home for Her Favorite Cocktail & a 90-Year-Old Grandpa, Who Died Before Today’s Announcement, Among the 2022 Honorees
Today we unveil the inductees into the first-ever Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame. In all, we received 90-plus nominations from all corners of Wisconsin and from as far away as Colorado and Missouri.
Nominating stories included cocktail recipes passed down over multiple generations, fathers famed for home-muddled cherries, and even former residents who now travel back to the Badger state to enjoy a true bourbon-less Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned Cocktail.
“We were floored by the sheer number of nominations and the quality of their stories,” McQuillan said. “Reviewing the submissions reminded all of us of the passion and love that everyday Wisconsinites and folks from across the country have for our state’s favorite cocktail.”
The 2022 Slate of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees includes:
Tony Berg (from Milwaukee) who received 12 nominations. In one, his brother Nick noted “While ice fishing on Round Lake, Tony created possibly the world’s largest Brandy Old Fashioned.”
Charlotte Berndt (from Raymore, Mo.) was nominated by her daughter Lisa Macy, who said “The bane of her existence is that she can’t get a Brandy Old Fashioned sweet worth anything outside of Wisconsin. She now lives in Missouri and comes back often to Wisconsin to get a decent cocktail.”
Karl Klatt (from Madison) was nominated by his wife, who wrote “To say my husband is passionate about Old Fashioneds is an understatement. He muddles his $20 cherries and puts his heart into it. For Karl, the Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned is a lifestyle.”
Tim Vertz (from Milwaukee) was nominated by seven including his wife, Joy, who wrote “Tim won as the top amateur for his Brandy Old-Fashioned at the 2016 State Fair and turned this talent into fundraising for Wisconsin nonprofits, raising over $75,000 in the past 10 years.”
David Lardinois (from Pewaukee, Wisc.) received 11 nominations, including one from his daughter, Linda Reis, who wrote “Since the 1970’s, my dad has been known for his Old Fashioneds. They were a must on ski trips, while boating and during holidays. He even created his own labels for his mix.”
And, finally 90-year-old Eugene Kasprzak (from Sussex, Wisc.). Nicknamed “Old Fashioned,” Eugene was nominated by his granddaughter Jessica Kasprzak. In her nomination, she wrote “My biggest memory of my grandfather will always be his love of Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioneds.” Sadly, Eugene passed away after he was nominated and two weeks before today’s announcement.
Fame, Free Brandy & So Much More
Each inductee will receive a year’s supply of Central Standard’s North Wisconsin brandy; a custom bottle of North Wisconsin brandy with their photo on it; lifetime VIP status at the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen at 320 E. Clybourn St. in downtown Milwaukee; and their name displayed in the Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame, which is housed at the Crafthouse & Kitchen.
The Road to the Hall of Fame
Starting September 1 as part of Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned month, Hughes and McQuillan began asking folks from across the state and country to nominate individuals deserving of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame status. Anyone could nominate a potential hall of famer by going online and explaining why he or she was worthy in 50 words or less. Nominations were accepted through Sept. 30, and a panel of judges selected the inaugural class of Brandy Old Fashioned Hall of Fame inductees based on the strength of their nominations and their Brandy Old Fashioned stories.
“Brandy Old Fashioned month and the new hall of fame were both designed to connect Wisconsinites with the great local distilleries we have here in the state,” said Hughes, who is also a board member of the Wisconsin Distillers Guild. “The spirits industry in Wisconsin supports more than 39,000 jobs from family farmers and truck drivers to glass-bottle makers and those in the hospitality industries. In all, Wisconsin distilleries impact billions of dollars in economic activity every year in our state and beyond.”