Mondo Lucha Lager Brings Wrestlers to Life

This Mondo Lucha and MobCraft Beer pairing makes for a fun, digital drinking experience.

I first reported on the wrestling extravaganza Mondo Lucha back in 2011. Since then, they’ve produced over 20 zany and raucous shows, done several community appearances and even earned an official declaration from the Mayor’s office for their 10th anniversary last year.

If you’ve never seen the live show, co-creator Andy Gorzalski calls it the Coachella of indie wrestling with bawdy stunts, Burlesque and local bands. Even if you’re not a fan of wrestling, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the live show complete with story lines and  beloved characters/despised villains.

Space Monkey at a Mondo Lucha show. Courtesy of Laura Dierbeck.

Last month, Bader Rutter teamed up with Mondo Lucha and MobCraft Beer for a fun digital, drinking experience to bring fans closer to the sport, just in time for their annual Turner Hall extravaganza on September 6.

The Mondo Lucha show brings in the top indie wrestlers and Burlesque performers from all over the world. Many of the performers return year after year and garner a following so Gorzalski chose six of the fan favorites to feature: Space Monkey, the Russian Beast, Arik Cannon, Red Goldstein, Air Wolf and Ruff Crossing.

Executive Design Director Shawn Holpfer led a team of 10 at Bader Rutter to bring these wrestlers to life on the cans. Both Holpfer and Bader Rutter have a lot of experience with food and beverage clients, including Patron tequila.

“Mondo Lucha has some crazy characters so it was an easy design choice, allowing the personas to live on the can,” said Holpfer. “And the interactive packaging allows beer drinkers to alter themselves, just like the wrestlers.”

The designers used a facial tracking software to build a special Snapchat filter that is accessible by scanning a QR code on the can. The filter gives you a Monda Lucha mask, turning you into your favorite wrestler depicted on the can.

The Snapchat filter on the Mondo Lucha lager cans. Courtesy of Shawn Holpfer.

The cans are really cool, but the beer inside is also delicious! The limited-edition Mondo Lucha lager uses antique yeast used from Falk brewery to give it a light, crispy, unique flavor.

Henry Schwartz, President of Mobcraft Brewing contacted Gorzalski about a potential partnership months ago when he was planning Mobcraft’s 6th anniversary party called “Weirdfest.” They needed some weird entertainment and Mondo Lucha was a natural fit.

The idea for the custom beer and can came up at this party and because of Andy’s affiliation with Bader Rutter, the campaign took off just five weeks later.

Gorzalski hopes the campaign will live on and people will collect the cans like rare baseball cards. “People can’t get enough of something this fun and that they can relate to,” says Holpfer. And Schwartz anticipates they will keep making the lager, hopefully featuring new characters on the cans as well.

Stop by The Vanguard (2659 S Kinnickinnic Ave.) on Thursday night for the Mondo Lucha lager party for a chance to taste the beer, meet the wrestlers and get your hands on limited-edition merchandise. The Russian Beast might even serve you a beer.

Buy tickets for the 11th annual Mondo Lucha show at Turner Hall on Friday, Sept. 6 here. The Mondo Lucha lager will be on tap at bars around town in September. 




Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.