EVERY BEER HAS A STORY. OURS IS JUST A LITTLE LONGER.
In May 1867, the Leinenkugel family brewery was founded in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin by Jacob Leinenkugel. He was a family man driven by an iron work ethic, and he knew that his German family heritage would play an integral part of his brewery’s success. Today, sixth generation family members are involved in the company, helping to bring the same family-inspired recipes that Jacob poured his heart and soul into to consumers across the country. Over the years, our family has grown and so has our brewery, but our history and heritage remain at the forefront. Take a step back in time and discover our flavorful history…
The story of Chippewa Falls is every-changing, just like the waters of the Chippewa River and Big Eddy Springs. But water isn’t the only thing that flows in Chippewa Falls. Our beer has been filling steins there since it became home to the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in 1867. Our hometown was once the site of the world’s largest lumber mill. The hard-working, thirsty lumberjacks made great customers for Jacob and his business partner, John Miller. The rest, as they say, is history.
BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
In 1845 Jacob Leinenkugel has his family immigrated to Wisconsin from Meckenheim, Germany, where Jacob’s father was an innkeeper and brewer himself. Equipped with German brewing knowledge and tradition passed down from his family, Jacob started his brewery in 1867 in the logging town of Chippewa Falls. Its rich soil was perfect for growing hops and grains, and the pure water that ran through the town was a perfect ingredient for crafting beer. The many lumberjacks that lived and worked here quickly became our loyal fans.
PASSING DOWN TRADITION
After Jacob Leinenkugel’s death in 1899, his son-in-law, Henry Casper, served as president. Then, following in his father’s footsteps, Matthias Leinenkugel took over as brewery president in 1907, followed by Jacob’s daughter Susan Leinenkugel Mayer in 1927. Under the guidance of the second generation, Leinenkugel’s growing market blossomed.
After Prohibition, it was back to business, despite one major problem: our brewery didn’t have a brewmaster. President Raymond Mayer and sales manager William Casper had to act quickly. Breweries were popping up all over, each eager to capture a piece of the wide open market. Using all their resources, Raymond and William found a brewmaster, modernized our brewery, introduced brewery tours, and established new opportunities to grow the business.
WELCOMING MORE STATES
TV and national advertising changed the beer industry. Small breweries had to compete not only
with each other, but with larger companies that began building multiple breweries across the country.
For Leinenkugel’s this meant expanding into new markets and enlisting the help of Wisconsin heroes like Ray Scott, “The Voice of the Packers,” to be a part of advertising campaigns. Our brewery grew as well, with the addition of the Hospitality Center in 1979, a space for Leinie fans to gather and learn about
the beer they loved.
A PROPER INTRODUCTION
Under the guidance of Jake, Dick, and John Leinenkugel our brewery continued to thrive. The brewery was bought by Miller Brewing Company in 1988. This partnership has allowed Leinenkugel’s to share its quality brews with beer lovers all over the country. Leinenkugel’s 10th Street Brewery was added in 1995 to handle the increased demand. In 2003, the Leinie Lodge opened its doors and now has over 350,000 members.
A NEW ERA BEGINS
Matt, Kirk, Ellie, and Katie Leinenkugel, along with Tony Bugher, carry on the Leinenkugel’s legacy by working to get more of our beers to more people in more markets that ever before. From running tastings to demonstrations to working in the brewery, the sixth generation of Leinenkugel’s is building on our family’s tradition that our great-great-great-grandfather began over 154 years ago. We’re making sure our beers continue to satisfy palates everywhere. Even though we’re not all in Chippewa Falls, we’re out here every day helping you Flavor The Moment.