CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Each month we are celebrating what makes us WI proud.
For the past 154 years, One of Wisconsin’s most famous beers has been brewed on the banks of the Chippewa River.
Founded in 1867, Leinenkugel’s brewing company has called Chippewa Falls home since the beginning.
First News at Nine’s Max Cotton shows us why Leinees is WI-proud.
For more than a century, Leinenkugel’s has been a Chippewa Falls staple.
The company’s president, Dick Leinenkugel, says it started with his great-great grandfather Jacob.
While working in his brother’s brewery in Eau Claire. Jacob saw an opportunity, with a large saw mill.
“So there were 2,000 thirsty lumberjacks working in that saw mill, and Jacob said, hey, that’s a pretty good population base to bring my beer to, so he started the spring brewery on these grounds in 1867.”
The spring brewery eventually took on Jacob’s family name.
Since then, Leinenkugel’s has been brewing on the same site. Except during prohibition from 1920 until 1933.
“We’re very proud of our community here in Chippewa Falls and the greater Chippewa Valley and we really like to be part of that community.”
Though people have been enjoying Leinees for more than a century, It was mostly a regional brand until the company released its most famous creation, Summer shandy.
“That’s the beer that kind of put us on the map back in 2007 when we released it. Hard to believe that that beer is now 15 years in the brewing. We’ve had a really good run with it and people are still discovering it today so we’re really proud of that beer and we look forward to bringing new beers to the market in the future.”
The brand’s nationwide appeal also has helped put Chippewa Falls on the map as people come visit Leinenkugel’s Leine Lodge.
“We’re one of the leading destinations that people who come to this area love to visit our brewery and they’ve established an affinity, first of all, for the beer. So they want to come and see where the beer is made and experience that little bit of the Chippewa Valley right here at the Leine Lodge in Chippewa Falls.
And after more than a century, Dick Leinenkugel’s proud that people still sit down and enjoy his family’s beer.
“I’m really proud to see, you know, the Leinenkugel name, now with primarily Leinekugel’s summer shandy, being a beer and kind of building new fans.”
And he hopes to continue that family tradition brewing Leinenkugel’s for the next 154 years.
For WI proud, Max cotton, First News at Nine.
Dick Leinenkugel says getting through the pandemic was tough. However, he’s glad to see people back enjoying a beer at the Leine lodge.