My Review of the Process

My research of the Leinenkugel Brewery Company has offered me a great sense of history. From it’s founding in 1867 by Jacob Leinenkugel, to present day. Through the reading I have done over the past few weeks, I have received great knowledge of how the brewery operates and what it’s goals are. It has been family-run and owned since 1867 and continues to be today by Jake, Dick, and John Leinenkugel. Chippewa Falls, the city where the Leinenkugel Brewery was founded was perfect for a Jacob’s new brewery because of the pure water and also because of the Logging town, which Chippewa Falls had been when Jacob had arrived and was starting the brewery. The purchase of the Leinenkugel Brewery in 1988 by Miller gave a scare to many employees and supporters of the Leinenkugel’s on the issue of Miller overtaking the small brewery of Leinenkugel’s. The Leinenkugel Brewery was able to overcome adversity throughout its years of business. Whether it be from prohibition, where alcohol was outlawed, to the Great Depression, which affected so many businesses and people, all the way to the purchase by Miller. The Leinenkugel Brewery was able to maintain a successful business from its start up in 1867 through 147 years of hardship and change. My research has offered me great answers to questions I have come across during this project. The research I have done of Jacob Leinenkugel and the history of company has given me a great answer to my questions of how Jacob Leinenkugel was able to start this company and keep it going, and also the changes the brewery has gone through have made it a successful brewery. I have found that because of the history of the family of the Leinenkugel’s, and their brewing past has given them an advantage in maintaining a successful brewery. Since the brewery is family-run and owned, this gives them another advantage of being able to stay true to their roots and not be overpowered by the current society of big companies and corporations.

Great Beginnings of Leinenkugel

The source for this fourth blog post of mine was a bit unexpected. I came across a video review of 6 Leinenkugel beers done by John Leinenkugel, brother of Jake Leinenkugel and Dick Leinenkugel, who are 5th generation brewers of this great brewery. These three brothers are carrying out their great-great grandfathers mission of a great brewery. The review was done at Lakeville Liquors located in Lakeville, Minnesota and was posted in 2011. The reason I say that this source was unexpected was because I had been starting to focus my attention on the topic of the Miller purchase of Leinenkugel. After watching this review and getting some more information from John Leinenkugel, I have come to realize that there is much more interesting history, that needs to be mentioned of the brewery and how it came about.


This video shows the rhetorical context by showing logos. John Leinenkugel pours each beer into a clear glass when reviewing them, and reveals the mastery of the great brews that this brewery puts out. Whether it be Summer Shandy, Leinenkugel’s Red, Honey Weiss, Sunset Wheat, they all present well which provide good logos for this company’s beer.


The video starts out with John Leinenkugel giving a history of the brewery of itself, and also him and who he is. In 1845, Jacob and also four brothers of his accompanied by their parents immigrated to Sauk City, Wisconsin from Germany. This is where the art of the Leinenkugel Brewery was born. The father of these brothers, Matthias, taught each of his sons the art of brewing. All of these brothers left Sauk City except for one to start their own breweries. The most amazing piece of history I have found in all of my research is that at one point in time, there were five separate Leinenkugel breweries operating under the authority of five separate Leinenkugel brothers. The only brewery to survive prohibition was the brewery of Jacob’s. I find it truly remarkable of what Leinenkugel’s could have been had prohibition not have went into affect. John Leinenkugel made a remark about the sixth generation, which I thought was a hint that this brewery has no plans to grow out of a family-run business in the near future. Throughout the video I kept thinking of how much I believe in the Leinenkugel mission of delivering great beers and keep the brewery in the family.


This source has arguably given the most to my research of the Leinenkugel Brewery. This source has added to my understanding of how the brewery was started, and how it remains in existence today. This source has given me more focus on how the brewery was started, and also how it has been able to remain today. From here I would like to go more in depth into the times of prohibition and how one brewery was able to stay alive when the others could not.


The Purchase of Leinenkugel

Through researching Leinenkugel related Newspaper articles on Access Newspaper Archive, I came across the Wisconsin State Journal. The date of this Newspaper publishing was December 3, 1987, the year that Miller had purchased Leinenkugel’s. At the bottom of the front page, the article reads, “Miller to buy, not ‘swallow’, Leinie’s.”  This fantastic article explains on how Miller’s goal was not to take over the Leinenkugel Brewery, but only enhance it. I selected this source because it provides a first hand account of the expansion of the Leinenkugel Brewery, and how it came about. I picked this source for my research because of the history of the Leinenkugel transformation that it gives. The purchase of the Leinenkugel Brewery by Miller helped Leinenkugel’s become a better-known company, however, they did not change the quality of their beer.


The article gives first-hand accounts individuals of high-ranking status in the two respective companies of Leinenkugel and Miller. Throughout the article, the key point was that Miller’s goal in the purchase of Leinenkugel was not to completely take over the brewery. Miller had a distinct plan for this purchase. As the article states, Leinenkugel did not sell the company because of financial struggles, the Leinenkugel brewery was doing quite well financially. The owners of Leinenkugel sold the company to better it, not to make a quick buck on their family’s extreme hard work put into the company. This was a family-run business, and has been since Jacob Leinenkugel and John Miller started the Brewery in 1867.


My response to this source was very positive, it helped me gain ideas of where I want to take my research. It offered information on the purchase of Leinenkugel’s by Miller in which I was extremely interested in researching on. I could not find a problem with this source. After reviewing the article, I concluded that it gave key points of what Miller’s plans were for Leinenkugel’s, and the same for Leinenkugel’s. Each company had their own benefits from the deal, and this Newspaper article explained them entirely well.


My ideas of where I want to take my research have been shaped through my analysis and reading of this source. This source gave me insight of some details of the purchase of Leinenkugel’s. I would like to look further into the purchase of Leinenkugel’s, and also the early years of after the deal had taken place. This source was published in 1987, 27 years ago from today, which gives me room to research these 27 years. From reviewing this source I would like to start looking more into the future of Leinenkugel’s and Miller’s partnership, but also look back at what went on during prohibition.

Continued Research of Leinenkugel’s

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company History, a secondary source that I happened to come across on, gave me an excellent overview of Leinenkugel’s history, and also how it has transformed into what it is today, as being part of the powerhouse brewery of Miller. The article starts out by delivering the early history of Jacob Leinenkugel and his founding of the Leinenkugel Brewery in the northwoods of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. I chose this source because it gave specific examples of how the brewery was able to thrive in a town like Chippewa Falls. This town was perfect to start a brewery in. Pure water was vital for having a brewery, especially in a remote and small town like Chippewa Falls, and the town sure did have plenty of pure water. The article gave a great opening source for my research by educating myself on the key points of the Leinenkugel Brewery.

The source reveals how the Leinenkugel’s Brewery has stayed true to itself from its founding and even to present day. Leinenkugel has maintained its original recipe of its first beer, and has also maintained a select few of brews. When Miller bought Leinenkugel in 1988, employees and customers were worried that the Miller would take over Leinenkugel in a negative way. However, Miller was strategic in the way it approached the Brewery of Leinenkugel. Leinenkugel was able to operate in its original way, but with the financial support and the marketing support of Miller.

This source offered me many ideas of where I can take my research. Through this source, some of my research questions were briefly covered throughout the article, but I will need to go into further detail in them to get a better understanding of them. This source of the Leinenkugel history gave me an excellent start to my research by giving me the right influences in where I want to take my research.


Starting My Research

I will be researching the history of the Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Including their business through the times of prohibition, modern business, and the effects that the company had on Wisconsin. I am intrigued by this topic of Leinenkugel’s and its history because of its relationship with between students. College students drink, and the Leinenkugel Brewing Company Brewing company provides these college students with much of the booze that is consumed by college students. I am interested in the history of Leinenkugel’s because of my lack of knowledge of its operations, and also where it may have affected my life and me.

This topic of mine is important because of its association with Wisconsin and towns around Eau Claire. I did not realize how close Eau Claire is to the founding of Leinenkugel’s, which makes me find it necessary to explore the stories and the effects of the business to Eau Claire and Wisconsin as a whole. As a Minnesota-born citizen, I did not find it important to research Leinenkugel’s because it did not pertain to my life, and where I grew up.

As a student here in Eau Claire, I find it essential to find history of Leinenkugel’s, and to share it with people that may be interested in the topic. Through research of the Leinenkugel Brewing Company, I hope to find not only history of the beer industry, but also history of the effects of it to the towns of where it was founded.