Blog Post 5

When I started this research project, I wanted to look into how three local Chippewa Falls, WI businesses contributed to their community.  As I did my research, I came to realize that two of the three businesses did not have any information on that.  I then narrowed my research question further into just one of them, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.  I had to adjust and expand on my question a little bit, also.  I not only had the question of how they contribute to the community, but also how did they stay successful throughout their history?

In regards to how the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery has contributed to the community, I learned from my research that the Brewery started an event called Canoes for a Cause, where they hold events in various cities and clean up trash, debris, and invasive plant species from the riverbanks.  They do this to help the cities have cleaner waterways.  The event has gotten bigger and bigger every year.

As to how they stayed successful throughout the years, I learned that during the Prohibition the Brewery had to adjust.  They started making Leino, a non-alcoholic beverage.  When that didn’t really sell, they had to adjust again and started making and bottling soda water.

I would like to expand more on their history as a business and also has a family.  It is interesting to me on how the business has gone through the family.  It would be nice to touch on that also.

Resource #3

My third resource actually comes from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s News Bureau.  The article was written by Janice Wisner in 2000.  The article is about how Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is donating $25,000 for the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and the new Jacob Leinenkugel College of Business Scholarship program.  There would be six $1,000 scholarships over the course of five years.  The reasoning behind donating this money and creating the scholarship program was because many of the business student graduates from UW-Eau Claire have worked for Jake Leinenkugel at the Brewery.  The director of UW-Eau Claire’s American Ethnic Coordinating Office says, “By creating these scholarships, we pave the way for students of diverse backgrounds to pursue their education and position themselves to face the challenges that will exist in the workforce when they graduate.”

This article is very kairotic. It was written at the same time as the scholarship program was announced.  Everyone, I’m sure, was very excited about this because it will help students with the financial part of things.  The audience of this article is people in the Eau Claire area, more specifically people who attend or work at UW-Eau Claire because it was published by the UW-Eau Claire News Bureau.  The purpose of Wisner writing this article is to talk about and explain a major event happening at the University.

I think that the article was very helpful in expanding on how the Leinenkugel Brewery contributes to the community.  The fact that it was written by somebody at UW-Eau Claire may have a bias on it, but for the most part I got the feeling that Jake Leinenkugel was doing it to better the students and give them opportunities.  Finding this article, I decided to just focus on the Leinenkugel Brewery and how it contributes to the community.  I wasn’t able to find anything on the other two companies.

Resource #2

It has been hard to find things on all three businesses, but I haven’t had time to go to the library yet.  I might have to just do my paper on Leinenkugel Brewery.  I found a website,, that tells of a stewardship program called Canoes for a Cause.  This blog was written by Lisa Shade in May of 2013.

The Leinenkugel family gets together and picks up trash and invasive plant species along the riverbank.  On May 11th, 2013, the Leinenkugel’s gathered more than 1,000 pounds of trash along the Chicago River.  The article also mentions another event called Friendly Float down the Chicago River.  That event raises money and awareness for the Friends of the Chicago River.  They also hold these events in Denver, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, and Cleveland.

This source is a credible one because it is an article reporting what they do at these events.  It would be interesting to see how long they have been doing things like this for.  They are helping our waterways stay clean.  They made a commitment 146 years ago to water stewardship.  It is also interesting to know that one of the reasons Leinenkugel Brewery was established in Chippewa Falls, was because of the high water quality.

From here, I want to try to find information on the other two businesses I have looked at and look more into Leinenkugel Brewery and the events they hold.

Primary Resource

My primary resource is an interview of Bill Leinenkugel from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.  In this interview, he tells how he got started in the business, and what he did for work at the business.  I selected this source because it gets personal and right into the heart of the business.  Bill was not the current owner at the time.  He had retired from the Leinenkugel Brewing Company already.

The information included in this interview was a first-hand account of how Bill Leinenkugel made it to the top.  He started out with saying how he started working summers bottling at the soda water plant.  Then, when he got old enough, he graduated up to the brewery in the bottle house.  He then worked in the sales department, and was later promoted to sales manager.  Later he was named Vice President, and then Executive Vice President.  Finally, he became the President of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery.  He then retired as President and Vice Chairman of the Board.

This helps with my question because it gets me to understand the background history of the businesses.  It makes me realize that this business has been around for a long time and it is an important part of the Chippewa Falls area history.  I learned that all of this business has been in the family since it started, which is nice to see.  The only thing that is missing is how the businesses have affected the community.  I will research online to help answer that question.

Start of my Research

My research question is how do local businesses contribute to their community?  I came across this question as I was reading interviews from workers and business owners of Industrial Rehabilitation Consultants, Crane Lumber Company, and Leinenkugel Brewery.  All of these businesses are located in the Chippewa Falls, WI area.

I am interested in this because my family started a small business in my home town and I’d like to think that we contribute a lot to our community.  It is interesting to see how other small town businesses succeed and contribute to their community.

I don’t fully understand these businesses and how they contribute to their community  because I had never heard of them before two weeks ago.  I had only heard of the Leinenkugel Brewery before.  I am not from or am familiar with the Chippewa Falls area.