Today’s Year of Beer painting is Leinenkugel’s Original, also known as “a Leine” by those who love it. This beer is a classic American adjunct brew that really hits the spot when you’re thirstin’ for a clean lager on a hot day. This brewery has two brewing locations, but 95% of the beer is made at the original and larger Chippewa Falls location. The brewery started in 1867 by Jacob Lienenkugel, a German immigrant from Meckenheim, Germany, and John Miller. Starting out very small, brewing up only 400 barrels of beer and hand delivering every cask by horse and carriage. Leinenkugel found the Upper Midwest the perfect location for growing brewing grains and hops and produced a fine American beer that would prove to make his German ancestors proud. In 1884 John Miller left the Leinenkugel operation. Leinenkugel’s is a story of brewing success, surviving Prohibition by making soda water, and an alcohol-free brew known as “Leino.” Good thing a handful of breweries kept on through the dark times of Prohibition, or Americans would not have known how to make good beer on that glorious day December 5 1933, only a scant 80 years ago, when Prohibition ended.
To sipping a “Leinie” on the lake, on a late hot afternoon, late in the Fall when mosquitos are gone and crickets are the only sound other than the tink of your boat as it gently sways in the evening breeze, and knowing that this perfect feeling has been enjoyed by generation after generation!