The Leinenkugel family brewery, founded by Jacob Leinenkugel in May 1867, has a rich history and heritage rooted in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Jacob, driven by a strong work ethic, established the brewery with the knowledge that his German family heritage would be crucial to its success.
The Leinenkugel family brewery was founded in May 1867 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin by Jacob Leinenkugel and his business partner, John Miller. Jacob, a German immigrant, brought his brewing expertise and passion for beer to Chippewa Falls, a town with a thriving lumber industry and a growing population. Having learned the art of brewing from his father in Germany, Jacob saw an opportunity to quench the thirst of the hardworking loggers and lumberjacks in the region. With the financial support of his father-in-law, he established the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.
The brewery started as a small local operation, but Jacob’s commitment to quality and dedication to his craft helped it gain a reputation for producing exceptional brews. Despite facing fierce competition from larger breweries, Leinenkugel’s Original, the brewery’s flagship beer, became a local favorite and contributed to its success.
After the death of Jacob Leinenkugel in 1899, the mantle of brewery president was taken up by his son-in-law, Henry Casper. Continuing the family tradition, Matthias Leinenkugel assumed the role of president in 1907, following in his father’s footsteps. The brewery saw further growth under the guidance of the second generation, with the market for Leinenkugel’s beers flourishing.
The Leinenkugel brewery thrived throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, despite the challenges posed by Prohibition in the 1920s. During this time, the brewery shifted its focus to producing soda and other non-alcoholic beverages to survive. Susan Leinenkugel Mayer, Jacob’s daughter, then assumed the presidency in 1927, further solidifying the family’s involvement and leadership in the brewery. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the Leinenkugel brewery resumed its beer production and continued to flourish.
Recognizing the importance of engaging with consumers and showcasing their brewing expertise, Raymond and William pioneered the concept of brewery tours. These tours allowed visitors to witness firsthand the craftsmanship and dedication that went into creating Leinenkugel’s beers, fostering a deeper connection between the brewery and its customers. The introduction of brewery tours not only served as a means to educate and entertain, but it also presented a valuable marketing opportunity.
The combined efforts of Raymond Mayer and William Casper not only addressed the immediate challenges after Prohibition but also positioned the brewery for long-term success. Their dedication, resourcefulness, and forward-thinking approach paved the way for continued growth and prosperity for the Leinenkugel family business.
Throughout its history, the Leinenkugel brewery experienced significant growth and notable milestones. In 1979, the brewery expanded with the addition of the Hospitality Center, a dedicated space for Leinie fans to gather and deepen their knowledge about the beloved beers.
Under the leadership of Jake, Dick, and John Leinenkugel, the brewery continued to thrive. However, in 1988, a pivotal moment arrived when the Leinenkugel family made the decision to sell the company to Miller Brewing Company, a subsidiary of the multinational brewing giant, SABMiller. This strategic acquisition provided the Leinenkugel brewery with access to greater resources and an extensive distribution network, allowing its quality brews to reach beer enthusiasts across the country.
While the sale raised concerns among loyal customers about the brewery potentially losing its local identity, the Leinenkugel family remained actively involved in the business, ensuring that their cherished traditions and core values were upheld.
Under Miller’s ownership, the Leinenkugel brewery experienced remarkable growth and achieved nationwide recognition. The company seized the opportunity to introduce a range of new beers, including the popular Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss and Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss. These innovative brews not only appealed to a broader audience but also showcased the brewery’s ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences and stay ahead of the curve.
To meet the increasing demand, Leinenkugel’s 10th Street Brewery was established in 1995, providing additional capacity for production. This expansion further solidified the brewery’s position as a leading player in the industry.
In 2003, the Leinie Lodge was unveiled, opening its doors to beer enthusiasts and offering a unique experience. With over 350,000 members, the Leinie Lodge has become a thriving community where fans can immerse themselves in the world of Leinenkugel’s and connect with fellow beer lovers.
In 2008, SABMiller formed a joint venture with Molson Coors Brewing Company, creating MillerCoors. This partnership provided even greater opportunities for the Leinenkugel brewery to expand its distribution and increase its production capacity. The brewery continued to innovate, introducing seasonal and limited-edition brews that captured the essence of each season, such as Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest and Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy.
In recent years, the craft beer movement and the demand for unique, small-batch brews have influenced the brewing industry. The Leinenkugel brewery has embraced this trend, creating its own line of craft-style beers under the “Leinie Lodge” series. These specialty beers, such as Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout and Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, showcase the brewery’s ability to combine traditional brewing techniques with innovative flavors.
Continuing the proud Leinenkugel legacy, the sixth generation of the family, Matt, Kirk, Ellie, and Katie Leinenkugel, alongside Tony Bugher, are dedicated to expanding the reach of Leinenkugel’s beers to new markets and connecting with more people than ever before.
J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard
On Monday, April 3, 2023 MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers’ home opener against the New York Mets wasn’t just Opening Day for the Brewers, it was also for the ballpark’s new restaurant and brewery, J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard, located in a premier location of the ballpark, overlooking left field and the Brewers bull pen at what originally was Miller Park, now after a sponsorship change American Family Field.
The new brewery, bar and restaurant was a replacement for the previous Restaurant To Be Named Later, which had operated briefly between 2019 and 2022. Prior to that, TGI Friday’s Front Row Grill occupied the space from 2001 until 2019.
Milwaukee’s Ramlow/Stein served as the project architect for the redesign of the Leinenkugel Barrel Yard, infusing the space with a lakeside atmosphere. The interior design draws inspiration from the rustic charm of a traditional brewery barrel yard, featuring warm wood accents and industrial lighting. The overall ambiance exudes a feeling of airy lightness, with walls adorned in whimsical depictions of the Northwoods, creating a welcoming and enjoyable environment. Plaid-cushioned booths, wooden topographical maps of Wisconsin lakes, and vintage signs and advertisements add to the appeal, making it a place where one would want to spend time.
Running alongside the stadium-facing windows, table seating is available, including some picnic table-style arrangements. Across from them, built-on banquettes provide additional seating options, with engraved abstract wood panels showcasing the outlines of local lakes such as Nagawicka, Three Lakes Chain, and Eagle River Chain. These panels, along with all the furniture and fixtures, were crafted by Three Sixty, a Milwaukee design and build firm. The dining area’s high-top tables proudly display the Barrel Yard logo, designed by RevPop.
Contributing to the establishment’s unique character is a custom hand-painted mural in the main dining area. Created by renowned local artist David Zimmerman of Big Shot Robot, this Northwoods-inspired mural adds a captivating visual element and was meticulously designed and executed over several weeks.
One notable feature of the Barrel Yard is its state-of-the-art, on-premises three-barrel brewing system, prominently displayed upon entry. This brewing equipment is specifically designed to craft specialty beers exclusively available at American Family Field.
For guests without reserved restaurant seating, a newly constructed Taproom awaits just inside the entrance. Accessible through garage doors, visitors can quickly pop in and grab a draft Leinenkugel’s beer from the selection of 16 brews on tap, allowing them to enjoy their beverage throughout the stadium until the 9th inning. Adjacent to the Taproom is the Brew Room, the restaurant’s 27-foot-long main bar, offering a prime view of the field. Combined, these bars feature an impressive 48 brews on tap, in addition to domestic and import beers.
The Barrel Yard provides a variety of seating options to cater to different preferences. At the far end of the venue is the Brew Room, a space available for private events. Situated in left-center field within the Barrel Yard, this expansive area offers both indoor and outdoor seating and can comfortably accommodate groups ranging from 30 to 50 people. It is available for rent on both game days and non-game days.
Indoor booths provide a comfortable and private setting, while outdoor patios offer a refreshing open-air dining experience with panoramic views not only across the field but also a unique vantage point overlooking the Brewers bullpen.
The restaurant and brewery features specialty beer, brewed on-site by Brewmaster Corrine Georges. The location has a three-barrel brewing system, which is smaller than the seven-barrel brewing system at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls but still allows Corrine to brew new beers in Milwaukee.
After successfully completing her Bachelor of Science degree in brewery operations, Corrine Georges wasted no time in pursuing her passion for brewing. She gained valuable experience by working at renowned breweries such as Colorado’s Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. and Left Hand Brewing. Jumping at the exciting opportunity she became the full-time Brewmaster at the on-site pilot brewery in the Milwaukee Brewers MLB Stadium. As the Brewmaster, she oversees the brewing operations in the pilot brewery, creating at least two new unique and flavorful beers each month to delight fans and visitors to the stadium.
The Barrel Yard at Leinenkugel offers an array of ticket packages designed to enhance the game day experience. Fans can choose from different seating options, including the outdoor tables on the Home Run Porch and the Bullpen Tables. These seats provide a fantastic view of the action on the field while enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Barrel Yard.
Bock – Single / Traditional
Leinenkugel’s Toasted Bock is our refreshing take on a traditional bock beer – a style that originated in southern Germany in the early seventeenth century. We combine German and American ingredients to create a light, smooth and slightly toasty version of a bock beer. We hope you love it as much as we do!
Sour – Fruited
Leinenkugel’s Juicy Peach is a mild sour-style beer that is brewed with light tart notes balanced with the refreshing sweet flavor of natural peaches. Juicy Peach is just tart enough to keep it interesting, but not overly sour, giving you the thirst-quenching, easy drinking flavor experience that can be enjoyed all year long.
Lager – Amber / Red
With over 550 years of brewing experience combined, Leinenkugel’s Collaboration Lager is a blend of German tradition and American ingenuity. Brewed in partnership with Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München and in the spirit of Reinheitsgebot, this German-style amber lager incorporates imported German malts with unique American hops to create a beer that is flavorful, balanced, and refreshing.
Lager – Helles
Leinenkugel’s session helles is a bright, light bodied beer, brood with “tradition” hops and select Munich malt. with just the right amount of bitterness for the style and a crisp finish, it’s made to be enjoyed all day. Keep it stocked for a full day lounging by the water.
Oktoberfest is arguably the world’s greatest festival. And our Leinenkugel’s® Oktoberfest is the perfect beer for anyone who wants to join in the festival’s spirit. A traditional Märzen-style beer, Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest has a toasted malt flavor and subtle, spicy hop notes that make it perfect for celebrating fall in true German fashion. And of course, the perfect food to pair it with is traditional German fare like brats, spaetzles, and salty pretzels with mustard.
Lager – Amber / Red
Malt forward amber lager with Cascade & Cluster hops. Originally introduced in 1986, Northwoods Lager quickly became a fan favorite in coolers across the country. In fact, Northwoods Lager has won a gold medal in 1993 at the Great American Beer Festival in the Premium Lager category. It’s made with some of the finest quality ingredients, including some hops, barley, oats and water from right here in Wisconsin.
Shandy / Radler
A shandy is beer mixed with a little something extra like soda, juice or ginger ale. Leinenkugel’s® Summer Shandy® is a traditional wheat beer with refreshing natural lemonade flavor that makes it perfect for the sun-splashed summer months. For a fun and fresh food pairing, try it with lighter, brighter foods like shrimp quesadillas, pan-seared scallops with lemon vinaigrette, or lemon chicken with pasta.
Lager – Munich Dunkel
Leinenkugel’s winter seasonal Chocolate Dunkel combines the refreshment of a crisp dark lager with just the right amount of tasty chocolate flavor. Chocolate Dunkel’s cocoa crispness and smooth finish is perfect for cozying up by the campfire on chilly winter nights.
Lager – American
Leinenkugel’s Original is brewed with Pale malts and Cluster hops inspired by our family’s 1867 recipe. Its crisp, classic flavor has been carrying the Leinenkugel name for five generations. Bronze Award winner in 1988 for American Premium Pilsners and 1998 Bronze Award winner for American-Style Premium Lager at the Great American Beer Festival®.
Wheat Beer – Kristallweizen
Featuring a touch of real Wisconsin honey, Leinenkugel’s® Honey Weiss is a golden-hued American wheat beer inspired by a classic German style. A little clover honey is all it takes to give Honey Weiss a unique flavor that’s perfectly balanced. Garnish with a lemon wedge for a citrus aroma that nicely complements the sweet, subtle taste of the beer. Try pairing it with foods that won’t overpower the beer’s lighter side, like Friday Fish Fry with a squeeze of lemon, or fresh green salads with candied nuts.
Lager – Dark
Aged slowly for maximum flavor, Leinenkugel’s® Creamy Dark is brewed with a special blend of seven malts for a rich, nutty, cocoa flavor and crisp finish. No wonder it’s the most award-winning beer in the Leinenkugel’s family. One of our favorite beers from Out Here, Creamy Dark is one deliciously dark, surprisingly smooth brew. Its crisp, nutty flavor also cuts right through foods like Cajun-spiced pork chops or spicy stuffed peppers. And if you want something extra decadent, pair it with rich chocolate cake, which coaxes out the creamy tones of the beer.
The Kölsch-style was born in 1906 when Germans in Cologne brewed a crisp, easy-drinking beer to combat the summer heat. Our Leinenkugel’s® Canoe Paddler® is a Kölsch-style beer, but we brew ours with a touch of rye to give it a silky texture, a slightly spicy flavor and a smooth, dry finish. It’s our take on a German classic that’s perfect for winding down and relaxing. Kick back and get ready for the warm weather by pairing it with foods like asparagus and goat cheese salad or Mediterranean chicken with pasta.
Lager – Dark
Our most award-winning beer, Leinenkugel’s® Dark Lager is brewed with a special blend of four malts for a rich, nutty cocoa flavor and crisp finish. That makes it one deliciously dark, surprisingly smooth brew. Hey, the name says it all. In 2005 and 2006, Dark Lager won a Gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival® in the American-style Dark Lager category. In 2002, 2008 and 2013 it won the Silver in the American-style Dark Lager category, and in 2004 received the Bronze in the American-style Dark Lager category.
Leinenkugel’s Spritzen Grapefruit Beer is a refreshingly fruity combination of flavored beer and hard seltzer. Crafted with no artificial ingredients, this grapefruit seltzer drink is the perfect blend of beer with a splash of seltzer and natural grapefruit juice flavors. This low-calorie beer and seltzer has 93 calories, 2.2 grams of carbs, no sugar, and 4.2% ABV. Full of bright citrus aromas of freshly squeezed grapefruit, this seltzer beer drink has a bright, refreshing, and crisp taste. The unique combination is a great refreshment for many occasions year-round.
Leinenkugel’s has brewed up something completely new to join the family of German-inspired beers with a twist: Leinenkugel’s Spritzen. Spritzen is beer with a splash of seltzer and natural flavors, so it offers the lightness and subtle fruit flavor of a seltzer, while still delivering that unmistakable crisp beer taste. Raspberry Lemon Beer with a Splash of Seltzer and Natural Flavor.
Leinenkugel’s has brewed up something completely new to join the family of German-inspired beers with a twist: Leinenkugel’s Spritzen. Spritzen is beer with a splash of seltzer and natural flavors, so it offers the lightness and subtle fruit flavor of a seltzer, while still delivering that unmistakable crisp beer taste.
Porter – American
Leinenkugel’s® Snowdrift Vanilla Porter® is a fuller-bodied beer brewed with roasted malts for a flavor with hints of cocoa, coffee and caramel. And it’s aged on real vanilla for a smooth, creamy taste that makes it perfect for warming up winter. Pair it with heavier foods like glazed ham with cherries, slow roasted meats, or sweet potato casserole.
Pale Ale – American
Leinenkugel’s Red Pale Ale is brewed just for Wisconsin. This 34 IBU, 5.6% ABV brew is made with some of the finest quality ingredients, including some hops, barley, oats and water right here from Wisconsin. It’s fresh hop aroma and flavor are balanced by rich malts that give it a distinct red hue – A unique taste from Leinenkugel’s brewed for our friends and neighbors here in Wisconsin.
Shandy / Radler
Leinenkugel’s® Berry Shandy is our tasty twist on a Shandy. Each batch begins with our traditional Weiss beer that’s mixed with blackberry juice and berry flavors giving it a subtly sweet and tart finish. It’s a light, crisp and refreshing beer perfect for any season.
Shandy / Radler
A traditional shandy is beer mixed with a little something extra, like lemonade, soda or ginger ale. Leinenkugel’s® Grapefruit Shandy is our take on this tradition. Each batch begins with our traditional Weiss beer. We then combine it with natural white grapefruit flavor that adds a note of fresh-cut citrus to brighten a great day by the lake.
Lager – American Amber / Red
For more than 20 years, Leinenkugel’s® Red Lager has been a staple in our family of beers, not to mention coolers, tents and ice boxes. It gets its smooth caramel flavor and spicy hop finish from a special blend of five different malts and American hops. When it comes to food, this is the beer that goes for the gusto. Pair it with robust Italian dishes like chicken Parmesan, lasagna, or hearty minestrone soup.
Wheat Beer – Kristallweizen
Crisp wheat beer gets a little lift from an enticing blend of blackberries, elderberries and loganberries that are all indigenous to Wisconsin. Our Leinenkugel’s® Berry Weiss brings them together for a flavor that’s deliciously different and available all year long. Round out the fresh-picked flavor with a wide variety of fresh foods like Caprese salad, creamy spinach and artichoke dip, or for something enticingly out of the ordinary, a decadent chocolate cake.
Lager – American Amber / Red
A 100 percent malted lager, Leinie’s Classic features Bulldog’s own unique blend of two-row and six-row malts and four varieties of hops. A blend of Pale, Caramel, and Munich malts offer a complex flavor, with four different hops (Cluster, Cascade, Mt. Hood, and Hallertau) to balance the malts. The only ingredients permitted are malts, water, hops, and yeast.
Brown Ale – American
Specially roasted English two-row malts provide a toasted maltiness and maple aroma with hints of chocolate, caramel and hazelnut top notes that dance around the palate before finishing gracefully. While the star of this holiday seasonal is the roasted malt character, the well-balanced flavor and natural chestnut color give our Fireside a comforting approachability that you just don’t experience in traditional English-style nut browns.
Bock – Doppelbock
Leinenkugel’s® Big Butt Doppelbock™ is inspired by the Bavarian tradition with five varieties of malted barley. It has a smooth, rich flavor and deep, dark color that stands up to those last cold days before spring. Our beer gets its name from an icon of the Bock style, the goat, and while they’re known to butt heads over disputes, we still prefer to just talk it out over a beer.
Shandy / Radler
Leinenkugel’s® Orange Shandy was inspired by the orange harvests. Oranges bring a bright citrus flavor to complement our traditional wheat beer. The result is as inviting as it is refreshing. With a zesty citrus taste, it’s just what you need to stay on the brighter side of the season. And for a little extra zing, try pairing it with tropical flavors like coconut shrimp or mango lime salsa.
Shandy / Radler
Bring out the best of the season with our Leinenkugel’s® Harvest Patch Shandy. It’s a traditional wheat beer that we blend with notes of nutmeg, allspice and clove for a flavor that reminds us of homemade pumpkin pie and pairs perfectly with fall. It’s the perfect pumpkin shandy to pick this season. For an added touch of fall flavor, try pairing it with spicy beef chili or caramel flan.
Shandy / Radler
Traditional Helles-style beers tend to be a tad malty. Leinenkugel’s® Hoppin’ Helles™ is our spin on the style that puts it a bit on the hoppy side with five all-American hops. It starts bright and citrusy with a nice tropical aroma that ends with a tangy spice finish. New this fall – Join Us Out Here®.
Sour – Berliner Weisse
Leinenkugel’s® BeerGarten Tart® starts out with a snap of tartness balanced by a subtle sweetness from pale malts. It’s our take on a Berliner Weisse, a classic German biergarten summer favorite. Brewed with American wheat, BeerGarten Tart’s light body and refreshing finish are perfect for warm summer days.
Lager – Helles
The Helles style was first brewed in Munich in 1895 and is now the most popular beer style in all of Germany. Like the classic German Helles style, Leinenkugel’s® Helles Yeah™ is an easy-drinking, everyday beer, but we brew ours with American hops for a brighter aroma, bolder taste and snappy, clean finish. When it comes to food, the American hops in Helles Yeah make it the perfect pair for spicy dishes like Indian curries or Mexican fruit salsas.
Shandy / Radler
Did you know the great state of Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any state in America? Our hometown pride inspired us to brew Leinenkugel’s® Cranberry Ginger Shandy. The combination of traditional wheat beer with natural cranberry flavor and a note of ginger is as refreshing as a toboggan ride Out Here. The flavor profile makes it a great pair for honey-glazed ham, brie cheese or a green salad with tart vinaigrette dressing.
Stout – Russian Imperial
Once dubbed “the purest water in the world” the Big Eddy Spring runs right through our brewery in the heart of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and is where our Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout gets its name. Brewed with a blend of robust malts, distinctive hops and notes of chocolate and toffee our stout is bold in character yet remarkably balanced.
Lightly hopped and well-balanced, Leinie’s brewmasters blend fresh apples and a hint of cinnamon spice to deliver a beer that is refreshingly drinkable cold or heated up and served warm. Leinenkugel’s Apple Spice features more than 2,000 pounds of real apples per batch (one batch equivalent to 165 barrels).
Lager – Munich Dunkel
Leinenkugel’s winter seasonal, Bavarian Style Dunkel, is a medium bodied dark lager brewed with notes of cocoa, toasted malt and mild winter spices that blend perfectly with a hint of berries. Its rich taste and clean finish make it a great addition to a winter’s day spent cozying up by a fire.
Wheat Beer – Witbier / Blanche
Get ready to settle in for a sunset. Our award-winning Belgian-style witbier, Leinenkugel’s® Sunset Wheat has notes of orange and blueberry, and a tart, citrusy finish. Add an orange wheel to the rim of your glass for a little extra note in the aroma that really enhances the beer’s citrus side. Sunset Wheat’s fruity character really cuts through spicy dishes, so pair it with flavors like lemon pepper chicken or Southwestern scallops.