Bill Leinenkugel Passes Away

September 23rd, 2008 | Posted by Jay Brooks

Yesterday, Bill Leinenkugel, age 87, lost his lengthy battle with cancer and passed away. In 1971, Bill took over as President of the then-small Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, brewery — Leinenkugel Brewing — that his great-grandfather founded. During his reign, he expanded markets, came up with the idea for the Leinie’s Lodge and oversaw a merger with Miller Brewing in 1988. After Bill’s retirement, his son “Jake” took over and is now the fifth-generation family member to do so. Until last month, Leinenkugel was sold in 38 states, and is still brewed in Chippewa Falls (though some is also brewed in Milwaukee). At the end of last month, Leinenkugel had nearly completed a national rollout of the brand at the hands of new owners MillerCoors.

Bill Leinenkugel

Bill Leinenkugel (at left), and his three sons, John, Dick and Jake, at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls.

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One Response to “Bill Leinenkugel Passes Away”

  1. The Daily Eudemon Says:

    […] A good day is shaping up: weather forecast warm, beer forecast cold. I had planned on spending the afternoon quaffing, but a client called and said she needed to see me Saturday. Because I’m tied up all day Saturday, the only option was to schedule her for 7:45 a.m. I couldn’t exactly risk a hangover (”I think a D reorg . . . [!#%*, my head, ouch. Why isn’t that @$%$*@$# Motrin kicking in, ouch] . . . would work if you want to . . . [wait, I’m feeling kinda oozy] . . insulate liability for the dynamite-production side of the business,” so I drank Thursday night. Nothing heavy, just a couple of Leinenkugels (my tribute to the brewery’s former president, Bill Leinenkugel, who passed away this week) while waiting for The Office to come on. I have one of those unjustified hangovers this morning (three beers doesn’t call for a headache and slight stomach pains), but I still plan on drinking a few this evening. The weatherman says this weekend might be the last real nice one. __________ […]