Craft beer family wins big

Suburban Chicago microbrewery owners claim half of Big Game jackpot

May 19, 2000 - A suburban Chicago couple who own a microbrewery stepped forward Friday as the winners of the other half of last week's record-setting $363 million Big Game jackpot.


Joe and Sue Kainz, who operate the Wild Onion Brewing Co. in Lake Barrington with the help of their children, said they have no plans to retire and will use some of the jackpot to invest in the microbrewery. The family also owns a medical supply company.

The couple's three children - Michael, 34; Patrick, 29; and John, 26 - will share in the prize.

Kainz said his grandfather emigrated from Germany in the early 1900s and started a dairy business. When Prohibition was enacted, he used the dairy equipment to start a clandestine brewery and supplied the beer to speakeasies in Chicago, Kainz said.

He said the business returned to a dairy, in which both he and his father later worked.

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