Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SMU’s Kabara Institute hosts Jake Leinenkugel April 28

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University invites the public to a presentation by Jake Leinenkugel, president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in Page Theatre. The event — hosted by Saint Mary’s Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies — will highlight the “Leinenkugel Family Legacy.”

The company’s founder, Jacob Leinenkugel, found a home for his brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wis., in 1867. The Leinenkugel brewing legacy continues today, more than 140 years and five generations later.

Current president Jake Leinenkugel worked in the family brewery each summer from the end of high school and all through college in a variety of roles — including the summer of 1972, when he almost burned the brewery to the ground.

In the fall of 1982, he resigned his commission from the U.S. Marine Corps and came back to Chippewa Falls at the request of his father. He started in the sales department, and in 1986 was elected vice president of marketing and sales. In 1988, Miller Brewing Company purchased the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Miller saw the importance of keeping the Leinenkugel family heavily active in the brewery’s management, and Jake Leinenkugel continued as vice president until he was promoted to president in 1989.

“I feel privileged to follow in my great-great-grandfather’s and father’s footsteps into this wonderful business,” he said. “We are fortunate to have so many loyal fans that love and support our products, and I feel it is important to interact with as many of them as possible.”

Leinenkugel’s presentation will include a brief history of the company, along with an overview of the brewing industry, water stewardship, and the renaissance of brewing used in the 21st century. In addition, he will explain how Leinenkugel operates as a business by showing their current brand portfolio and brand plan key imperatives, before concluding with the company’s succession planning.

For more information, contact Trevor Hall at (507) 457-6978 or