This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.
When I was in college, “craft beer” wasn’t a term I or any of my peers knew. We had only three categories of that particular potable: cheap beer, slightly-less-cheap beer, and imports. Luckily, I lived in a state where the culture of local breweries endured nicely, even toughing it out through prohibition. This meant that even my cheap beer options were pretty good. Stevens Point Brewery was right down the road from my college, so their products were our obvious go-to, leading to a lingering personal affection that I’ve expounded upon many times in this space. On those occasions when a change of pace was desire, my cohorts and I typically moved one cooler over and grabbed a case of Leinenkugel’s.
These days, Leinenkugel’s is probably best known for one of their ever-growing number of varietals. The national ad spending to tout their Summer Shandy all but guarantees that’s to be the case outside of Wisconsin. Back then, though, the only beer we needed was the original, a crisp, reverberating lager that was fundamentally the same brew the company has been making since the eighteen-hundreds. It was unfussy and deeply satisfying.
While Point could be more difficult to come by the further we were from the middle of the state, Leinenkugel’s was everywhere, which meant it was even more likely to be our beer of choice when we gallivanting around America’s Dairyland. Since that was more likely to happen in the warmer months, my strongest associations with Leinenkugel’s are around the activities that took place in the sunshine, like Milwaukee Brewers games or outdoor concerts. Forget what the commercials say, the original is the true taste of Wisconsin summer.
Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.