“We have a very simple mission at Leinenkugel's,” explains Jake Leinenkugel, president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. “That simply is to make some of the finest beers and varieties of beers – just like our great, great grandfather started back in 1867.”
He continues, “We also want to give back to all of the communities we do business in.”
Chicago River Day
Leinenkugel's has always had a special connection to the Chicagoland area. Chicago was its first major market outside of Wisconsin and, today, thousands of Leinenkugel's fans call Chicago their home. The brewery found a great way to give back to the city with Friends of the Chicago River, an organization solely dedicated to improving the health of the river for the benefit of people and wildlife.
This past May, a team of "Leinie Loyalists," as Leinenkugel's fans are affectionately called, joined with 4,000 other volunteers for Friends of the Chicago River’s 19th Annual Chicago River Day. Along the river’s edge and surrounding parks, volunteers spent the morning picking up and hauling away debris, pulling up invasive plants and rebuilding banks and trails.
As Friends of the Chicago River Director of Watershed Planning John Quail commented, “Leinenkugel's has shown they really are an organization that’s dedicated to clean water.”
The Chicago River Day cleanup is just one of many community service projects Leinenkugel's supports. The brewery sponsors the annual Minnehaha Creek Cleanup along the shores of the creek and Lake Hiawatha in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And, in 2008, when a breach drained Lake Delton in Wisconsin, Leinenkugel's raised funds for restoring the lake and restocked it with 9 million minnows.
At the brewery
Leinenkugel’s commitment to the preservation of water for a better world starts at home. The brewery has reduced its water per barrel usage by more than 50 percent during the past few years. Leinenkugel's accomplished this goal by investing in a new pasteurizer, which saves up to 20 million gallons of water every year!
Leinenkugel's also invests in the development of wetlands and buffer zones around tributaries to Little Lake Wissota, located nearby, to keep out sediment and phosphorus run-off.
Jake Leinenkugel knows that the people who enjoy his beer believe in the brewery’s involvement in the community and commitment to cleaning, protecting and saving water. If the turnout for the Chicago River Day is any indication, Leinie Loyalists are not only dedicated to the beer they love, but also the natural resource that makes that beer possible – pure, clean water.