Spotlight: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company12/24/2014
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
When asked what comes to mind when thinking of Wisconsin, most people would probably say cheese, the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee. But what you might not realize is that Wisconsin produces the most cranberries in the United States, and it is also the home of the family-oriented Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Succeeded by five generations, Leinenkugel Brewing lives a legacy that started in 1867 when Jacob Leinenkugel and John Miller opened the brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Since then, Leinenkugel has won countless awards, most recently for Canoe Paddler, a German-style beer, and Creamy Dark, an American-style beer. So join the family out there in Wisconsin, because ‘tis the season to crack open a Leinenkugel.
Cranberry Ginger Shandy
Made with traditional wheat, ginger and natural cranberry flavor, Cranberry Ginger Shandy is a crisp addition to any holiday meal. This shandy comes on strong at first with its mixture of sweet and tart flavors but leaves you with a pleasing dryness. C.J. Leinenkugel, an area beer merchant for Wisconsin and Iowa, says that people underestimate shandies this time of year. He describes how there are a lot of “drinkers out there that think shandy just doesn’t fit the winter time frame,” but explains how Cranberry Ginger Shandy is actually quite perfect. “Cranberry fits the season…ginger complements it and has a nice contrast to the beer.” This shandy is featured in Leinenkugel’s Fall Shandy Pack, accompanied by Old Fashioned Shandy and Harvest Patch Shandy. Look for it at your local grocer. While you’re at it, don’t forget to fall back in love with everyone’s favorite summer beer, Summer Shandy. It returns in March, and keep an eye out for a few summer surprises that will be accompanying it. (If you’d like a Grapefruit Shandy or a Ginger Shandy, you just might be in luck.)
ABV: 4.2 percent
Big Butt Doppelbock
Doppelbock literally means “billy goat” in German, and describes two male billy goats butting heads as a type of mating ritual. Leinenkugel says it “represents spring and new life.” Returning in January, this dark, chocolaty beer has five different malts and contains Mt. Hood and Cluster hops. It “has all the big malt richness that you would associate with a dopplebock beer…but a little paler version,” describes Leinenkugel. It’s rich enough to open up and carry you through the rest of winter, but crisp enough to welcome you into spring. It pairs well with Bellavitano Espresso Cheese.
ABV: 5.8 percent
Hitting the Iowa market in mid-2015, Leine’s IPL (India Pale Lager) is a new beer that Leinenkugel is testing. It’s not an ale, but a lighter version of a typical IPA. “What’s really neat about this is that we use our Leine’s lager yeast, which is a really clean, unobtrusive, pop character to the beer. So whereas more IPA’s tend to be really big, over-the-top bitter for some people, this beer really has a nice clean finish,” says Leinenkugel. This beer is the start of a new direction that Leinenkugel is taking. It will have a new kind of packaging with trail signs, and it falls in the category of the “explorer beers.” This beer is only available in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Go to www.leiniesipl.com to find out more and to find out where it’s sold near you.
ABV: 6 percent
You can find Leinenkugel beer at Saints Pub & Patio, Bar Louie, Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebees, Vista Pub, Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop, Funny Bone Comedy Club, Shotgun Betty’s, Tonic, Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar, local gas stations and supermarkets, plus many more. For a full list, visit leinie.com/locator.
Shandy. A shandy is a beer that is mixed with a non-alcoholic drink. Typically, shandies are mixed with carbonated lemonade, but could be mixed with anything such as ginger ale, apple juice or orange juice. “Rock” shandy is a non-alcoholic shandy beer.
Both Cranberry Ginger Shandy and Big Butt Doppelbock are excellent pairing options with rich hams, cranberries, chocolate and rich cheeses — perfect for Christmas dinner and a New Year’s celebration. Because both of these beers have a dark, rich flavor, they complement savory foods well. Both of them have a type of sweetness to them, so they pair well with desserts and muted sweets.
The Leinenkugel Brewing website features a digital cookbook that gives its readers ideas to cook or bake with each specific beer. Check out the recipe for the Gingerberry Bread. While it is made for Cranberry Ginger Shandy, it pairs well with any shandy and also complements the Big Butt Doppelbock.
Dec. 25 – Stitch and Bitch, 7-9 p.m., 515 Brewing Co., 7700 University Ave., Clive, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/stitch-and-bitch/?instance_id=415
Dec. 31 – Wooly’s PianoPalooza NYE Party, 7 p.m., Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust St., Des Moines, http://www.woolysdm.com/event/723531-pianopalooza-new-yearss-eve-des-moines/
Dec. 31 – Des Moines Social Club NYE Bash, 8 p.m., Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St., Des Moines, http://desmoinessocialclub.org/announcing-the-bash-new-years-eve-at-the-firehouse/
Dec. 31 – Mickey’s Waukee Say Slainte to 2014 NYE party, 7 p.m., Mickey’s Irish Pub Waukee, 50 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, http://www.catchdesmoines.com/includes/calendar-of-events/New-Year-s-Eve-Party—Say-Slainte-to-2014/29151/
Jan. 1 – Social Run with Fitness Sports and 515 Brewing, 5:30 p.m., Fitness Sports and 515 Brewing Co., 7230 University Ave., Windsor Heights, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/social-run-with-fitness-sports-and-515-brewing/?instance_id=135
Jan. 14 – New Belgium Slow Ride Release, The Keg Stand, 3530 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, www.facebook.com/thekegstand
Dec. 25 – Stitch and Bitch, 7-9 p.m., 515 Brewing Co., 7700 University Ave., Clive, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/stitch-and-bitch/?instance_id=416