The Leinie Lodge, which resides across the river from the Leinenkugel’s Brewery, is the quintessential Northwoods inspired gift shop. It’s set on a fairly scenic lot, as the sizable cabin style structure warmly greets those who tour the brewery. However, unlike most giftshops, this shelter also plays home to a taproom and patio.
For some, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing company, compared to other craft beer locales, may not shine as brightly. That’s because this mid-sized brewery is no longer independent. It’s actually a subsidiary of Molson-Coors. Basically, the giant beer conglomerate realized craft breweries were eating at the company’s market share. So, the big dogs bought out a well known brewer and started selling craft beer.
But Leinenkugel’s still retains much allure, having endured over 150 years in the small town of Chippewa Falls, WI. Founded in 1867, it ranks among the top ten oldest breweries in the US. Naturally, their marketing team plays upon Leinie’s Northwoods location, and the aged establishment’s brewery tours are quite popular.
As for the tour, we couldn’t get in…they were sold out the day we visited. Yet, we perused the giftshop, traipsed the grounds, and sipped beer on a comfortable patio.
The lodge is mainly a gift shop, with a taproom thrown in as an afterthought. Being that the lodge is where the tour starts, the taproom is basically there to provide free beers for those who pay to see the brewery.
Since we couldn’t get a tour pass, we made do with shopping and drinking. The building is actually pretty cool, being a cabin style structure. An eclectic variety of gifts, a fireplace, a few canoes, old time photographs and rustic kitsch spruce up this trendy place.
As an added bonus, the grounds are fairly awesome. There’s actually a rippling river coursing through the property. Green banks and a wood chip path enhance Leinenkugel’s Northwoods sentiment.
The brewery itself, although we hadn’t taken the tour, stands as a remnant of industrial grit. Two tall old world brick structures reach as high as the neighboring trees.
So, there’s a short overview of the property. I close this particular post wishing I could provide a tad more info. I mean, after all, the main draw to this property is the brewery tour. I’ll just say this; if their property is any indication, Leinenkugel’s brewery tour would be a pleasant way to spend some downtime.