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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Photos or tap descriptions used in this blog may not be misrepresented as your own. Photos may not be used for financial gain whatsoever, as the uniqueness of the photo would unfairly associate a seller's product and reputation with this site. Tap descriptions may be used word for word as long as this blog is cited as the source, and a link is provided to this site.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tap Handle #123: Leinenkugel - Autumn Gold Lager

This tap has a unique way to change merely unscrew the top, slip a label inside, and re-attach. A tap that includes a full set of labels is really valuable, as you can make the tap into whatever variety you want: Original, Berry Weiss, etc. Since you aren't sticking a label on it with an adhesive back, it's easy to change and there's no mess to clean up if you do. It's really a very ingenious design.

Leinenkugel was founded in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in 1867 by Jacob Leinenkugel, an immigrant of Bavaria and from a family of brewmasters. The first beer was "Original" and currently makes up 40% of sales. By 1890 the brewery was doing so well that Leinenkugel invested in new facilities. He built a new brewery, a three-story malthouse, a barn to house the delivery horses, and several other buildings. When Jacob Leinenkugel died in 1899, the business passed to his son Matt.. During Prohibition, the company produced near beer known as "Leino" as well as soda water, and resumed brewing after Prohibition ended. When the United States entered World War II, rationing and labor shortages caused other breweries to raise their prices, but Leinenkugel kept its prices the same. After the war, the company invested again in new equipment. In 1955 Leinenkugel installed glass-lined fermentation tanks at its brewery, and these were the first of their kind in use in the United States.

The company opened a hospitality center in 1980, with a small museum and gift shop, and began offering tours of the brewery. Miller Brewing bought the company in 1988, and formed a unit called the American Specialty and Craft Beer Company, which also included the Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas, and Shipyard Brewing. Leinenkugel has two breweries: the original, located in Chippewa Falls, and the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee. The 10th Street Brewery, opened in 1986 by Heileman Brewing for the Blatz label, was purchased by Leinenkugel in 1995. Leinenkugel is still run by fifth-generation descendants of Jacob Leinenkugel, with three brothers in top positions, including president, and is distributed throughout the United States, though it is most frequently found in the Midwest.

Autumn Gold Lager was a seasonal pale lager only brewed for two months a year. It has been retired since 2000-2001. It was brewed with 7 varieties of malted barley and 2 varieties of hops. Weighted average on is 3.43 out of 5.

Leinenkugal Official Website

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