Former Mayor John Norquist declared Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Day in the city of Milwaukee on May 20, 1997. The proclamation, which still hangs near the bar in Leinenkugel’s 10th Street brewery, recognized the company for making an investment in downtown Milwaukee with the purchase and renovation of the brewery.
Almost exactly 20 years later, MillerCoors and Leinenkugel’s marked the start of another investment with the groundbreaking for a $50 million expansion of the brewery that will add 65 full-time jobs and take capacity from 25,000 to 250,000 barrels a year.
“This expanded facility will result in incremental employment and drastically improve our brewing flexibility, said Kelly Grebe, MillerCoors chief legal officer.
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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett recounted how he’d gone to school with some members of the Jaeger family that owned the former bakery that was torn down to make way for the expansion.
“For me there's really a nostalgic twist to this, but there's also an excitement of understanding that the one constant of cities is that we're always changing, we're always reinventing ourselves,” Barrett said.
Both Barrett and Gov. Scott Walker praised MillerCoors for its continued investment in the city and involvement as a corporate citizen.
“This is more investment, more jobs, more beer, what could be more exciting here in Wisconsin than all those things,” Walker said.
The governor said the investment was “yet another sign that Milwaukee, downtown Milwaukee in particular, is taking off.”
“You see the excitement with the new arena, you see the excitement with all the new development. This is another sign that the city of Milwaukee is vibrant. When you have a vibrant Milwaukee you have a vibrant Wisconsin,” Walker said.