Former President, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Thomas Jacob Leinenkugel, better known as older brother “Jake,” became the fifth generation to lead the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in 1989 before his younger brother Dick took over in 2015.
Jake began his career in the family business in 1970, working summers at the Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin brewery. After leaving home to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison and receiving a BA in Business and Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University in 1979, Jake enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served as an infantry officer on active duty from 1976 to 1982 and was on active reserve from 1983 to 1987.
In 1989, Jake took over as president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Under his guidance, Leinenkugel’s has become a household name in the Upper Midwest and the brewery is enjoying steady growth across the country behind the runaway success of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. After more than 40 years in the family business, Jake would play a crucial role in overseeing the brewery’s national expansion to all 50 states in 2013.
Always stressing the importance of recognizing Leinie’s beer drinkers, Jake travels extensively throughout the U.S. to personally greet Leinie’s fans and thank them for the continued loyalty. He also assisted in the creation of the Leinie Lodge loyalist group in the late eighties, which today boasts more than 350,000 members. Looking to further connect with fans, Jake can now be found on Twitter using the handle @jakeleinenkugel. He is quick to answer tweets from his followers and offer brewing tips, as well as how to actually pronounce the Leinenkugel name correctly.
Alongside his younger brothers Dick and John, he now stars in the brewing company’s TV and Radio campaigns. He is also showing his son’s Matt and CJ the ins and outs of the Leinenkugel’s business, passing along his expertise to the sixth generation.
A proud grandfather, he and his wife Peggy live in Chippewa Falls down the road from the brewery. When not selling Leinie’s and greeting loyal fans, Jake can be found hiking the Canadian Rockies, playing golf, canoeing on Lake Wissota and fishing for walleye and muskie with his brothers.