Jake Leinenkugel retires from craft brewery

Associated Press

July 16, 2014

MILWAUKEE  - Jake Leinenkugel announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as president of the craft brewery started by his great-great-grandfather and will be succeeded by his younger brother Dick Leinenkugel, who formerly led economic development efforts in Wisconsin.

Jake Leinenkugel, 62, is familiar to beer drinkers as the star of ads promoting his family’s brand. He took over day-to-day operations of the company a year after its 1988 merger with Miller Brewing Co., now MillerCoors, and oversaw recent rapid growth fueled by the popularity of the lemonade-flavored Summer Shandy.   

Leinenkugel said he learned something from each of his 13 bosses at MillerCoors and the partnership ‘‘worked for a lot of different reasons.’’  

‘‘We well exceeded what I thought our success measures would be,’’ he said. ‘‘Quite frankly, I’m very proud’’ of the growth, he said.