Jeff Hamilton is pictured
behind the wheel of the of the Sprecher Beer Command
If you’ve ever enjoyed a cold
stein of Sprecher beer from an old fire
truck in one of Milwaukee’s parks or during
a Friday night at Summer Sounds, you can
thank Cedarburg resident Jeff Hamilton.
Hamilton is the president of
Sprecher Brewing. He was promoted to the
position in 2010, after five years as the
company’s vice president and general
Originally from Pennsylvania,
Hamilton started his career in Cedarburg in
1979 after studying metal casting technology
at Purdue University. He spent about 13
years at what was then Meta Mold until he
was transferred to Mississippi.
He returned to Cedarburg,
taking a job with a software company that
was later purchased by Rockwell Automation,
where he spent another 13 years. And after
starting a custom motorcycle wheel business
in Germantown, he eventually made his way to
On the daily, the 60-year-old
is usually interacting with people in the
brewhouse, on the packaging line and
pegging, with salespeople, accountants and
distributors, and yes, partaking in a lot of
sampling. He said the highly regulated
business also frequently involves
government affairs. Hamilton
has been on the board of Wisconsin Brewers
Guild for 10 years, serving three years as
the guild’s president.
He also sits on the Glendale
Convention and Visitors Bureau that is
responsible for Bayshore’s Father’s Day beer
festival and the upcoming Aug. 26 Glendale
Root Beer Bash – he said they are trying to
make Glendale a root beer destination.
He is an occasional
“If I do brew at home it’s
going to be unique,” he said.
His homemade concoctions,
often created for party guests, have
included brewing with walnut and maple sap
instead of water and with the Chaga
mushroom, that offers a darker brew with a
lot of health benefits.
When he’s not overseeing all
manufacturing, purchasing, accounting, sales
and marketing for the Glendale-based brewing
company, the husband and father of two adult
children – and a cat – said he likes to
spend his time relaxing.
“I try to spend as much time
at my Three Lakes cabin as I can. I love to
fish and be on the water. I enjoy good food
too,” he said.
As for the beer trucks, “it’s
a joint story between us and (Milwaukee)
county,” Hamilton said.
Right around the time the
county put out bids for companies to run a
new traveling beer garden, Hamilton crossed
paths with an old fire truck along the side
of the road and thought it would make a
great beer vendor.
“So I took a chance and put
together a proposal based on an old fire
truck, and they wanted it. So then I had to
go find a truck,” he said. “It’s been quite
a fun adventure.”
Now there are five traveling
beer trucks in use, in addition to several
accompanying food truck ambulances that
serve pretzels, potato chips, pizza and root
beer floats. After being approached by the
BoDeans to make a custom brew for their
return to Milwaukee, Hamilton connected with
Sue Schrader of Summer Sounds to provide it
during last year’s close-out show featuring
the Waukesha-based band. This season, the
fire truck is at Cedar Creek Park every
summer Friday, offering tasty beers and now,
onsite canning of 25.4 ounce cans.
Next they are gearing up for
the state fair and seasonal bashes. They
just launched a line of new sodas called
Sprecher Diamond and released a Door County
cherry soda earlier this summer for Discover
Wisconsin’s 30th anniversary that will
become a permanent part of the soda line,
and even get its own badger character on the
“Sprecher’s always doing fun
things, so we always seem to have something
on the horizon,” he said.