Friday, January 13, 2017

Forgotten Brewery Caves - Leinenkugels

Leineinkugel's Brewery has been making the residents of Chippewa Falls happy since its establishment in 1867.  It has the classic location.  On a creek, edge of town, right next to a nice hillside with a stone face.  So of course there was a brewery cave.

But this cave is elusive, the stuff of rumor and myth.

Supposedly when renovations were done on the brewery circa 2000 the cave was briefly exposed.  It was said to be in a bad state, wet and partly silted in.  I did not have a chance to see it before it was sealed off.

A while back I ran across an 1871 newspaper article that describes the cave.  It was said that it 

"..commences just back of the brewery and is one hundred feet long and twenty wide, built in the solid rock.  It is 49 feet from the cellar to the surface and through that there is an air hole of about one foot.."

It sounds like a classic brewery cave, but behind the current brewery I can see no clear evidence of it.  So my hopes were raised when I saw this going on:

No cave in sight - by my reckoning it is about 50 feet to the left.  But that "solid rock" that was described is still there.

Note, I don't want anybody bothering the good folks at Leinenkugels so I set this post aside until construction was finished.  There is no point in nosing about looking for a cave.  Neither the entrance nor the vent hole are visible in 2016.

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