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The Lumberjacks Were Thirsty

The Story of the Leinenkugel’s Brewery Tour in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

In 1867, Jacob Leinenkugel learned of the magic waters from the Big Eddy Springs. To the delight of the mighty, thirsty lumberjacks of Northern Wisconsin, Jacob built his brewery here in Chippewa Falls. 150 years and six generations later, the fresh spring water is still the bedrock of the world famous Jacob Leinenkugel’s Brewing Company.

This classic American story, with its German immigrant beginnings, continues to inspire, educate and delight the tens of thousands of visitors every year who come to sample original recipes brought from Germany. And the Leinenkugel family, along with their partners at MillerCoors, know that story loyalty is brand loyalty.

This is truly a special place. And specal places have real stories to share.


Project Goals:

  • Attract New Beer Lovers
  • Enhance Visitor Enjoyment
  • Reinvigorate the Retail Experience
  • Share With the World

150 years authentic

Embracing the 150-year history of Leinenkugel’s, ZEBRADOG—equipped with new technologies, strong storytellers and a love of beer—set out to help show the world what Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is all about. This precious asset, nestled in the Northern Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin, is as real as beer gets.
A carefully designed system of static and interactive storytelling exhibits throughout the brewery tour and Leinie Lodge reinvigorated the campus, giving visitors a more in-depth, memorable and exciting experience. Visitors can’t help but share their experience through interactive social media wall and go home with the perfect six pack, chosen specifically for them.

This is truly a “place”

Design Inspiration

The brewery campus provided a wealth of textural and environmental inspiration for ZEBRADOG to define a palette of materials, graphics and digital environments. Red barn wood, copper, brick, historic labels, bottle caps and the natural ingredients of hops, grain, honey, citrus and water all made their way into the fabric that is Leinenkugel’s.

The Campus

Sign reading “Leinenkugel's Visitor Center & Brewery Tour”
Red barn with sign reading “Stables – Established 1905”
Tour group standing within the new Legacy Circle

A Walk Through Time

Six generations is a long time to be hanging around in the same place—unless you’re part of a distiguished line of Master Brewers sitting on top of pure, running spring water. In the epicenter of the campus is a new Legacy Circle conceived of and designed by ZEBRADOG for tour guests to stop and learn about what the campus was like decades ago. When you step through the “Gateway,” you are touching history, as you walk over the original bricks that lined the brewhouse and pathways for the workers and horses making and delivering the famous brew.

Campus Wayfinding

A campus-wide signing system was designed to provide the “story thread” from building to building, room to room, bottle to bottle. All conceived of, and meticulously built, in an authentic style sure to extend the story the next 150 years.

Tour Time

Illustration of tour destinations
Branded wall graphic illustrating the brewing process
Elevator wrap depicting the campus during winter
“We fell in love with the Leinenkugel’s Brewery after taking the new tour. The whole experience blew us away! We’ll be back.”

Although it’s literally a 6,000-year-old process, many visitors don’t have a clear picture of how beer is made. ZEBRADOG demystified the process by designing an easy to understand interpretive art program that immerses you in each step of the brewing process from the water, grain and hops, to the keg, bottle and can in a multi-sensory environment.

Did you know?

Hop vines can grow up to 18 – 30 feet tall.

Hops are for beer, not for stairs. Please hold handrail.
Stairwells covered in graphics of water, malted grain, and hops
A timeline titled “Crafting Beer for Over 150 Years”

Craft Made

Six generations of product history await you at the Bottle House, where a timeline exhibit helps to identify Leinenkugel’s role throughout history from inception to Prohibition to today.

The Leinie Lodge

Newfound friends enjoy a round of beers
A crowd fills the Leinie Lodge
Behind the bar and everything on tap

Welcome Home

The dream log cabin, complete with a four-sided fireplace, canoes, fishing lures, family pictures, custom clothes for everyone and the BEST BAR in Northern Wisconsin.

Virtual Tour

Don’t feel like walking in the heat or cold of Wisconsin? No problem, you can see an interactive story of the brewing, bottling, packing and shipping processes from right here. Plus the sample bar is a lot closer.

Visitor interacting with the Virtual Tour exhibit

Who’s Who?

When you collect 150 years worth of beer maker photographs for a single family, people get confused between great, great, great grandpa Joseph, and great Aunt Mary.

With modern technology and a History Major on staff, ZEBRADOG was able to make beautiful sense of all of it with an interactive display clarifying which Jacob belongs to each generation.

Visitor interacting with the Family Wall exhibit

You’re In the Family

We all have cameras, we all take pictures and we all LOVE to share them with our friends. At Leinie’s you are immediately considered family when you arrive and now you can put your “selfie” in the Family Photo Album… and don’t forget to send it out for the world to see through this social media-integrated exhibit.

Informational panel within the Family Wall exhibit titled “A Tasty Tradition Is Passed Down”
User-submitted content within the Family Wall exhibit

The Perfect Six-Pack

An informed customer is a better customer. ZEBRADOG developed a special exhibit that teaches you everything you need to know about the current seasonal Leinie’s selections. Plus you can take a super cool “Beer Quiz” that will dial you into selecting the perfect six-pack, all of which are readily available for you to take home.

Visitor interacting with the Pick Six exhibit
What's cook'n on the grill?
Leinenkugel's® beer, a taste for every reason and season.

The Google Analytics Don’t Lie

The digital exhibits have been interacted with over 406,000 times in 7 months since the ZEBRADOG program opened up. That’s a lot of love for the Family, the Fun and the Brand!

Richard J. Leinenkugel celebrating 150 years of Leinenkugel's beer

Working with your team has been terrific and the work we have completed together will continue to strengthen this great brand as we continue to delight our drinkers when they visit us in Chippewa Falls. Thanks to you, Mark, and the entire ZEBRADOG team for a job well done. Please come back to visit often.

Best regards,

Richard J. Leinenkugel
President and Chief Beer Merchant