Kurt Zellers shares toast with Leinenkugel's president to make amends for "bathwater" diss

A couple months after calling Leinenkugel's "bathwater," Zellers has changed his tune.
Over the weekend, Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, traveled to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, to share a toast with Leinenkugel's president Jake Leinenkugel.

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The trip was partly intended to make amends for an anti-Leinenkugel's remark Zellers made on the House floor in April during debate about a possible increase in Minnesota's alcohol tax.

While making a case that a proposed alcohol tax hike would increase the cost of a pint of beer more than projections indicated (the proposed hike wasn't ultimately approved), Zellers said: "That's like promising a case of Summit to the party and showing up with that bathwater called Leinenkugel's. It's not a fair deal at all. Good Minnesota beer for Wisconsin bathwater, no sir."

As you'd expect, that comment didn't endear Zellers to Leinenkugel's ownership, but it also didn't sit well with his wife Kim, whose preferred summertime beverage is Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy.

The next day, Zellers apologized for the remark.

"The little joke I played last night got me in trouble at home last night," Zellers said on the House floor. "So most importantly, my apologies to the Leinenkugel family. They are a great family-owned business. But as it usually goes at our house, 'I'm sorry honey.'"

Jake Leinenkugel, for his part, laughed it off and invited Zellers to come to Chippewa Falls and try a Leinie's for himself.

"I would like to invite him to the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls, where he and I will share a Leinie's," Leinenkugel told the Chippewa Herald. "And then I will have a beer with him at the famous Minnesota State Fair."

Zellers took him up on the offer during Saturday's 10th annual Leinie Lodge Family Reunion.

After sharing a toast with Zellers, Jake Leinenkugel said he looks forward to reciprocating later this summer at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

"Minnesota has been very good to us, and I look at us as being sister states," he told the Herald.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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Back in the 60's Minnesota folks had to be 21 to drink beer in Wisconsin's 18 year old beer bars. The system in Wisconsin was set-up better for the bar environment, so many of the Minnesota kids would invade Wisconsin regularly with fake id's. Or just get a Wisconsin State University ID. The problem was the training or prior beers the Minnesota kids had mainly drank was 3.2% alcohol or referred to  as 3-2. Well the Minnesota kids would get hooked up with the 6% Wisconsin normal beer and get goofier than hell. The road from Somerset, WI to Stillwater, MN was the deadliest stretch of road in Wisconsin.  I'd be worried about Zeller getting drunk on his butt, Jake's a small fellow but I hope he buts the loud mouth 3-2 Wonder Zeller under the table before he settles the discussion. A drunk politician, take him to a windmill and watch it spin!!


So most importantly, my apologies to the Leinenkugel family. They are a great family-owned business."

 I thought Miller bought them many years ago, keeping the family employed at the brewery because it makes good marketing sense. (Miller is part of the South African Breweries conglomerate, for the record.) 

 Holy crap, Wikipedia says 1988! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Leinenkugel_Brewing_Company

swmnguy topcommenter

Yet another one of these Republicans who can't seem to say anything without insulting somebody for no good reason.  Pawlenty was always good for a passive-aggressive, sideways jab.  Tom Emmer is just a seething ball of rage, if his radio show is any indication.  Matt Dean never goes for long without making some kind of weird demeaning comment.  Kurt Zellers seems to be cut from the same cloth.  I know these guys represent some very insecure, angry and frustrated male angst, but they're not going to get anywhere if they don't stop projecting their internal violence fantasies.  The inappropriate nature of their off-hand comments is revealing, and people don't like it.

Rickardo Ehman
Rickardo Ehman

Typical politician, creating tension between two good craft brewers, rather than comparing Budweiser or one of the other watered down corporate brands in order to preserve his own potential "sponsorship."


Leinie's Summy Shandy is horrible. Stick to your guns, Zeller.


@Mumblemumble Says you. I prefer Summit beers to Leinie's, but there are some good Leinie's products that there is no comparable Summit.

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