CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- There was a toast and an apology this weekend as the Leinenkugel brewery's fan base grew to include a Minnesota politician who once insulted the Wisconsin beer.
What started out as a slur during a legislative debate ended Saturday with laughs, hugs, photos and cups of Leinie's -- and a pledge to meet again in a few months on Rep. Kurt Zellers' home turf in Minnesota, the Chippewa Herald reported.
"It was nice that it worked out, and I'll have to reciprocate at the Minnesota State Fair this fall," said Jake Leinenkugel, president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Chippewa Falls. "Minnesota has been very good to us, and I look at us as being sister states."
When the Minnesota House was debating whether to raise the state alcohol tax in April, Zellers, R-Maple Grove, criticized claims that the tax increase would amount to only seven cents a beer.
"That's like promising a case of Summit to the party and showing up with that bathwater called Leinenkugel's," Zellers said, referring to the Summit brewery in St. Paul. "It's not a fair deal at all. Good Minnesota beer for Wisconsin bathwater, no sir."