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Randal Sprecher founded the brewing company in 1985, after a four-year stint as brewing supervisor at Pabst Brewing. A California native, his first degree was in oceanography, and his second in brewing. With a start-up budget of $40,000, he purchased and repurposed used equipment to keep costs down, including a Coca-Cola bottling machine. Some original equipment remains in use.

During the first ten years the company grew steadily and its following of loyal customers increased. Sprecher Brewery needed to expand its operation, so in 1994, Randal purchased and remodeled a former elevator car factory, filling it with everything necessary to meet the ever-increasing needs of his customers.

Wisconsin had a rich beer history decades before it even became a territory, with every community having its own brewery. But by the late 1980’s the number of operating breweries could be counted on one hand, with only one being a “giant.” (The earlier decline was due to Prohibition, followed closely by The Great Depression.)

Sprecher and other craft beer gurus have revived both the distinctive quality of regional beer and the Old World methods. They focus on specialty craft beers, with an eye on quality, much to the delight of your favorite Beer of the Month Club.

Black Bavarian Lager is an intensely dark Kulmbacher style lager with  superb malt complexity and the distinct flavors of coffee, caramel and chocolate. A renowned smoothness and creamy tan head make it a world champion, first brewed in 1969, 47 years ago!

Coarse-filtered Hefe Weiss Wheat Ale is fermented with a German yeast culture for refreshingly light spiciness and citrus hints. A cloudy appearance and an immense creamy head characterize this lightly hopped Bavarian brew.

Featured Beer from Sprecher Brewery: Black Bavarian Lager & Hefe Weiss Wheat Ale

HEFE WEISS WHEAT ALE — Sprecher’s Hefe Weiss Wheat Ale The summer ale of Bavaria is brewed with at least 50% wheat malt plus light Pilsner malt. Usually unfiltered, it is cloudy, pale gold to amber, with a fluffy white head. Refreshing, serve with a lemon wedge with pickled herring, cheese and breads.

BLACK LAGER — Sprecher’s Black Bavarian Lager — Dark, bottom-fermented lagers, rooted in the Bavarian region of Germany, are considered the traditional beer of Munich. Most can be described as toasty and chocolatey, with low bitterness and little hop aroma. Serve this one with grilled steaks, beef tips, or pickled herring.

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Tracie Burket
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