Wednesday, May 20, 2009
ATLANTA -- It turns out that Gov. Jim Doyle's family as well as the family of Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel were both among Wisconsin's original "biotechnology" companies. But Doyle's ancestors didn't fare so well back in the 1800s.
Leinenkugel introduced Doyle to a crowd Tuesday on the floor of Atlanta's BIO 2009, the world's largest biotechnology conference. First, however, Leinenkugel reminded the audience that he is the great, great, great grandson of one of Wisconsin's first companies "to take a one-cell organism and turn it into a commercial product: Beer." It wasn't Jacob Leinenkugel who started his now-famous brewery in Chippewa Falls, but Jacob's father Mathias, who started the first Leinkeugel's in Sauk City on the banks of the Wisconsin River.
Not everyone was pleased with the secretary's introduction.
"I hate it when he tells that story,'' Doyle said jokingly. "It turn out that my great, great, great grandparents (named Bachhuber) started a brewery in Mayville.'' But unlike the Leinenkugels, Doyle admitted, his family's brewery didn't last all that long. The reasons are lost to history, he continued, but it may have been simply that the beer wasn't any good.
- Mike Flaherty