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Winnebago County Beer: A Heady History

Winnebago County Beer: A Heady History

Winnebago County has long been a bellwether of Wisconsin beer making.

In the mid-1800s, German immigrants launched small breweries in Butte des Morts, Menasha, Neenah, Oshkosh and Winneconne. By the 1950s, breweries such as Walter Brothers, Peoples and the Oshkosh Brewing Company had a combined output of more than 100,000 barrels of beer annually, and iconic brands like Gem Pilsener and Chief Oshkosh were known across the state. This rich tradition continues today with the rise of modern craft breweries in Omro, Oshkosh and Neenah. Local author and founder of the Oshkosh Beer website Lee Reiherzer reveals stories behind the breweries, past and present, that fostered an enduring beer culture.

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