Leinenkugels visit Ric’s on nationwide road trip

Famous beer family visits Rockford—Dick Leinenkugel, Ric’s Store Director David Brickner, Kris Thraxton, who manages the beer and wine department at Ric’s, and John Leinenkugel are pictured during the family’s day-long visit to the Rockford Ric’s Food Center.

“We chose Ric’s because of the amount of Leinenkugel they sell here,” explained Ellie Leinenkugel of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.

Members of the family and their cool touring motorhome spent a day at Ric’s Food Center Thursday, July 19 during a nationwide road trip.

Store Director David Brickner sported a Leinenkugel cap and joined the family and staff with free samples of the company’s unique products, such as Summer Shandy, the lines of berry beer and Big Eddy Imperial India Pale Ale. Brickner said he was excited to have the family visit personally and said it is the first visit for a non-Michigan beer company to the Rockford Ric’s for a tasting event.

“It’s so good!” Ellie Leinenkugel takes a taste of one of her family’s signature beers. She kindly posed for a photo during a day at Ric’s Food Center.

Despite catching a time slot in the summer’s first rainfall, the event went well with a meal deal special on an outdoor grill, the beer tasting and samples. Summer Shandy is one of the store’s best-selling Leinenkugel beers, with a summer taste that brings images of lounging on a beach and soaking in the sun. Brickner said the store is very event-oriented with beer and wine tasting every Saturday from ? to ?, secret sales held pretty regularly, and the popular Taste of Ric’s events, which have become a customer favorite event.

Dick Leinenkugel was beyond philosophical about the rainy-day event. “I’m not complaining about the rain. It makes me want to drink more Leinenkugel beer,” he said.

He also noted that the barley used to make the beer badly needed the watering. Ironically, hops, also an essential ingredient in beer, is grown in the Pacific Northwest and loves hot, dry weather. Leinenkugel said hops country looks more like desert than farmland. The barley and corn grown here in the Midwest, however, requires more rainfall than we have received to date this dusty summer.

STAFF SAMPLES—Two Ric’s employees joked that they had to have an early shift to be available for Leinenkugel beer sampling, which took place at Ric’s from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Jane Gleason, who works in produce, loved the mix of Summer Shandy and another beer. Heidi Miller, assistant manager of the deli/bakery department, was impressed with the Big Eddy Imperial India Pale Ale.

“I love the rain, and it is going away for the weekend, making for a wonderful weekend to drink Leinenkugel beer,” said Leinenkugel.

Ric’s Food Center is in its fourth year at the Rockford location at 6969 Belding Road. In addition to being known for the stellar meat department, Ric’s has one of West Michigan’s most diverse beer and wine departments, featuring a wide variety of Michigan beer and wine as well as specialty products such as the Leinenkugel brand.







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