Lithia Beer still brewing more than 150 years later

Erik Bilstad

Lithia Beer still brewing more than 150 years later

CREATED Aug. 22, 2013

WEST BEND - It's the beer that made Milwaukee jealous.

Lithia Beer was first brewed in West Bend more than 150 years ago.

"It was brewed as far back as 1848, the same year Wisconsin became a state," said owner Gunter Woog.

The German native, who has lived most of his life in West Bend, bought the naming rights more than 10 years ago.

The brew has a long, rich history in small town in Wisconsin.

"There are Lithia bottles and cans in every home built in West Bend the last hundred years. I even found a few (bottles) myself," Woog laughed.

By the early 1970s, the beer moved to a new brewer in Eau Claire. Production stopped entirely in the 1980s.

When Woog brought the beer back in 2010, beer lovers were ecstatic.

"We made 500 cases (that first) November and they were gone by Jan. 1," he said. "We do pretty good. We hope to see West Bend beer-tap panels all across state of Wisconsin."

Lithia Beer has returned, and also giving back to it's native city.

"All the profits go to charities in this area," Woog explained. "You always want to give something back to the community."

"You want to save something that's been here a hundred years and keep it for the next hundred years."

Cheers to that.

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