By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 07, 2022 at 11:26 AM

The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company announced today that Dick Leinenkugel will retire as president of his family's brewery at the end of 2022, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company announced today.

Dick's nephew, Tony Bugher, a sixth-generation Leinenkugel, will replace him on Jan. 1, 2023.

Leinenkugel, the fifth generation of his family to run the Chippewa Falls brewery – now owned by Molson Coors – has served as president of Leinenkugel’s since 2014.

“I am humbled to have served as the seventh brewery president in our company’s 155-year history and am thrilled another descendent of Jacob Leinenkugel will now lead our brewery,” he said in a statement.

“Working with the Molson and Coors families has been a blessing, especially when it comes to understanding the value of heritage in a business.”

Leinenkugel has really been the face of the brand for years now, which means Bugher will have some big shoes to fill.

“From distributors to consumers, just about everyone familiar with the Leinenkugel’s brand also knows, respects and admires Dick Leinenkugel,” said Gavin Hattersley, Molson Coors CEO.

“He’s had a legendary career and will leave an unforgettable legacy. We are thrilled it will be carried on by his nephew Tony, knowing family heritage is a key part of what makes this brewery so special.”

Bugher has served in a number of roles at Molson Coors, including as craft and import manager, field marketing manager, and senior distributor sales executive. He is currently Leinenkugel’s associate marketing manager, where he overees sales and distributor engagement, branded partnerships and the new pilot brewery.

“Each generation of Leinenkugel’s leadership has made a significant impact throughout our 155 years of brewing history,” said Bugher.  “It’s an honor and a privilege to have that opportunity to continue the legacy alongside my uncle John and cousins Katie and Matt Leinenkugel. 

"I appreciate all that I’ve learned from Dick throughout the past eight years and look forward to the future of our family’s storied brand that we love so much.”

Both Leinenkugel and Bugher will take part in this year's Leinenkugel 155th Anniversary Appreciation Tour this year, visiting key markets.

Leinenkugel was founded in 1867 and operates breweries in Chippewa Falls and Milwaukee.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.