Home > Sprecher Bootlegger’s Bourbon Barrel Hard Root Beer - Glendale, Wisconsin
Sprecher Bootlegger’s Bourbon Barrel Hard Root Beer - Glendale, Wisconsin
Sprecher Bootlegger’s Bourbon Barrel Hard Root Beer
You read the
headline correctly. Sprecher Brewing Company, maker of award-winning beers
and gourmet sodas since 1985, added a new product to its lineup: Hard Root
Beer. Unlike the non-alcoholic Root Beer Sprecher is so famous for, this is
an old-fashioned fermented Root Beer with 5% alcohol by volume (abv).
Sprecher’s new Hard Root Beer has all the flavors and characteristics of
Sprecher Root Beer nicely melded with bourbon and oak flavors. “We had a lot
of customers asking for a Hard Root Beer. Since this is a variation of what
we do best, two of our Wisconsin distributors – Beechwood Sales and Service
and General Beverage — suggested a limited initial roll out to test markets.
That will let us know if we need to change anything before we go into large
scale production,” said Jeff Hamilton, president of Sprecher Brewing
Sprecher’s Hard Root Beer is packaged in 12 ounce bottles with a suggested
retail price of $5.00 per four pack. The initial release will be available
at the Sprecher Gift Shop, 701 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale, WI, and at a small
number of locations in Southeastern Wisconsin and Madison.
Maker of award-winning beers and gourmet sodas, Sprecher Brewing Company is
Milwaukee’s first brewery since Prohibition. Established in 1985, Sprecher
remains a leader in Wisconsin’s craft brewing industry.
Sprecher Brewing History
Sprecher Brewing Co. was founded in 1985 by Randel Sprecher, formerly a brewing
supervisor at Pabst Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From 1985 to 1994,
the brewery was located at 730 W. Oregon Street in Milwaukee's Walker's Point
area. Through the first ten years the company grew steadily as more and more
people found out about Sprecher's high quality beers and sodas. Finally, the
company had outgrown its original facility and began looking for a new location
to continue its growth.
In 1994, Sprecher purchased its current building, located at 701 W. Glendale
Ave., a former elevator car factory. The new, larger brewery enabled the company
to continue growing, and allowed more people to enjoy all of Sprecher's fine
The history of brewing in Wisconsin began thirteen years before it became a
state and a year before it even became a territory. By the late 1890's nearly
every community in Wisconsin had at least one operating brewery.
In the 1880's Milwaukee was the home of more than 80 breweries. 100 years later,
the number of operating breweries in the area can today be counted on one hand,
and only one can still be considered a giant.
In 1919 the passage of Prohibition virtually sounded the death toll for all but
the most diverse breweries. A few struggled through by producing near beer (.05
alcoholic content or less), soft drinks and even vinegar. Beer making didn't
resume until 1933, when the 18th Amendment was repealed. But even then, people
were still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression, which of itself had
devastated both the coffers and hopes of many of the earlier breweries.
Like the biggest selling wines, many mass market beers are made to appeal to as
broad of an audience as possible. This means they have to be produced at a
highly competitive price and that they must offend no one. Much of the
distinctive qualities of the traditional regional type brews is lost.
Sprecher and other micro-breweries have revived both the distinctive quality of
regional beer and old world brewing methods as well. The term "Micro-Brewery"
refers to the relative size of the brewery when compared to gigantic beer
production facilities of mass marketed national brands. Where these
"Mega-Giants" produce from 20 million on up to 90 million barrels a year each, a
"Micro-Brewery" is a considerably small operation, brewing less than 15,000
barrels a year. Although some have grown to 50,000 to 100,000 barrels a year.
Quite a difference when you consider a barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. In
that respect, the smaller Micro-Breweries such as Sprecher can focus more on its
specialty "Craft Beers" with an eye on the highest quality and tradition of
European style brewing.