Happy 160th Birthday Stevens Point Brewery - Stevens Point, WI
One of America's
oldest breweries, Stevens Point Brewery turns 160 years old in 2017. The
Wisconsin craft brewer is celebrating the anniversary with a Point Special
Lager retro can package, commemorative bottle caps, big giveaway promotions
at retail, and an extra special treat this summer: a commemorative draft
beer available only while supplies last.
Julie Birrenkott, Point Marketing Manager, won't say if the commemorative
beer from Brewmaster Gabe Hopkins and his team will be an ale or a lager.
"It's a surprise," she said. "We have to wait until summer to find out."
It's no surprise that longneck bottles of all Point craft beers will sport
commemorative bottle caps starting in the spring. But there's added mystery in
early summer, when major promotional giveaways will begin at participating
retailers in Point's core central Wisconsin markets. "Let's just say that if you
want to pour delicious draft beer directly in your home, it will pay to keep an
eye out for Point-branded displays in retail and on our social media."
Birrenkott said. "These prizes and giveaways are a perfect way for us to thank
the Point beer fans in our home markets. They have been our most loyal customers
throughout the years."
Summer will also bring Point Special Lager retro cans in specially marked
12-packs and 24-packs. The can features a Point Special label from the late
1890s when the brewery, founded by German immigrants in 1857, was owned by
Gustav Kuenzel. Kuenzel, who was also the brewmaster, changed the name of his
brewery to the Stevens Point Brewing Company in 1902. Point Special was its
best-selling beer and remains the Point Brewery's flagship brand today.
Joe Martino, Point Brewery Operating Partner, is enthusiastic about the
historical commemorative cans for his biggest brand. "What better way to
celebrate your history than by proudly displaying it where everybody can see and
enjoy it," he said, adding: "As one of the oldest breweries in the nation, we
have plenty of brewing history to offer."
Brewed as a non-alcohol malt beverage or "near beer," Point Special helped the
brewery survive Prohibition. During World War II, when barley was rationed and
metal for cans and bottle caps was scarce, Point Special became the brewery's
The brewery grew from the 1950s through the 1980s, helped by a widely publicized
beer tasting in 1973 orchestrated and reported by famous newspaper columnist
Mike Royko of the Chicago Daily News. He proclaimed Point Special Lager to be
America's best beer. By 1990, the brewery (now owned by the Shibilski family),
expanded outside of Wisconsin, with Point Special Lager being introduced in the
Twin Cities and Chicago.
As sales grew, so did the brewery. New aging tanks were installed in 1994 and a
new warehouse added in 1997. Martino and partner Jim Wiechmann acquired the
brewery in 2002 and continued to grow the business. They entered the soft drink
market by introducing Point Premium Root Beer, and expanded distribution
throughout the Midwest in 2004. New gourmet sodas were introduced and the
brewery began brewing seasonal beers in addition to its classic Point Bock. The
Whole Hog family of specialty beers came along in 2009. In 2012, Point launched
its highly successful Ciderboys Hard Cider business. In recent years, both craft
beers and hard ciders have won numerous awards and medals at festivals and
The brewery operation also expanded. Between 2010 and 2014, Point Brewery
invested nearly $5 million in building expansions and upgrades to equipment and
infrastructure. More than two dozen unitanks for fermenting and aging beer were
installed in recent years, along with a new can packaging line and a second brew
kettle that increased the brewery's annual brewing capacity to 150,000 barrels.
Today Point's handcrafted beers and hard ciders are sold in 36 states
nationwide. Point Brewery uses only the highest-grade barley malts, specialty
malts, grains, and the choicest hops to brew its handcrafted beers.
In addition to Point Special Lager, Point's portfolio of year-round beers
includes Point Session Pale Ale, an American-style Pale Ale; Point Onyx Black
Ale, a robust dark ale; Point Drop Dead Blonde Ale, a golden ale; Point Amber
Classic, an American-style amber lager; Point Beyond the Pale IPA, a robust,
hoppy India Pale Ale; and Point Smiley Blue Pils, a Czech-style pilsner. The
year-round Point IPA variety pack features four unique India pale ales: Point
Spruce Tip IPA, Point Peach Mango IPA, Point White IPA and Point One Shot IPA.
Year-round products also include the Whole Hog Limited Edition "big beers:"
Whole Hog Espresso Stout, Whole Hog Six-Hop India Pale Ale, Whole Hog Russian
Imperial Stout, Whole Hog Barley Wine Ale and Whole Hog Scotch Ale. Whole Hog
Pumpkin Ale is a fall seasonal.
In addition to, Point Brewery's seasonal lineup features Point Bock, a genuine
bock beer brewed the old-time way; Snow Pilot Pistachio Nut Brown Ale, a winter
seasonal just introduced; summer seasonals Siesta Key Citrus Pale Ale, with a
splash of grapefruit juice, and Point Coast Radler, a mix of beer and natural
citrus flavors; and Point Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-style Märzen beer for the
Point brews five unique James Page specialty beers sold only in convenient 12-
ounce cans: A Cappella Gluten-free Pale Ale, Casper White Stout, Yhaba Dhaba
Chai Tea Porter, Healani Pineapple Hefeweizen, and Bastian Black Forest Cake, a
Ciderboys Cider Co. and Point's gourmet soft drinks
Point's Ciderboys Cider Co. hard ciders blend unexpected fresh fruit flavors
with apple cider. Ciderboys' year-round products are First Press, a traditional
hard cider; Raspberry Smash, alive with the tartness of raspberries; and
Strawberry Magic, a blend of fresh strawberries and apple cider. Ciderboys also
produces winter seasonal Mad Bark, made with natural cinnamon; fall seasonal
Cranberry Road, a pairing of apple cider and cranberries; and seasonals
Pineapple Hula, Peach County and Grand Mimosa. Pineapple Hula is made with fresh
Hawaiian pineapple, Peach County combines pure peach flavor with apple cider,
and Grand Mimosa is a winter cider made with succulent California oranges.
Gourmet soft drinks include Point Premium Root Beer, Point Premium Diet Root
Beer, Point Premium Orange Cream, Point Premium Vanilla Cream, Point Kitty
Cocktail and Point Premium Black Cherry Cream Soda.
For more information about the Stevens Point Brewery, please visit
www.pointbeer.com or call 1-800-369-4911.
Tours of the brewery are available; schedules are listed on the website.