Little Soldier Bottled Beer
We held out for as long as we could before offering bottled beer. Ahnapee beer has been put on tap in over 125 restaurants and bars in our five-county area, and for that we are grateful! Draft beer almost always tastes better, but sometimes bottles better fit the occasion. We moved into that category on April 14, with the initial bottling of Little Soldier, the American amber ale named for Henry Schmiling, the brewmaster and eventual owner of Ahnapee Brewery in the 1880s.
Henry was a Civil War veteran, serving in the infantry until the war’s end. After returning to his home town of Ahnapee, now named Algoma, Henry found the foaming beverage to be of great interest. The war was over, and there was cause to celebrate — and what better way to celebrate than with beer? We’re still happy that that war is over, and we offer homage to Henry for his service — and for his brewing skills. As we, the current Ahnapee Brewery owners, can attest, height is not a Schmiling gene. Henry topped out at at 5′ 6″. Now, as Paul Harvey might say, you know the rest of the story.
How would Henry have made an amber ale? Ale wasn’t as much his specialty as lager, so we imagine it would be a crowd-pleasing, easy-to-drink, copper-colored ale with a balanced dose of Wisconsin hops. We’ll never know exactly how Henry’s beers tasted, but are confident that he would enjoy popping a crown cap off of a fresh bottle of Little Soldier.
Bottles are available now in the Tap Room. After a standard hold on the fresh bottling, we should be releasing the first 300 cases to Triangle Distributing on Monday, May 16. Watch for it on store shelves in our six-county area(ish) the following week. Those counties are Kewaunee, Door, Brown, Oconto, Marinette, and Manitowoc.