Isabella Lisak is an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Class of 2022). She is majoring in English Literature and History with a certificate in Gender & Women’s Studies.  

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OBJECT HISTORY: King Gambrinus Statues of La Crosse

The King Gambrinus statue located in La Crosse, Wisconsin depicts the king of beer and brewing. Gambrinus is lauded as the king of beer and brewing according to European mythology dating back to the 13th century. European immigrants brought the tradition of Gambrinus to America along with their favorable brewing techniques.

Photo depicting original Old Style behind updated LaCrosse Brewing label, August 7, 2021, Courtesy of Cortney Anderson Kramer.

OBJECT HISTORY: World's Largest Six-Pack

Located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the “World’s Largest Six-Pack” is a popular tourist attraction and landmark structure representative of the city’s renowned brewing history. At 54 feet tall, the six steel storage tanks, shaped and arranged to resemble a six-pack of beer, tower above the city skyline and hold an impressive 22,000 barrels of beer.

John Gund Brewing Company postcard, c. 1911, courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image 35952.

The Heileman Family: A German Immigration Story

The G. Heileman Brewing Company is often remembered by historians as the vision of the two ambitious men who founded the brewery in La Crosse, Wisconsin. At the height of its popularity in 1983, Heileman’s was the fourth largest brewery in the United States. The brewery’s success was tied to the German immigrant experience in nineteenth century America.