Eric Paulsen

Eric Paulsen

I wanted to be in radio since I was four - and four decades later I still haven't grown out of it...Full Bio


Leinenkugels offering free beer to anyone who listens to a minute of polka

It's Oktoberfest season, and while 2020's peculiarities (to put it mildly) have put the brakes on most ways of traditional celebration, it's still worth celebrating - and toasting with a prost!

Leinenkugel's, the legendary beer that started up in Chippewa Falls back in 1867, likes to be part of the party. The Oktoberfest celebration in its hometown, normally held every year at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, is one of the best in the state. They typically name a Festmeister or two, tap the Golden Keg, and have a big march from Leinenkugel's Brewery in Chippewa Falls, up several blocks on Highway 124 in town, and then over into the fairgrounds for a big party. I had the pleasure of partaking for a Discover Wisconsin episode one year, and got a brewery tour from none other than Dick Leinenkugel himself!

But anyway, on to the free beer, it's probably why you clicked. It's an easy link: Just listen for 60 seconds (and it's fun beer-drinking music), and then the site pops you to a keyword you can text to get a free digital coupon, good for one six-pack of Leinie's Oktoberfest beer. A creative, and very Wisconsin-y way to win some beer, ya??

Leinenkugel's says it’s doing this promotion so people can still raise a stein (or a six-pack) even though many Oktoberfest celebrations have been canceled because of COVID-19.

Different rules apply to different states. Those 21 and over can claim the free beer in Wisconsin, along with Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wyoming, along with Washington D.C.

In some states, they're not allowed by law to give away free beer (can you imagine?), but residents can take 50% of their purchase. Those states include California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington.

For whatever reason, they can't run this promotion in Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. So take pity on them, and remind them we're cooler that they are.

And what the heck, check out Oktoberfest in Chippewa Falls, a bit of a Leinenkugel's Brewery tour, and more in our Discover Wisconsin Chippewa Falls episode below...

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