Memorial Day at Sprecher

31st May 2010

What are you doing to celebrate Memorial Day?  Having a BBQ? Hanging out with friends and family? Taking a brewery tour?  All great reasons to stop at Sprecher and celebrate the first Memorial Day we’ve been open in many years.

P.S. Say hello and give props to Sean who’s working in retail today.  He spent 6 years in the US Army.  His final deployment to the Kuwait-Iraq border lasted from Jan 2009-Jan 2010.

P.P.S.  Say hello and give props to Butch, who keeps the offices and public spaces clean.  He just retired from the service after being enlisted for 21 years and 6 months.

Sprecher has several employees who served in the armed forces, beginning with Randy Sprecher, CEO, Founder and Head Brewmaster.  In fact, if Randy hadn’t been drafted into the Army, and if he wasn’t color blind,  Sprecher Brewery as we know it probably wouldn’t exist.

Say what?

Not that Randy didn’t always have an entrepreneurial spirit, it’s just that one day he was surfing without many cares except where the next wave was coming from; later that afternoon a letter arrived requiring he report to the draft board, and almost immediately he found himself on his way to basic training then onto jungle school (Tiger Land, Fort Polk, LA) in preparation for deployment to Vietnam.  Packed and ready to go, Randy was called out of the line of soldiers heading to the airport for the plane to Vietnam.  His CO wanted to know why, after having done so well,  Sprecher’s troops were getting killed, why he didn’t read the signals right.  True, none of the soldiers actually died during the exercise; this was just a simulation, but one designed to recreate actual war conditions.  Turns out the CO changed the night ops signals to colored flares and Randy is color-blind, causing him to unintentionally misread the flares and make decisions that put his troops in harm’s way.   After three days of testing to make sure he wasn’t faking, Randy was reassigned to a general’s office in Augsburg, Germany, where the seeds of Sprecher Brewery began to germinate.  Those seeds were cultivated thanks in no small part to the GI Bill.

Jeff Hamilton, President of Sprecher and the WI Brewer’s Guild, served several years in the US Navy.

Don Wambach, Regional Sales Manager, served in the Airborne Rangers Division of the US Army.

Mother and daughter Dale Kitzman (Accounts Payable) and Michelle Brzek (Business Development) have a son and brother, respectively, who is currently in the US Army and stationed in Afghanistan.

We are deeply grateful to all the veterans and those currently serving, those who lost life or limbs, those who respond(ed) to our country’s call to service.  If you know someone who served in the US Military, ask them to share their story.   They might just take you on an adventure you’ll never forget.

Posted by Anne Sprecher
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