Many politicians put their feet in their mouths. Some even eat a little crow from time to time. For Minnesota state Rep. Kurt Zellers, his loose lips didn't sink any ships, but instead helped him quaff some beer.
At least that's the story at the Winona Daily News, which reports that the 10th annual Leinie Lodge Family Reunion included a high-level Minnesota politician, as the "Kurt Zellers Apology Tour came to Chippewa Falls," home of Leinenkugel's brewery.
The kerfuffle and confusion started back in April, the Daily News reports, when the Minnesota House of Representatives was debating whether to raise the state alcohol tax. Zellers, a Republican from Maple Grove, criticized claims that the tax increase would amount to seven cents a beer.
“That’s like promising a case of Summit to the party and showing up with that bathwater called Leinenkugel’s,” Zellers said, according to the Winona paper. “It’s not a fair deal at all. Good Minnesota beer for Wisconsin bathwater, no sir.”
Ouch! Immediately, Zellers says, he knew he had made a mistake, soon taking heat from lobbyists, his stepfather and his wife (she is apparently partial to the "Summer Shandy" brew).
When he heard about it, Jake Leinenkugel laughed it off and issued an invitation to the Zellers to visit him at the brewery, which led to Saturday's visit. In April, Zellers had apologized the next day about his comments on the House floor, but it took time and a few brewskis to get everybody warm and fuzzy.
“It was nice that it worked out, and I’ll have to reciprocate at the Minnesota State Fair this fall,” said Jake Leinenkugel tells the Winona paper. “Minnesota has been very good to us, and I look at us as being sister states.”