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Bright and Brief

November 19, 1989

LULING, La. (AP) _ A government committee suggested renaming Luling’s Old Spanish Trail ″Catfish Street,″ but the new name didn’t smell quite right to folks around here.

″You should have seen the faces drop when I announced it would be Catfish Street,″ said Pastor Robert Zehr of the Mennonite church established 53 years ago in this town nearly 15 miles west of New Orleans.

Zehr said his congregation was appalled at the prospect, even if their street would be named for one of Louisiana’s most famous exports. Old Spanish Trail has a solid, dignified ring to it, and the church is proud to have that address, the minister said.

The committee has been working to eliminate a multitude of St. Charles Parish streets with identical or similar names.

There are seven First Streets around the parish, and Luling alone has Oak Lane, Oak Place and Oak Avenue. Old Spanish Trail, one of many roads around the state recalling the days of Spanish rule, runs about eight miles from Boutte to Des Allemands.

The committee has had other problems doing its job.

In Luling, a street named for conquistador Hernando Cortez in the Coronado Park subdivision had to be renamed because Des Allemands has a Cortez Lane. The committee suggested Magellan to go along with Balboa, Coronado and DeSoto.

No good.

″We wanted to stay with the Spanish names,″ said Ken Riggin of the Coronado Civic Association. ″Magellan was not actually Spanish. He was contracted by the Spanish, but he was Portuguese.″

The committee settled on Pizarro.

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BOSTON (AP) - The name Leinenkugel might cause some beer drinkers to raise their eyebrows sooner than their mugs, but Miller Brewing Co. hopes the brand with a cult following in the upper Midwest can do the same elsewhere.

Miller last year bought the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., a small, family- run brewery for more than a century in Chippewa Falls, Wis.

The nation’s No. 2 brewer, behind Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., is using its muscle to test the brand in Seattle and western Massachusetts.

The test started earlier this year comes at a flat time in the domestic beer market, with companies trying more experiments to gain a bigger share.

″Miller really knows how to introduce new products,″ said Robert Weinberg, a beer analyst and a professor of marketing management at Washington University in St. Louis.

According to industry estimates, Leinenkugel sold nearly 100,000 barrels last year, compared with national brands that sell in the millions.

″If the Leinenkugel brand tickles people, either because of the name or the taste, Miller could take it national overnight,″ Weinberg said.

Jake Leinenkugel, who remained an executive at the brewery after the buyout, said Miller is trying to take a low-key approach in promoting the beer.

″We want to go in a little mysterious, a little quiet,″ Leinenkugel said. ″We don’t want to go in with a heavy media campaign. We want it to be discovered.″

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