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How did Packers fans end up wearing foam cheeseheads?

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Beer, brats, tailgating… The start of Packers season means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But throughout the years, along with green and gold paraphernalia, one thing has stayed consistent: the presence of the foam cheesehead.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee
How one destroyed couch cushion began a Wisconsin phenomenon

But what’s the deal with the foam cheesehead anyway? How did one squishy hat become a staple for Wisconsin’s wardrobe each fall?

For answers, I decided to swing by Foamation Cheesehead Factory in Walker’s Point during Doors Open Milwaukee.

Currently spearheaded by husband and wife duo Ralph and Sue Bruno, Foamation has been family owned and operated for 30 years and just recently relocated from St. Francis to their new home in Walker’s Point.

Busy at work, Foamation workers press and form the "cheese" in a mold.

Busy at work, Foamation workers press and form the “cheese” in a giant mold.

Conducting the tours at Doors Open, I chatted with Sue’s sister-in-law, Chris Kreiter, during my visit. Chris shared that the first foam cheesehead was actually worn to a Brewers game. And the inventor? Her brother-in-law, Ralph,

“Ralph was going to a Cubs game [to see] the Brewers, and back then they called [Brewer fans] ‘cheeseheads…'”

And in order to embrace the term cheesehead, this young inventor turned to his mothers sofa,

“…he decided to take the cushion, literally out of his mothers couch, and then used her electric knife and put together the first cheesehead.”

And after sporting his new hat to a Brewers game and getting countless inquiries, Foamation Cheesehead Factory was born.

Say cheese! Packers fan poses by "fresh cheese" at Foamation during Doors Open.

Say cheese! Packers fan poses by “fresh cheese” at Foamation during Doors Open.

So overall, one destroyed couch cushion and 30 years later, here we are.

Today Ralph and Sue are still manufacturing the beloved hats here in our home state, and they’re determined to keep the cheesehead a loving tradition here in Wisconsin.

So, without further ado, grab that foam cheesehead out of storage, rep it proudly….And GO PACK!

Want more on the cheesehead? Check out Foamation’s website at www.cheesehead.com, and check out my full conversation with Chris by clicking the audio player above.