After 153 years, it's last call for Gluek beer

  • Updated: August 4, 2010 - 11:40 PM

Cold Spring Brewing says it will phase out the historic Minneapolis brand.

The Gluek beer brand, once a standard for Minnesota suds drinkers, is being retired after a 153-year run.

Cold Spring Brewing Co. will phase out Gluek by early September. "It's a business decision," said Doug DeGeest, Cold Spring's general manager.

Demand for Cold Spring's products exceeds its brewing capacity, and the company has another lower-priced beer, Northern, in addition to Gluek.

"It doesn't make sense to carry two value-priced beers," DeGeest said.

The Gluek brand dates to 1857, when a German immigrant named Gottlieb Gluek began making beer here, eventually settling in a brewery in northeast Minneapolis. Gluek's Stite brand was popular in the 1940s and 1950s, but the company was sold in 1964 to G. Heileman Brewing Co. of La Crosse, Wis., and the brewery was torn down.

Heileman later traded the Gluek label to Cold Spring Brewing, a small brewery in Cold Spring, Minn. It had big plans for Gluek back in the late 1990s, even changing its name to Gluek Brewing Co.

But it changed back to Cold Spring in the past few years, and nowadays about 85 percent of the firm's business is contract or private-label brewing.

The Gluek brand has no business connection to Gluek's bar and restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, though they have similar roots.

The Gluek building was originally a bar built at the turn of the 20th century by Gluek Brewing to promote sales, and the current Gluek's serves Gluek beer.

When Cold Spring shuts the taps, Gluek's will get another brewer to contract brew Gluek for the restaurant, said Donna Fyten, a Gluek's manager.

MIKE HUGHLETT

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