In many ways, Memorial Day weekend marks the return of the summer season. But this year, it also marks the re-release of a nostalgic Minnesota beer brand: Gluek’s Beer.
On Friday, May 26, a local yoga instructor and nutrition consultant, Linda Rae Holcomb, is bringing the legacy of the 160-year-old beer brand back to life in Minnesota, when it becomes available in several restaurants and in 16-ounce cans at liquors stores across the state.
Gottlieb Gluek, an immigrant from Allmersbach, Germany, founded Mississippi Brewing Company in 1857 in Northeast Minneapolis, which came to be known as Gluek Brewing Company. The brewery survived Prohibition but was sold in 1964, and the core beer brands were discontinued. In the mid-1990s, Cold Spring Brewing, who acquired the trademark for Gluek Beer, began brewing the brand again. Cold Spring Brewing retired the product back in 2010. A defunct trademark, Holcomb acquired the rights to the Gluek beer brand in July 2015.
Holcomb isn’t a stranger to the beer that was once sold across 27 states. In fact, her great-grandfather worked for the Gluek family, and Linda herself grew up working at Gluek’s Restaurant & Bar in downtown Minneapolis.
“I have been a lifelong Gluek devotee,” Holcomb says. As an international yoga and nutrition teacher, she is looking to find the perfect balance between two industries that have intersected in recent years with the rise of beer and yoga classes. “Our message is to celebrate a life fully lived, you can have it all,” she says.
Sleeping Giant Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado will produce and package Gluek’s Pilsener Pale Lager, while Minneapolis-based J.J. Taylor Distributing Company will distribute the product. The beer is made from Munich malts and Saaz hops, and clocks in at 5.25% ABV and 32 IBU, but is a totally re-vamped formula. “I tracked down a former chemist and brewmaster in Wisconsin from back in the day who knew a lot about the old Gluek formulas,” says Holcomb. “He wrote a new recipe for me based on the Old-World traditional vision and intention of German immigrant and founder, Gottlieb Gluek.” She also connected with a long-time beer industry designer to represent the “true identity and personality of this historical beer brand.”
“We took great measures to ensure that our liquid is of the highest quality, premium standard,” Holcomb says. “The result is a crisp, clean, sessionable Pilsener that we are incredibly proud of.”