Older Than Minnesota: Gluek Brewing


Image from HHM Collections

The collection at Hennepin History Museum has several bottles once used by the Gluek Brewing Company. Gluek Brewing was one of the first manufacturing companies in the region. In fact, it was established before the State of Minnesota even existed. In 1857, German immigrant Gottlieb Gluek founded his company utilizing brewing techniques from his native country. This was ten years before Minneapolis was incorporated as a city and one year before Minnesota became the thirty-second state.

Gottlieb immigrated to this area in 1855. Two years later he established his brewery in Northeast Minneapolis on the Mississippi River. Gottlieb brewed his beer using the highest quality barley, and he imported special hops from Czechoslovakia. He also passed on his skills a master brewer to his sons and grandsons. Among other accomplishments, the brewery was the first to patent their malt liquor in the United States. Additionally, during World War II Gluek Brewing was one of only three breweries to supply beer to the U.S. Army.

Gluek Brewing Company eventually closed its doors in 1964, with the rights to Gluek’s beer sold to a competitor. At the time it had been Minneapolis’ oldest continuous business operation. Although the brewery is long gone, the Gluek name is still associated with beer in Minneapolis. Gluek’s Restaurant and Bar can be still be found in downtown. It was originally founded in 1902 and then was forced to closed due to prohibition. After at the stroke of midnight on the day prohibition was repealed in 1933, Gluek’s opened their doors again to thirsty Minneapolitans. Today Gluek’s holds the honor of being the oldest restaurant in Minneapolis.


Written by Alyssa Thiede


Hastings, Tom. “Gluek Brewing Company Celebrates 75th Anniversary,” The Minneapolis Star, November 15, 1932. Star Tribune Archive.

Rayno, Amelia. “A 160-year-old Minnesota Beer is Coming Back to Life on Friday,” Star Tribune, May 25, 2017. Star Tribune Archive.

“Three Generations of Brewers in Gluek Family,” The Minneapolis Tribune, July 20, 1936. Star Tribune Archive.

This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.


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