Lawson Creek Honey Wheat

Review Date 10/25/2002   By John Staradumsky

There are some interesting things going on in Cold Spring,Minnesota. The old Gluek brewery has had new life breathed into it, and is pumping out quite a line of beers of decent quality at reasonable prices. Established in 1857, the original Gluek brewery was known far and wide in the Midwest for its quality beers, competing against such regional favorites as Grain Belt and Hamm’s (not to mention Budweiser) for over 100 years. Gluek survived prohibition but did not fare so well during the consolidation of breweries that occurred during the nineteen sixties and seventies, and was gobbled up by G. Heileman brewing in 1964.

Heileman became one of the nations largest brewers, but they did it without any true national brands, instead possessing an array of breweries around the nation that brewed a large number of brands. Heileman tore down the Gluek brewery in 1966 and transferred production of the brands to other facilities. In 1997, however, after the implosion of the Heileman Empire, a new brewery was established for Gluek and the beers returned to Cold Spring.

Today, Gluek brews a number of beers including a Marzen, Doppelbock, Pilsner, Honey Bock, and Hefeweizen. They also brew a number of beers under contract, including the Lawson Creek line for the Cincinnati-based Kroger supermarket chain. I have previously reviewed Lawson Creek Vanilla Stout, a Pale Ale and Red Ale are also produced, and today we’ll discuss Lawson Creek Honey Wheat.

Like the stout, the Honey Wheat is cold lagered to give it a smooth character. This is as unusual for a wheat beer (though not unheard of), as it was for a stout. Again, I suspect that this is to make the beers smoother and a bit more palatable to the general public.

Lawson Creek beers are very reasonable priced, selling for $4.49 a six-pack. Are they world class beers? No. Are they decent beers with more flavor than your average macrobrew? Certainly. Considering they sometimes sell for less than a Michelob or Coors, that’s not a bad deal.

Lawson Creek Honey Wheat pours to a light golden color with a short-lived fizzy head and a spritzy champagne-like bubbliness. The nose is crisp, hints at honey and is slightly tart. The palate is smooth, light and refreshing, crisp and clean. The finish is tart, a tad peppery with a touch of the richness of body that honey imparts and a light sweetness.

Were the body a bit more assertive this would be a much better beer, but as it is it is a decent, very drinkable brew. Tasty with a juicy strip steak smothered in sautéed mushrooms, a baked sweet potato, and a garden salad.


And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.