From delivering beer via a St. Michael garage to what is now one of the most prominent businesses in Wright County, Merle Dahlheimer guided Dahlheimer Beverage into the 21st Century with the full intent of keeping it a family affair.
Sixty-one years after selling his cows and dairy farm between Albertville and Monticello, Merle’s decision to buy the Gluek Brewing house in St. Michael has paid its dividends – for three generations. All because – according to the Dahlheimer Beverage website, Merle was in his 30s, and tired of milking cows.
The business came with a house, cooler, and three trucks. Oh, and, perhaps, most importantly, 60,000 cases of Gluek.
The original brewhouse was Merle’s new home and garage near Central Avenue in St. Michael. Some of it is still standing, 61 years later. The farm was burned just eight years ago in a training exercise for the Albertville and St. Michael fire departments, along with Monticello. Merle, who had long since moved to warmer climates for much of the year, was there to see it go.
Merle died Monday, Sept. 21, leaving behind a legacy that lives on with Monticello’s second-most recognizable business.
His wife of 70-plus years, LaVerne, died just last summer.
Dahlheimer Beverage has grown over the last six decades to carry more than 140 different brands of beverages, each with dozens of varieties – leaving Gluek behind long ago, but maintaining ties to Minnesota beers with everything from Stroh’s to Third Street Brewing. It has always been a Wright County-based company, moving from St. Michael to Albertville, and then to Monticello, with its current home just (visible from I-94) opening in 2006.
Funeral services and complete obituary for Merle Dahlhemier are pending.