On one of our summer road trips in Wisconsin, we found ourselves close to the city of New Glarus. For all of you craft beer drinkers out there, that means we were close to New Glarus Brewing Co.! After a great lunch in one of the prettiest little "Swiss" towns ever, we took the short drive to the brewery.
New Glarus Brewing Co. is owned and operated by Daniel and Deb Carey. The brewery was founded in 1993 and distributes their handcrafted beer only in Wisconsin. This year New Glarus Brewing Co. will produce 120,000 barrels of beer, compared to 64,000 in 2007. Spotted Cow, the brewery's signature beer, has been the best-selling draft beer in Wisconsin for the last 5 years.
New Glarus Brewing Co. produces six beers that are available year round - Spotted Cow, Fat Squirrel, Moon Man, Two Women, Wisconsin Belgian Red, and Raspberry Tart. They also brew seasonal beers to complement annual holidays and have a Thumbprint Series of beer that is usually available only once and brewed with the beer enthusiast in mind.
And, oh yeah, they've won a boatload of medals and awards.
Visitors to the brewery can take self-guided tours in the new Hilltop Brewery, which is built in the style of a German farmhouse. Tours are available from 10am - 4pm daily.
Here are a few photos from our tour.
This guy was cleaning equipment for the Pilot Brewery where he was getting ready to brew a small test batch of a new recipe.
Apparently Spotted Cow is in production in these massive tanks.
I love watching the bottling line, happy to know more beer will soon be available.
Once we completed our tour, we stopped in the tasting room for some samples. It was a Monday, but the place was hopping. I wonder what it's like in there on a Saturday!
Tasting room samples are $3.50 and include three 3 oz. samples and you get to keep the tasting glass.
I went with the three 3 oz. samples and tried Two Women, Spotted Cow, and Totally Naked. All were fresh tasting and delicious.
Grant decided to have a pint ($6.00) of Fat Squirrel - and he got to take home the pint glass.
It's great to see a regional brewery like New Glarus Brewing Co. be so successful and on their own terms as far as distribution. If we lived closer to the Wisconsin border I know we would make New Glarus beer runs on a regular basis. But we settled for taking home a 6 pack to savor and share with a few friends.
We spent a fun afternoon at New Glarus Brewing Co. - if you find yourself in the area (it's about 30 miles southwest of Madison), stop in and support a great local business. And enjoy some of the best craft brews you'll find anywhere. I mean, c'mon, they have a beer called Fat Squirrel - what a classic.
New Glarus Brewing Co.
2400 State Highway 69
New Glarus, WI 53574
10am - 4pm Daily
Much more information available at www.newglarusbrewing.com