Besides cheese, cheese, cheese the single thought that got me through the brutal winds and hills of the Tour de Cheese was beer.
What can I say? I love it.
And it just so happens that we were minutes away from one of the best Wisconsin breweries.
The New Glarus Brewing Company is located in…you guessed it – New Glarus, Wisconsin and is the home of the famous Spotted Cow brew.
We took our time walking around the brewery admiring large metal objects that have something to do with the beer making process.
We checked out the different kinds of malts.
And gave them a good sniff (I learned the sniffing technique at Goose Island).
And we mulled around.
The brewery was very spacious and carefully crafted to allow visitors to get a good view of the production. The only down side was that it was self-guided tour with no information placards.
I love beer, but I have to admit that I don’t know much about the production, so it was a bit of a bummer to not get the full experience via the tour.
Eventually we made it back to the gift shop, took a few photos, and headed on to the best part – the tastings!
There were 7 beers to choose from, so we decided to divide and conquer. Spotted Cow is New Glarus’ most famous brew, but during our last trip to Wisconsin we brought a couple of bottles home with us. So we decided to stick to the 6 stranger beers.
I started from the bottom and Matt started at the top.
First up for him – Totally Naked (American Lager): “Pure and crisp this is a beer with nothing to hide. Wisconsin two-row barley malt ensures a mellow and smooth body.”
And for me – Raspberry Tart: “Oregon proudly serves their harvest of mouth watering berries, which we ferment spontaneously in large oak vats.”
They were both great choices. I’m not a huge fan of American Lagers but I can appreciate a basic one like Totally Naked. As for the Raspberry Tart it changed my life. As soon as the berry goodness touched my lips I knew it was bound to be a favorite.
For him – Moon Man (No-Coast Pale Ale): “A session beer with a bright bold blend of five hops that flirt obligingly with the smooth malty backside”.
For me – Golden Ale: “Dangerously rich and boldly hoppy. A sophisticated beer that dances a clean interchange of fruit and spice notes.
It’s official – we are an anti-hops household. We found both of the beers to be too fragrant and strong. In fact, after a few small sips neither of us could finish our tasting glass and we declared it time for Round Three.
After being disappointing with Round Two I did not want to take any chances. So I returned to my beloved Raspberry Tart.
The mister went with - Fat Squirrel (Nutbrown Ale): “100% Wisconsin malt of six different varieties impart the natural toasted color to this bottle conditioned unfiltered ale. Clean hazelnut notes result from these carefully chosen barley malts.”
Needless to say, Round Three was a success. After finishing our glasses we promptly headed to the Brewery’s Beer Depot and bought some Raspberry Tart to take back to the heartland.
Have you ever been to a brewery? What is your favorite beer?