Life has been pretty busy this summer. My wife and I really needed to hit the open road together for a short vacation and some beer. Since my wife’s favorite beer, as well as one of mine, is Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing it was easy to decide where to go; New Glarus, Wisconsin.

New Glarus is a small town nestled in the rolling hills of south central Wisconsin which boasts a deep sense of Swiss tradition. In fact, it is often referred to as “Little Swiss Town”. It really is this town’s thing. A majority of the buildings look like chalets straight out of the Alps. They have a Swiss bakery, a Swiss chocolate shop, a Swiss meat market, and a great Swiss restaurant which was oddly called the New Glarus Hotel. I say oddly because it was not a hotel and they have no rooms. Figure that one out! While we really enjoyed the town that was not why we were there. We came for the brewery!
(New Glarus Hotel Restaurant)

The New Glarus Brewery is absolutely beautiful! It has almost an old farm type feel to its architecture but has landscaping that will just blow you away, like the huge stone stairs and creek leading to the entrance. We were already amazed and we had barely gotten out of the car!

(Me standing outside New Glarus Brewing)
(My wife, Vicky sitting by the creek in front of the brewery)

The front of the place is nothing compared to the back. They have a huge patio beer area with vast views of the rolling hills and farmland below. Forget taprooms, forget little beer patios, this was bar none the best beer drinking area I have ever seen associated with a brewery. Words can’t describe it, heck pictures barely describe it. In person it was breathtaking.

(The view from the beer drinking area)
 (Drinking beer on the New Glarus Patio)

We grabbed a couple of tasters and headed into the actual brewery for a self-guided tour. New Glarus was brilliant when putting this place together. Basically you walk through a glass hallway where you can see all the inner workings of the brewery, but you get to go at your own pace with a beer in your hand. Plus, no overhead of tour guides for the brewery! It’s very clean, dry, and quiet, which if you tour breweries often you probably know this isn’t always the case.
(Cheers from inside New Glarus!)

(It’s working!)
 (Great words to live by inside the brewery)

But back to the beer, which is why we came in the first place. It was a little bit spendy, but for such a beautiful environment for beer drinking I was fine with it. A taster flight of 3 beers of your choice was $3.50, which isn’t a bad price when you add in that you get to keep your taster glass. If you wanted a pint it would cost you 5 bucks (refills were a couple bucks cheaper), but again you walk out with a nice pint glass out of the deal. Heck, they will even rinse it out and wrap it up for you. Talk about attention to customer service and detail!
The most expensive beer we had was a pint of Serendipity. Man, was this beer great! It is a fruit sour ale made with cranberries, cherries, and apples. It was a creation which came about due to a Wisconsin cherry crop that was devastated by a drought in Wisconsin. Thus, instead of making their usual cherry sour beer they used some different fruits and Serendipity was born! It’s fruity, sour, dark, thick and perfect! It came in at a whopping 9 bucks for a pint, but consider that this is a beer that you will pay around 10 or so for a bomber of it at a liquor store. And of course, you keep the glass.

(Vicky enjoying a pint of Serendipity on the beer patio at New Glarus)

We didn’t want to leave, but there was more exploring to do in town and if we didn’t want to have to walk the couple miles back to our hotel room it was time to go. Lucky for us, New Glarus has a beer cave where we could buy some brews to go!
We hit the beer cave and found, among other beers, a strawberry rhubarb beer. It was amazing. It’s a wild fruit ale that had a great tart and sour taste of rhubarb balanced out with the sweetness of strawberries. It reminds one of summer time picnics with strawberry rhubarb pie. What a creative beer!
New Glarus Brewing only sells its beers in Wisconsin. In fact they have a motto, “Drink Indigenous.” Lucky for me I am in Wisconsin almost every weekend.
I did have one beer I did not like, but it had nothing to do with New Glarus Brewing. We went to dinner at a Swiss restaurant. They had some pretty good food, but I think I took the whole Swiss thing too far when I tried the one Swiss beer they had on the menu. It was bad. I couldn’t really tell you anything about this beer because the label is not in English. I drank it, but it was just plain not a good beer. But, when in little Swiss town… right?

We had a great time in New Glarus, WI and at New Glarus Brewing in particular. The area is beautiful, the town is beautiful, the brewery is beautiful, but most importantly the beer is spectacular! The brewery is worth the drive to New Glarus and the beer is definitely worth the drive to the Wisconsin border.

One last thing! If you enjoy reading  our blog, whether it’s for Adventures of a Beginning Home Brewer, Rise of the Beer Barron, our Brewery Series, or just for beer reviews, please take a moment to nominate us ( for the best beer blog in the Kind of a Big Deal awards. Just click on the link here,  and go from there. It only takes a minute and would mean the world to us!