Beer Trippin’ in Wisconsin. Part 1 – New Glarus Brewing
Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to spend 36 hours in Wisconsin. Time for another round of Beer Trippin’.
We started our day with an early flight out of Denver International Airport, bound for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I like to get a jump-start on things and before lunch time, we had already gotten a rental car and were headed off in search of good beer. Without hesitation, we set off towards the town of New Glarus, WI.
Only about a two-hour jaunt down the road from Milwaukee, New Glarus was founded by Swiss pioneers in 1845. The Swiss heritage is alive and well in New Glarus today. Many of the buildings around town were built with chalet-style architecture, while the restaurants serve traditional Swiss meals. It’s a beautiful town, surrounded by green rolling hills, farmlands and blue sky.
It’s also the home of New Glarus Brewing. Yep, the yummy brewery that makes the super popular Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart beers. The ones that create all the lines and buzz every year at the Great American Beer Festival. New Glarus has been on my short list of breweries to visit for years and they didn’t disappoint.
The original Riverside Brewery was built in 1993 and is still in operation today. Tours of the facility are offered once a week, on Friday’s at 1 PM.
The Hilltop Brewery opened in 2008 and is open 7 days a week from 10 AM – 4 PM. We rolled into the parking lot of the Hilltop Brewery just after lunch time and were blown away by the beauty of the place.
They’ve gone out of their way to bring the European experience to the little town of New Glarus.
It feels like a fairy tale. I couldn’t wait to step in and see the list of beers being poured.
Am I dreaming? Pinch me!
During our visit, they were pouring Totally Naked (Czech Lager), Spotted Cow (Farmhouse), Two Women (Lager), Moon Man (Pale Ale), Fat Squirrel (Nut Brown) and Belgian Red (Wisconsin Cherry Ale). For $3.50 you can get a sample of 3 beers and a taster glass to keep. For $6, you can get a full pint and a glass to keep. The popular fruit brews will run you $9.
Aaaah, Belgian Red… It’s so worth it.
There’s a self guided tour which is free and gives you access to the brew house, bottling line, fermentation tanks, quality control lab and more.
After exploring the brewery, we sat outside in the garden area to enjoy our beer and take in the views. Patti and I both agreed that this would be a great spot for a wedding reception.
Eventually, we made our way back inside to do a little shopping.
In addition to the tasting room / gift shop, they also have a Beer Depot dedicated to 4-packs, 6-packs and 750’s to go.
Seeing this room made me wish I had a bigger bag to bring more beer home. The beer is delish and unfortunately, isn’t distributed outside of WI. Like any good beer nerd, I remembered to bring a styrofoam shipper. We filled it up and set off for our next destination. New Glarus Brewing is located at: 2400 Hwy 69, New Glarus, WI 53574. 608-527-5850.
Coming up in Part 2 of our Beercation in Wisconsin, we head back towards Milwaukee, WI, with a detour to Lake Mills, WI and Tyranena Brewing. Check back soon for updates.