Friends of friends are from Wisconsin, and whenever they visit home, they make every effort to bring back as much of this beer as possible because the New Glarus Brewing Co. does not export outside of the state. That shows dedication. Dedication in these friends that love the beer, and dedication in the brewing company for not selling out and going commercial.
We were just gifted with two bottles of this Spotted Cow Ale from the latest long-distance beer run, and on our first weekend off, with the game on TV, The Man popped open the first one. Spotted Cow is unfiltered and often has sediment at the bottom after making its long way to Florida. This is brewers yeast, and the brewers recommend rolling it gently to mix in the sediment. It’s rich in vitamins and flavors. Healthy beer? Why not?
Chilled, this is a surprisingly light yet yeasty farmhouse-style beer, with bright citrus notes and a sweet finish. It’s clear and bright amber but slightly cloudy. The mouth feel is incredible, almost syrupy and a little crystalline like raw honey. And there are these hints of floral back notes that evolve as you get deeper into the glass.
New Glarus touts its use of indigenous ingredients, so they exclusively use locally grown barley and wheat malt. And this particular brew incorporates some local corn, since that’s one thing Wisconsin has a lot of. Of note, this is also cask conditioned ale, also known as ‘real ale’ by aficionados.
The Man loves hoppy beer like traditional Belgian brews (some of these take my breath away), but he was appropriately amused by this unusual ale. Being mild and citrusy, and only about 4.8% abv, this would be an excellent summer barbecue and pool party beer (if you could get your hands on a quantity).
So this is another reason to like Wisconsin–besides all of the cheese, of course. New Glarus doesn’t have to export their product and are shameless about not wanting to. They may keep their mom-and-pop, old fashioned, small brewery attitude towards ingredients and processes, but they’re modern about technology. Find them on their website, or on Facebook and other social networking sites. And if you’re lucky enough to visit the brewery, take some pictures for us, and bring back some beer!
New Glarus Brewing Company
2400 State Hwy 69
New Glarus, WI 53574