Out of town – Milwaukee (Part 2: The New Glarusing)

While I have no visual documentation regarding New Glarus, I can assure you any photo would involve me in the fetal position, crying tears of joy while yelling “mmmMMMMmmm” and patting my stomach. New Glarus is not available outside of Wisconsin, with the exception of one beautiful, fleeting moment I found it at the World Beer Festvial-Durham a couple years ago.

They had a java creme brulee stout and Simcoe-based double IPA. It was like an angel pissing on my tongue.

This was a big reason for my excitement of traversing the Wisconsin beer scene, which also included a stop at the Milwaukee Brew Fest. First, some quick thoughts on a few of the six New Glarus beers I tried…

Spotted Cow: How cool is it that a brewery has a farmhouse ale as one of its staple beers? So cool. Not to mention it’s a staple beer that’s conditioned in 12-ounce bottles. I never would think the average drinker would buy enough of this to warrant a year-round run, but it works for me. It pours clear and has a nice, easy funk smell to it that is certainly light enough to please any. It doesn’t come across as sour as Jolly Pumpkin’s Weizen Bam, which had just a little sourness that I consider easy-going. The taste hardly had any sour flavor and came across as crisp and smooth. Like sunshine on my tongue.

Moon Man: This is perhaps my favorite pale ale ever. Being a fan of hoppy beers, this falls perfectly in line with what I’d want from a hopped-up pale ale. It’s got a great smell of hop resin and a flavor that starts pretty calm and finishes with a pine quality. It’s well balanced enough for most beer drinkers, although I fear it might scare off some who want their pale ales to lack any powerful flavors. Well, who needs them anyway? I’ll take Moon Man.

Chocolate Abbey: It’s a dessert beer as far as I’m concerned. Some time ago I wouldn’t have thought a Belgian beer would brew well with chocolate, but by now, why wouldn’t it? While Belgian yeast give the beer it’s usual Belgian ester flavor, there was barely any fruit notes at all. The sweetness of the fruit/esters stayed and mixed well with the chocolate, creating a beer that quickly becomes a chocolatey wonder. The body is light, the flavor is thick. An interesting combination.

Milwaukee Brew Fest “taster”

As for the beer festival – also a win. You know it’s going to be a good time when there are never any lines for the Porta Potties. Also, this was the “taster” glass they give you…

‘Sconsin does it right. Some quick thoughts on great beers after the jump.

First, I should lead with the observation “Who knew Leinenkugel made good beer?” You’d certainly recognize their sunset wheat in grocery stores or at the bar, but I didn’t know they had a specialty line of beers for real beer drinkers. At their booth, the Leinenkugel employees – including the brewmaster – poured a Russian imperial stout and the same stout aged in bourbon barrels. Bourbon barrel all the way. It was rich, complex, with great oak flavors and lots of sweetness from the liquor.

Similarly, Cold Spring Brewery’s John Henry 3 Lick Spiker was also great. It was another Russian imperial stout that almost tasted like a clone of Goose Island’s bourbon county stout.

Another winner? Lakefront Brewery’s Brad #2, a barrel-aged brown ale from local rum casks. This beer had lots of vanilla and oak to it.

Cody, right, and me, left, at Milwaukee Brew Fest. I swear it’s the sun, not bad beer.

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6 thoughts on “Out of town – Milwaukee (Part 2: The New Glarusing)

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