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Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: brewery

What’s New at New Glarus Brewery

whats-new-at-new-glarus-breweryIt’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two years since my last trip to the New Glarus Brewery. My husband and I decided to make the scenic drive from Madison to New Glarus to enjoy the fall colors and see what was new. We noticed the outdoor space at the brewery had changed- there was more seating and some interesting decorative walls, and after talking to one of the tour guides we learned that even more construction is in the works.

When I last visited New Glarus, they were producing around 127,000 barrels of beer each year. With the expansions they have planned, they hope to be producing 250,000 barrels per year in the next 3-5 years, according to a recent article in the Isthmus. Does this increase in production mean New Glarus will FINALLY start out-of-state distribution? We asked the tour guide at the brewery this question and he said absolutely not. New Glarus Brewery prides themselves on being an “only in Wisconsin” beer and they don’t have any plans to change that. Since craft beers are becoming more and more popular, there is enough demand in the state of Wisconsin to justify the increase in production.

Another new addition is a 20th Anniversary Ale which is brewed in the Belgian Dubbel style. I wish I could tell you how it tastes but we decided it to keep the bottles we bought safely tucked away in our wine fridge- the Anniversary Ale supposivly gets better with age. I DID taste some other New Glarus beers including an Octoberfest beer called Staghorn- a flavorful beer with a smooth finish, and Serendipity – a strawberry beer that’s a must try for fruit beer lovers.

The New Glarus Brewery also won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this weekend, proving that I’m not the only one who thinks that Wisconsin makes the best beer in the USA!

What’s your favorite Wisconsin beer?




A Wisconsin Road Trip: New Glarus, Wisconsin

I’m trying to make the most of what’s left of my Wisconsin summer, so I decided to go on a Wisconsin road trip. From Madison, Wisconsin, it’s a 45 minute drive on scenic back roads to New Glarus, a charming town that is famous for tasty beer and embracing Swiss heritage.  If you live in Wisconsin and you’re looking for a fun road trip or even a weekend stay-cation, New Glarus is the place to go.

new-glarus-1 According to the New Glarus Chamber of Commerce, the town was named by the Swiss immigrants from Glarus, Switzerland who first settled there.  The name isn’t the only thing Swiss about this tiny town, the chalet-like buildings, cheesy food, and friendly locals will make you want to yodel with glee. I enjoyed a late lunch at the Glarner Stube, a rustic bar and restaurant that gives you the feeling of being transported to Switzerland.  My favorite dish was the roasti- crispy potatoes with a gooey cheese baked inside.  This starchy, cheesy delight comes in a generous portion, but don’t worry, the left-overs are just as good the next day.

Oddly enough, the adorable Swiss village isn’t New Glarus’s biggest claim to fame.  That honor belongs to the New Glarus Brewery.  Nestled on a hilltop that overlooks rolling hills and farmland, the brewery offers free self-guided tours and inexpensive beer tasting to the tourists, cyclists and bikers that visit each day.  The building outside reminds me of a European castle and contrasts nicely with the state of the art, clean and shiny brewing equipment in the facility built in 2007.  For $3.50 you get to sample three of your favorite brews. New Glarus beers are only available in Wisconsin, and they have no plans to expand- it’s their way of getting you to come visit Wisconsin, and of course, New Glarus.

We only get a few nice days a year in Wisconsin, and a day spent exploring New Glarus won’t be wasted! Don’t worry, even if you live outside of Wisconsin you can still get a taste of New Glarus- the town at least, you still need to visit Wisconsin to try the beer.  Get cooking with recipes for sauerbraten and beer cheese soup right here on my blog.  If cooking’s not your thing, you can shop for New Glarus goodies at The New Glarus Bakery ships bread, cookies and Swiss pastries nationwide.  Another food New Glarus seems to love is landjager, a slightly spicy dried sausage. The pairs of sausages are attached with a string and hang in their own little Swiss chalets on the counters of New Glarus bars and shops, ready to fill the bellies of hungry visitors, you can get yours here.  A day spent in New Glarus or a taste of the town’s ethnic food will make you realize Wisconsin is so much more than cows and cheese.

What’s your favorite Wisconsin town to visit?

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