New Glarus Brewing Co.
Coming from the East Coast, I was ignorant of the good stuff in Wisconsin. These folks (Daniel & Deborah Carey) founded the brewery in 1993, so they have over 20 years experience with what they–and their customers–like. Their motto is “Drink Indigenous” and they don’t ship out of state, but if you have a friend to smuggle some out . . .
This pours golden amber with a momentary head. It has a nose of wine and malt and some caramel develops over time. It is a very nice marzen style with good bready malt, maybe some cracker, and a little bit of spiciness on the finish. I had five Oktoberfests last weekend, this can stand up to any of them.
This is a cask conditioned farmhouse ale. It pours golden like the Staghorn, but a little hazy and with a brief head. It has a malty, fruity nose of figs and cherries. On the palette it gives a delicious yeasty malt with toffee and more fruit, now apricot. The finish is primarily malt with a bit of flowery hops at the end. It has an interesting grain bill with some barley and they mention a hint of corn.
We have West Coast IPA, East Coast IPA, and Wisconsin’s No Coast Pale Ale. Golden like the other two that I tried; they must like gold. (Someday I’ll have to try some of their fruit beers or their coffee stout, those are likely to be other colors!) This also continues the theme of minimal head on the pour. It leads with a strong malty nose leading quickly to resiny hops. The taste approaches an IPA style with hops slightly dominant over malt and a tiny caramel tone. A nice sessionable alternative to a coastal IPA.