This is my favorite brewery, and it was here that my facination for beer really started to grow. That said the auctual tour/hospitality thing is slightly lacking. The tour is done with little phone type things that are odd, but at the same time you really have freedom to wander around the beautiful brewery. The samples at the end of the tour are great when they auctually have the tapper up and working, but usually it is just a person opening a few bottles, which is cool but not always terribly impressive. Oh well I go back here over and over again.
Visited summer 2008, the place was absolutely dead. Beer tour is self-guided with little phones you punch numbers into to hear about each stop of the tour. Tour is very short, but a lot of the stuff is rather interesting if you take the time to listen to each tour stop. Gift shop is rather small, and the beer samples available were nothing special. They did sell single bottles of some stuff I had never seen in stores (but Iím from Illinois, so most is new to me!). Worth a stop if you are in the area (like we were), but if you are driving more than 30 minutes out of your way, I wouldnít take the time personally.
Oh the disappointment. The tour is short and self-guided, though still interesting to beer geeks. One canít help but feel a bit like a voyeur wandering around the halls unescorted and staring at things while people are at work all around you, though. Samples are included, although sadly are just poured from a bottle at the cash register at the gift shop. Beer is available for sale, though quizzically at a higher price than most stores. I love New Glarus beer, donít get me wrong, but the tour wasnít worth the drive. Hopefully the new facility being built will be a little more journey-worthy.
Very disappointed. Tour only took about 5 minutes to go through, and I didnít feel like being one of the sheep with the talker at their ear. Got five tastes of beers Iíd already had and no cool or exotic beers in the gift shop, just regular stuff I can get in my hometown. Total bummer.
wow, where else can you get everything that new glarus has? Duh! New glarus. the only beef I have is that it is cheaper to get most of the beer at roys, but the overall experience is awesome! Support Dan and Deb and the arts!
gws57 (92) Saint Charles, Illinois | February 5, 2008| Updated February 15, 2008
WinTour 2008. Visited first thing in the morning on a Saturday, so it wasnít too busy right away. I thought the guided tour would have been a little cheesy but actually I did learn a lot, and their facilities are very impressive. Itís worth the drive alone to see such a nice looking brewery. I did have questions, though, and I couldnít find anyone who could answer them for me. As for the tasting, it was a disappointment. For $3.50 we got a small juice glass and three tastes, two of which had been availible in Illinois before they pulled out, and none of them were anything special, having been served out of bottles. The helper girls were bored and treated our presence as an inconvenience. Sorry. Iíll continue to buy their beer when itís eventually availible in Illinois again but I wonít be back for a tour.
We visited at around noon on a weekday, a few days after Christmas, and found the place busy but not overcrowded, which made for a nice visit and a lot of photo ops. Itís a medium sized building but with a small tasting room that is more of a gift shop. Theyíll sell you 750s of Belgian Red and Raspberry tart for $8.75, when just down the street at Royís Market they can be found for $7.50 each, or by the case for only $84 (!!). Similarly, Royís Market had all of the singles available at New Glarus plus a couple that werenít, so, while this is an excellent destination, a place that any true beer hunter should visit at least once, they do inflate the prices a bit in the gift shop, which is understandable. The walking tour is short but at least a little interesting, and theyíll pour bottle samples for a small fee with a free tasting glass throwin in (no taps, bummer). The host was probably the least informed about their own beer of anyone Iíve ever met at a brewery, even whiffing on the softest softball questions I could throw at her. Iím standing in New Glarus Brewing Company asking what style a beer is and all I get for an answer is an ale? Seriously I felt bad for the lady, because she had no clue. Must have been a bad day to visit. I sound like Iím complaining but I honestly had a fun visit. See pics here: http://flickr.com/photos/michaeljames/2156082504/
New Glarus is a cute little Swiss town south of Madison, and the brewery fits in well here. The tour is self-guided, and they have impressive, clean equipment and facilities. The tasting area is really not worth the $3-4 because you just get samples of 4 readily-available beers, and usually nothing special. The gift shop has all the current releases available, and if youíre lucky, you can catch new releases a day or 2 before they show up in stores. The ambiance was top notch, and if youíre into cool looking breweries or are a fan of New Glarus, itís a must-stop.. just donít go here expecting new/rare beers.
We toured New Glarus first on our abbreviated Madison Area Brewery Tour day. Easy to find location in the midst of farmfields and single stop-light towns. Cozy is the best word to describe brewery. Country market-style gift shop greets you immediately upon entry. To begin self-guided audio tour, you exit the gift shop and enter a hallway that reminded me of a winery. The audio tour, while informative, was underwhelming and difficult to focus on in the midst of legions of fans swarming toward the tasting room. A few of us stuck to the tour and got an upclose look at the lab and brewing room. The tour wrapped up in the tasting room, which had 4 3oz samples + a commemorative tasting glass available for $3.50 + tax. I was hoping for a wider selection of beers to choose from, but they only had Totally Naked, Fat Squirrel, Staghorn, and Belgian Red. All good beers, but I was hoping to try a few of the more common ones that I havenít yet tried. Donít get me wrong I love NG beers and this tour did nothing to hurt their standing in my eyes. I guess I was just expecting more. Worth it for any NG fans.
It was time to visit Mecca. I mean New Glarus. The brewery is very easy to find, the sign it very visable from the road. The self-guided tour has loads of information. I was impressed with the copper kettles and the labs. The tasting room/gift shop is kind of informal. It appears that they have a more formal tasting room, but the crowd was small on a Thursday afternoon so tasting was done in the tasting room. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Worth the trip.
Nice brewery. Saw the new brewery going up down the road. Seems like it will be a lot bigger. Tour was nice, nice ambiance. Could have been a lot better sampling set up and service. Not bad overall and I picked up an unplugged beer that I didnít see elsewhere.