While it is a beautiful brewery, there are some problems I saw. First off, me and the lady get in there and ask about a tour. The tasting lady says "well, just go ahead and walk around." This is fine for me, but for someone who is looking for a "tour", not so good. The "tasting" was less of a tasting and more of a bar. 3 samples for $3.50 or one large beer for $5-8, depending on beer. No one to tell us about what we were tasting, more of "get your beer and move on". Only 5 brews on tap, all of which I have had. Value is there, because the "tour" was free. Overall, meh. This place makes such good beer, I was really hoping for a better tour.
Since I first had their Spotted Cow oh so many years ago in La Crosse I have wanted to visit this Wisconsin landmark for beer. On my cross country journey to Portland I was able to stop and enjoy a few local brews. The day I visited they are still in the middle of construction. Not sure what is going on but they had huge cranes lifting stuff. The operations are house in giant barns which was really cool. Once thing I didn’t like was the tap room. Everyone told me there was one but the day I visited it was either closed or demolished due to construction. They have a large outdoor beer garden and it was here that they had a few taps with their beers. The rest of the properly is a weird mix of architecture and benches. Once you have a beer your an wonder around the property. They have guided tours but you are also allowed to do your own walking tour which is really cool. Beautiful and clean operations on the inside, impressive. Giant bottle shop in the basement of a building that is getting remodeled. Lots of bottles and growler fill station here. I thought the selection for a brewery was lacking. I think it was only 5 or 6 beers with nothing I could find as a pub exclusive which was disappointing. You had to buy the glass but every drink after the first was at a reduced price which was nice but honestly weird about purchasing the glass. Not sure if you can bring them back or always have to buy a new one.
I have long waited for the chance to visit New Glarus; I have heard so much. The drive up feels like you are entering beer disneyland indeed. Beautifully manicured grounds, ornate driveway lighting. There is construction at the site so they had two people directing cars to park in a grass lot. Hoofed it the last quarter mile, up a manicured trail through the woods with picnic tables and benches. Beautiful. The grounds are also impressive, although the construction mars an otherwise amazing view. You walk into the courtyard and start to look around. There are signs, but things are kind of, confusing. There are two outdoor bars selling full pours of a half dozen of their most common beers; nothing that I can’t buy at the local grocery store. Inside its mostly souvenirs and bottle sales. Again, nothing beerwise not available elsewhere, and for less money at that. I did not take a tour. In the end I felt pretty let down. Zero beers that are even remotely unique to the site, and as beautiful as it is, it seems like it is more about cash inflow than actually providing a quality beer experience. I left bummed.
This place is beautiful. It’s incredibly clean and impressive to look at. The great views and the self-guided tour through this new brewery are a great compliment to a decent selection of some really great beer. It’s a must-visit
Well, it is a beer mecca, and they know it, probably the only thing in the town people actually come from other states to visit. It is super clean, maybe one of the cleanest breweries I’ve ever seen, and they allow self-guided walking tours. The area to hang out is really nice, especially when it’s warm out, which probably isn’t too often. Every employee was super friendly, really helpful, and really seemed to enjoy being there. The selection on draught was decent, a few lagers, the pale, the IIPA, and the raspberry, the bottle shop was even better, with some stuff you can’t find elsewhere. But for the most part you can find everything else cheaper other places in the town and state. It is an incredible place and if you are anywhere near it you should definitely go!
Visited on a Tuesday afternoon in the summer. First thought, wow, this is a beautiful brewery. Massive place, hill top location, overlooking the town of New Glarus. Plenty of parking. Small gift shop. Multi level patio in the back built to resemble a German beer garden. Service was enthusiastic and very well informed. Selection consisted of 8 beers on tap and all were excellent. They also sell beers buy the bottle or mix six in the beer depot. Self guided tour. Overall an amazing place, very clean, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and of course excellent beers. Worth a stop if you are in the area.
jackl (740) Minneapolis, Minnesota | September 18, 2016
Visited during GTMW week for the latest R&D release. Before commenting on the brewery experience I’ll just say that these guys probably run the smoothest beer releases in the country. I was probably 300th in line and had my beer in hand 5 minutes after they started serving customers. The hilltop brewery is a handsome place with sweeping scenic views of the surrounding countryside. There’s a tap room, souvenir shop, and bottle shop for visitors to check out. Beers on tap numbered about 6-8 and included most of the core range in addition to a couple of exclusives. Tall pours of Belgian Red in perfect condition made the drive from Madison worth it. Service was kind and friendly. Overall, this place is a destination brewery for any beer enthusiast. Well worth a long detour.
New review July, 2015: My old review reflects the old brewery, located on the other side of town. The hilltop brewery is a better experience for the beer geek in every way, with a beautiful gift shop and tasting room and just awesome deck with a panoramic view of the valley below. I’ve visited four times in the last three years, most recently twice in the past couple of months to pick up some Zwickel. Obviously for those out of state it’s worth coming for the year-round beers, but even for an in-stater like me there are often these special brewery-only gems. I haven’t taken the tour at this new location yet but I’m sure it’s fairly cool. As some others have mentioned, it would be great if they offered just a little food, but I suppose if they did it would end up encouraging people to stay and making the place more crowded than it already is - sometimes the parking lot is absolutely full, even on weekdays. Anyway, essential.
Original review October, 2006: Did the self-guided tour; would have loved to have gotten one from Dan Carey but I didn’t have a lot of choice as to when I came. It IS a very informative tour, the facility is beautiful and exceptionally clean even for a brewery; I swear you wouldn’t mind eating off of any surface. Very impressed by the gift shop -- they had several different glasses, gift packs, t-shirts, glasses from other breweries (kinda cool) and rubber Holsteins. Yeah the sampler isn’t worth it though if the Raspberry Tart had been from a keg I would’ve had to have sprung for it. Anyway, a good tour for anyone and a must if you love this brewery.
Wow, this place is completely over the top. There must be a ton of money in Spotted Cow, because this place must have cost a small fortune to build. It’s impressive but certainly not the cozy brewery tasting room experience that I enjoy. You have to stand in line to get a tasting glass and wrist bracelet with three tear off charms. You then stand in line with your glass to get it filled at the cost of one of the "charms". It’s efficient I guess, but very impersonal. They had six beers on offer, a coujple of which were pretty mediocre. The beer garden tasting area was very pleasant, offering sweeping fews of the Wisconsin country side. I don’t think I will be back.
I was there Friday(6/10) for the latest R&D release. Meet a lot of great beer enthusiasts there at 6 in the morning. Around 8 am, Deb Carey came around and walked amongst us and spent time talking beer and asking us questions. I saw her here and there for the 6-7 hours I was there. The release was well organized and fun. The brewery is easy to get around and, in the simplest of words, a beer mecca. Great layout, easy to get around, and a beer court that is worth visiting.Can’t wait to go back.
I have been here a few times now and I always look forward to going back. The brewery itself is stunning and the beer here is my favorite of all time. I have never been on a hard hat tour but the self guided tours are nice. They have an ok beer selection on site but I wish they had more rarities as well. The gift shop is nice and the beer garden is amazing in the summertime.