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 wasn’t 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. It’s worth the drive alone to see such a nice looking brewery. I did have questions, though, and I couldn’t 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. I’ll continue to buy their beer when it’s eventually availible in Illinois again but I won’t 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. It’s a medium sized building but with a small tasting room that is more of a gift shop. They’ll sell you 750s of Belgian Red and Raspberry tart for $8.75, when just down the street at Roy’s Market they can be found for $7.50 each, or by the case for only $84 (!!). Similarly, Roy’s Market had all of the singles available at New Glarus plus a couple that weren’t, 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 they’ll 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 I’ve ever met at a brewery, even whiffing on the softest softball questions I could throw at her. I’m 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 I’m 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 you’re lucky, you can catch new releases a day or 2 before they show up in stores. The ambiance was top notch, and if you’re into cool looking breweries or are a fan of New Glarus, it’s a must-stop.. just don’t 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 haven’t yet tried. Don’t 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 didn’t see elsewhere.
biggcb (29) Harleysville, Pennsylvania | August 3, 2007
Was a fair bit of a drive from where I was staying in IL and you go through LOTS of farmland, hich mostly seemed deserted....so deserted, I could not get Children of the Corn out of my head! The brewery conveniently sits right at a corner and looks more like a farm than a brewery. I found the self-guided tour very interesting and informative, but it would have been to talk to a person or two at some point during it. They serve 3 beers for a tasting (their choces), but the shop is nice. Picked up a few cases and a couple of mixed 6ers.
A very nice tour which was self guided with listening devices. It’s pretty amazing all the magic that Dan Carey can do in that little barn of a brewery. The copper kettles were amazing and the building was full of incredible stories. I even got to meet and chat with Brewmaster Dan for a few minutes. A great brewery filled with great, knowledgable people. Well worth the trip.
The self tour is great and informative (walking device is handed out). They pour a few beers for you to sample with a free glass. They have all of the available beers for purchase and a decent amount of log stuff. You will also bump into Dan Cleary as well. A must visit.
Visited the brewery on a Friday afternoon. Self-guided tour is nothing special, and isn’t very long. The people there are very friendly. They offer tastings for $3.50 where you get a tasting glass and three beer samples, but you only get the three samples that they have. You don’t get to choose which beers you’d like to sample, which was a bummer for me as I like IPAs, and they have two for sale. But they only had the Belgian Red, Uff-da Bock, and Spotted Cow for the tasting. They had over ten beers for sale there, and you could even buy mixed six-packs for $7. Worth the visit if in the area, but just note that the tour isn’t much and the tasting is limited to the three that they choose.
The audio tour is cool but more like a museum than a brewery. The store has all their beers but at higher prices than the grocery store a block away. Only 4 beers for sampling and not the big 2 or unplugged.