A Trip to New Glarus Brewery

On Saturday, I went down to New Glarus, Wisconsin with some friends to visit the New Glarus Brewing Company. After a stint in the tasting room (Spotted Cow, a Stout, Stone Soup, & Raspberry Tart) we ventured into the brewery.

We saw the lab where all the new beers are concocted.

Everybody in the group had a phaser, er handheld guide, too.

The others in the group were surprised at the small physical size of the brewery. A mere 34 employees work in the plant, although a new expansion to three times the current size is in the works. Originally, Deb Carey gave her husband the seed money for making a batch of beer as an anniversary gift, if I remember correctly.

Eventually, we made it into the warm room with some giant copper kettles, for wort, I believe. Naturally, I couldn't resist some test reflective photography.

For some reason, there was a crucifix on the wall in the kettle room.

Heading out, we looked in the "Brewmaster" room and ran into Dan Carey, the Brewmaster himself. He was very personable and stopped what he was busy working on, letting us know about the new New Glarus beers in the pipeline. He seemed particularly enthused about a Rauch Beer or "smoked bock" set to debut in November that sounded intriguing.

I kept thinking "This is the man who wrote the little story about the inspiration for Fat Squirrel that's on the beer bottle labels."

After purchasing a few mix and match six packs (the new Stone Soup was complex and called for some additional tasting; a sort of lightly sour Belgian lambic aura about it) and other items in the gift shop, we headed over to The Swiss Hotel, an historic restaurant right in the heart of quaint downtown New Glarus (try the homemade cheese curds!).

A great day trip from Madison, if you're ever in the market for one. If you can't make the trip, here's a brewery slideshow.