From New Glarus, With Love

Would it be too weird if the first official post to my new wine blog were about beer?  Probably, but we are going to go with it.  Nobody puts Anne Spectator in the corner.  Besides – how can I not write about the fact that on Friday, I had the very special opportunity to tour the New Glarus Brewing Company with the Head Brewmaster himself, Dan Carey.

Rumor has it, this is where they are currently testing the upcoming "Blacktop IPA," a crazy, amazing stout-meets-IPA concoction that I suggested would be better named "Anne's Beer." The suggestion was a no-go.

The New Glarus Brewery is just a half hour from my home in Madison, but it looks and feels like another world.  When I mentioned this to Dan, he agreed and even said that that’s the reason why he and his wife Deb chose to make New Glarus the home for their brewery.  With soft, green rolling hills and a light mist hanging in its valleys, it looks like Bavaria.  Or at least what I think Bavaria looks like.

There’s a lot I could say about what I learned in terms of brewing and bottling, hops and barley during my tour, but those aren’t exactly the things that most stand out in my mind.  What I really took away from this experience is the fact that each beer brewed at the New Glarus Brewery is made with passion, curiosity, enthusiasm, and as cornball as it sounds – love.  Dan and his team use each day to make their beer meet the high standards of their customers and to do that while conserving the natural resources it takes to make their product.  Plus, they are active, respectful community members.  And they do it all with a sense of humor.  I’m a fan for life.

Anne Spectator inspecting the brewing process. Fun fact - many of the beers taste the same until they add and play with the yeast. When it comes to beer, it's really all about the yeast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Dan the Brewmaster have a favorite beer? 

No.  He said it would be like choosing his favorite child.  He loves them all.  And it shows.

Does Anne Spectator have a favorite beer? 

Not sure.  Everyone loves Spotted Cow and I do too, but I tend to like my beer with more balls.  I was surprised to find the Goldenale almost had too much balls for me.  It was wild, hoppy, and gamey, but I think I could grow into it.  For the moment, my favorite is Moon Man.   Light, hoppy and named after a cuddly cat.

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