Archive for March, 2012

New Glarus Brewing Company Day Trip

Monday, March 5th, 2012
back side of new glarus brewing company

New Glarus Brewing Company

It wasn’t long ago that I would take a road trip out to New Glarus Brewing Company shortly after each of the Unplugged series releases. Last year they switched the series to Thumb print and I haven’t been out. Not because of that, because of life.

We have been busy. “We” in terms of the kids, wife, and myself. Yep, this is a family event. The wife likes the beer, the kids like to run around in the open brewery as well as the play in the water out front or throw snow balls at me when there is snow on the ground (yesterday). It is a 2.5 hour road trip (perfect length) that everyone appreciates.

A plan to go up to New Glarus has been 3 months in the making; always getting pushed back. The entire family woke up early on Sunday, so I mentioned a potential road trip to the wife. Her ears perked up and we were on our shortly after breakfast and showers.

I am always impressed with the cleanliness of the brewery. Almost all are clean but New Glarus is awesome. Building a brewery with the customer in mind, is top notch. As long as the tasting room/gift shop is open, anyone can take a self guided tour. Fortunately there weren’t many people there as the kids used the circular walkway as a race path. Burn off some energy.

The wife got the usual taster: $3.50 for three taster pours, including the glass to keep. I had had a couple pints of Moon Man: the first pint was $6.00 but included the curved glass ware, while the refill was $3.00. Really reasonable prices.

The staff continues to be knowledgeable, helpful, and super friendly. Two cases of Cherry Stout (re-released as part of the thumbprint series), a case of Spotted Cow, two four packs of Thumbprint Barleywine, and four bottles each Raspberry Tart and Wisconsin Belgian Red loaded up the mini van and it was time for lunch.

One quick note on lunch. We stopped off at a Swedish place in New Glarus that was recommended as the second best place to eat as the first was closed for the season. They had a buffet that was $5.00 for each of the kids. Upon hearing that price we didn’t bother to inquire the adult price. Bad move! We assumed $10.00 for adults, double the kids price. Try almost quadruple, weighing in at $19.50 per adult. The food didn’t sit well in my stomach afterwards. First and last time. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: It would take 27,000 spiders, each spinning a single web, to produce a pound of web.

Fish Brewing Company Leviathan

Friday, March 2nd, 2012
fish brewing company fish tale leviathan

Fish Leviathan

Another day, another new American craft beer. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I am not starting another 365 days of 365 American craft beers. I have finally made it through the six cases of Zombie Dust which allows me to take solace in other American craft beers.

Leviathan by Fish Brewing Company comes by way of an American beer transaction back in late 2010. Leviathan is an American barleywine. The age will have done this one justice in spite of the bottle stating the beer should be kept refrigerated.

The aroma of the beer has a bit more to offer than the taste as the qualities aren’t as pronounced. Malts make up the aforementioned profile: toffee, caramel, dark fruits, and molasses. The taste does carry a bitter finish that I couldn’t place on old citrus hops or spice/herbal hops. I say the citrus because the aging has probably caused the profile to drop. In spite of the alcohol, the beer is on the lighter end of mouth feel which helps the drinkability.

On a side note, the Fish website is a bit strange to me: it makes three brands of American craft beer and one cider. The front page of the site doesn’t do a great job of explaining while not all the beers for Fish Tale are listed. The site design is nice but it doesn’t seem like content is updated. I guess I am web critic now.

As my wife says, “It’s Friday, Schinger!” Time to take in the family, the free time, and some outstanding American craft beer. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 7 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 7.9

Useless Fact: A male emperor moth can detect and find a female of his species a mile away.

Cambridge Brewing Company The Great Pumpkin Ale

Thursday, March 1st, 2012
cambridge brewing company the great pumpkin ale

Cambridge The Great Pumpkin Ale

It has been a while since I reviewed a new American craft beer. I have entertained the company of American craft beer, just nothing that was completely new to me.

I received a bottle of The Great Pumpkin Ale by Cambridge Brewing Company as part of a beer transaction late in 2011. Never had anything from Cambridge before so this should be interesting. This beer had been sitting in the cellar mainly because it is a Pumpkin beer and I equate that with spice. Not a huge fan but I figured I had nothing to lose, especially since I really like the label.

The pour was typical of the style: golden orange, with a bit of white foam that eventually leaves nary a trace of its existence. The aroma was lighter than expected, still nutmeg and cinnamon carried the most presence. The mouth is similar carrying a bit of pumpkin. A delicate beer for the style that I would have again in the future (don’t say that much for this style). Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 7 (35%), Overall: 7.6

Useless Fact: Mosquitoes are attracted to the color of blue twice as much as to any other color.

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