Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

950 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 950
Hads: 3,179
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 1,134
Gots: 694 | FT: 81
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 950 | Hads: 3,179
Photo of Duff27
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a clear, ruby red with a small white head. Good lacing and head retention.

S- Cherries, hints of vanilla?

T- More cherries...fresh and above all else, real. Tart. Dare I say orgasmic?

M- Dances on the tongue like its sister Raspberry Tart.

D/O- I've had many a beers in my day but this remains one of the best beers I've ever had. Light and fruity, its an easy drinker although I find myself taking small sips just to savor. The epitome of "world class".

 469 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a nice rosey red color with a healthy 2 finger head over top that falls to generously coat the beer. The nose is huge cherry. Wow. It smells really nice, but not too big. The flavor is sour, sour, sour cherry. As soon as the beer departs the glass and crosses my lips, the sour grabs my tongue. As I swallow the beer, a sweetness and slight, very slight maltyness grabs me. The feel is super thick, almost sytupy, staying long on the tongue. This is a nice nice beer.

Edit: I still love this beer. So good. So balanced. A fine beer.

 551 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle in a great trade with joe1510. Thanks a bunch, Joe!!

This isn't my first sample of this brew. I bought a bottle of it and the Raspberry Tart years ago before I started reviewing and have had samples of both every time I've been to the GABF. Boy am I thrilled to have it again!

Pours from capped and mimimally waxed 750ml bottle a cloudy red with a nice solid, be it small, head of foam with some good lacing.

The smell is of cherrries, cherries, and...more cherries!~ A +lb of cherries in every bottle will do that for you. ;^)

The taste...is of wonderful, semi sweet and sweet cherry. In the background, I can just get some wheat, more pronounced when I swish the beer in my mouth, and a slight woody flavour. Boy, is this a joy to sip on and yeah, it's very low in the abv department but when you get a brew of this caliber, sipping is the *only* way to go. The mouthfeel is almost chewy, nah, I'm going to say that it *is* chewy and the carbonation is very lively.. just the right level for me to make my drinking experience stellar. There's also a small hop presence there to add just a touch of bitterness; not too much, mind you, as the cherry flavour is what Belgian Red is all about.

I just poured some more into my glass and I have a huge smile on my face. Wow. Is this ever a satisfying beer.

Bottom line: This is a world class brew that hits my palate on all cylinders. Like I said before I got this in a trade and it certainly won't be the last time I trade for it. Thank again, Joe!!

 1,522 characters

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I figure I'll finally review this since it's always at my house and we (my wife) drinks a ton of it.

This beer is fantastic! It pours a cherry red with a bubbly little head. The scent is awesome! Smells like a cherry juice with carbonation. Everything else on this beer is Amazing! It deserves the #37 spot in the top 100!

Everyone should try this beer.

 357 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Sprinkle for this awesome brew. Pours a murky brown shade of red, with nice lacing. Smells of sweet and slightly tart cherries. Cranberries too, though I know they were not an ingredient in the beer.

Initial the taste is sweet cherry, this soon gives way to sour cherry, delicious, and more complex than I can adequately describe. Malt is there, but completely blends in with the cherries. Mouthfeel is smooth and lively, the bubbles are tiny. I believe this qualifies as a session beer under BA guidelines, if only I had another one or ten or so, I'd drink them all now.

 585 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a very big wax sealed mag, to a pint glass, the liquid is dark red like a burgundy wine with nice carbonation. The head is small with tiny bubbles, no lace either.

The smell is awesome best cherry beer ever.

The taste is enormous, wow what a great tasting brew, lots of semi sweet tart cherries, I'll just close my eyes and I'm back in Door County.

The mouthfeel is realy big and meaty, the carbonaton might not be most beer like but this is a special brew to be sure.

The drinkability very good really a great brew.

Prosit, und Zum Wohl. MK

 558 characters

Photo of Socalbeerlover
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I thought my first review should be the best fruit beer I have had to date.
A. Ruby red with tiny bubbles well carbonated.
S. Like McDonalds Cherry pie. I want to smell this beer as much as drink it.
T.Like Sara Lee Cherry Pie in a Glass def taste the "over a pound of Door Cherries per bottle".
M.Carbonated ,like champagne, sweet.
O.Fantastic,light ,fruity, cherries really come thru,crisp a great early morning riser due to the low alc% gladly pay 20$ to get a bottle shipped now and then.

 492 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into Efes tulip. Thanks Cheesemoose! Leathery brown in color, small head, low retention. Clear, sticky lacing. Aroma dominated by cherry (of course). I suppose that it would be easy to screw this flavor up but its done perfectly. Not medicinal, not cough syrup. Splendid. Taste is fascinating, unique and certainly delicious. Cherry sweetness and tartness is front stage and center and just awesome. Amazing and unique beer.

 445 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark glowing red with a few light purple highlights. It was very clear with little bubbles clinging to the inside of my glass. The head was thin, off white and pink that left a thin and delicate lace. Smells initially of sweet cherry pie filling that, for an instant, is rather disappointing. Fortunately, the smell is then backed up with a musky sourness that adds a terrific amount of life and wholesomeness. Along with this fantastic cherry, there seems to be a musky lambic-like yeast. Tastes of powerfully tangy wild cherries. This is not just cherry sweetness, but the flavor clearly reflects actual cherry skin! This, combined with (what I’m guessing to be ) the musky wild yeast creates a smooth and tangy cherry experience that is absolutely amazing. This is quite an accomplishment for the people at New Glarus. (thank you!) The mouth feel had a light soft body with a medium tingly carbonation that’s a wonderful compliment to the tangy aspects of the flavor. I think that the mouth feel plays a crucial role in the delivery of the flavor, earning a high rating form me.

Delicious! Absolutely delicious! This is so easy to drink and just dripping with quality and care. There’s a quality here that makes me wish there was a NA version of this available to have with breakfast every morning. I think I’ll never be able to tolerate fake cherry flavors ever again. This is hands down a fantastic beer! The only shortcoming on its drinkability is the sweetness. It’s necessary for the flavor, but I wouldn’t want to split more than one bottle at any one sitting.

 1,598 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle thanks to nflmvp

Pours a hazy red color with a small white head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Big, tart, fresh cherry aroma. Mild hints of sweetness peek through now and then.

Immediate slightly sweet fresh cherry taste that rushes into a puckering tartness. The tartness lingers and creates a mouth watering effect, which makes me eager for the next sip.

Full body, mild carbonation.

Wow, this is a fantastic fruit beer. Once I got started on the bottle, I couldn't stop until it was finished. Truly a pleasure. Not a daily drinker, but certainly one to enjoy on a regular basis. I've never tried anything that I could even remotely suggest as a substitute.

 695 characters

Photo of clarkm04
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a great ruby. A nice light pink/whitish head forms, but recedes quickly. A little lacing but not as much as I would aspect.

S- Very strong on the cherries. That's the overwhelming profile is slightly tart cherries. I get a slight malt flavor but this beer is designed to showcase the cherries and it does a great job.

T- I love the taste of this beer. No matter how many times I drink it, I always want more. The cherries shine through but in a balanced why so the sweetness is tempered and it's just a perfect complex cherry taste. Every time I drink it, I get new notes out of it. Very fresh with a nice tartness. Absolutely my favorite dessert beer.

M- Medium bodied with a good carbonation. Very delicate on the palate with a little stickiness but very full bodied.

O- Very outstanding! Easily one of my favorite beers. The beer is so unique and so well done that I sometimes am stunned that a cherry beer could be this delicate, fresh, and such a fun drinking experience.

 990 characters

Photo of DSWeller
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the best fruit "beer" I have tasted thus far.

This beer looks fantastic! Pours a deep red with white head. Some lacing left behind.

The smell is enticing (if you enjoy cherries or fruit forward beers).

I truly enjoy this. It is amazingly refreshing and makes you want to continue drinking more of it. It's a touch on the sweet and tart side. I will gladly purchase again and prefer this over their raspberry offering.

I wish New Glarus distributed outside of Wisconsin so more people could enjoy this and their other offerings.

 540 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to drseamus for bringing this.

A: Cloudy bright red. Minimal white head.

S: Cherries big up front with some sweetness. Tartness in the back.

T: Cherries and tart. The raspberry tart has me dreading this but the tartness was not nearly as strong. Amazing the amount of flavor for such a low ABV ber.

M: Light body making this even more drinkable.

D: Tons of flavor for such a small beer. As a brewer this is one of those beers that toally blows my mind. How did they do this?

 486 characters

Photo of Jon
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another brew that lives up to its hype, this kriek-style ale pours a deep red/amber color with a frothy, sparkling wine-like pinkish head. Very impressive looking in a flute glass, this one leaves trails of lace. Smell is tart and almost acidic at first, with some true fruity sweetness coming through thereafter. Taste is similar, but totally unlike any Belgian kriek I've had. Big, monstrous cherry notes hit the palate at first, with a dry, tart and acidic finish. The best way for me to describe it is like cherry pie filling. Cherry pie as in that which your mother would make, not Hostess. Wow. Very complex and if nothing else, divine. Mouthfeel is prickly and effervescent at first when chilled, then somewhat syrupy when it reaches room temperature. Moderate in alcohol, somewhat sweet, somewhat tart, but overly satisfying, this Belgian-style ale drinks incredibly well. Would pair incredibly with the aforementioned cherry pie as an appropriate dessert brew. Better yet, enjoy it by itself. An awesome creation from New Glarus.

 1,038 characters

Photo of cnbrown313
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To me, this is the epitome of what a fruit beer should be. I have had it many times, but I finally decided to actually write a review after drinking a whole bottle to myself on the 4th of July! Purchased just over the IL / WI border, for $9.49 a bottle.

A - It pours a pure, cherry red with a good amount of carbonation and an off white head that recedes quickly.

S - The smell is of strawberry jam / cherry pie. With a little bit of earthiness to it. It smells like it is going to be overly sweet, unless you have tasted one before.

T - The taste is perfect. The only way I can describe it is that it literally tastes like the filling from the freshest cherry pie you've ever had. Or like fresh strawberry jam. Surprisingly though, this beer is not all that sweet and it is pretty easy to drink. No boozy taste at all, but it is only 4%. Usually sweet beers or drinks will give me a headache after the first glass, but I gladly poured myself a 2nd, and 3rd from the bottle. I should also note that if you like sour beers, you should try the Raspberry Tart instead of this, as the Belgian Red isn't really sour at all. The RT is also quite good, but in my opinion, this is much better.

M - The carbonation is almost perfect and the bubbles float nicely across the palate.

O - If you have access to this, pick a bottle up. My favorite fruit beer, period.

 1,358 characters

Photo of faernt
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a beer! Big bottle with wax opening into a champagne flute with the aroma of Door County. A pie crust colored head appears and grows to colossal size on top of a slightly brownish red body that looks like cherry jelly. The taste is sweet and then tart bringing me back to chopped cherry preserves on toast. It's like breakfast. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected but if it were heavier the jelly thing would take over the experience. This is a very drinkable beer. I don't like fruit beer much but this is always on hand.

 530 characters

Photo of Duffman
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An absolute cracker...

The appearance of the beer is simply gorgeous. A shade of brownish red, perhaps a mahogany red. Whatever color you would call it, it is beautiful and not far short of perfect. Wonderful smell, with cherries and oakiness, a touch of hoppiness and malt coming through in harmony. The taste is even better. Cherries dancing on the tongue with the smooth oakiness balancing perfectly. A touch of sourness adds some contrast as well with the traditional beer-like tastes of hoppiness and malt delicately coming through towards the end. A long and smooth finish that is about as delicious and drinkable as beer gets. Exquisite.

 645 characters

Photo of brownbeer
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is always a treat. Thanks to Thirdeye11 for this one.

A- Bright cherry red

S- Like sweet cherry candy with graham cracker malt. Not too complex, just brilliance.

T&M- Soft and delicate. Sweet and slightly tart cherry at the same time.

D- Refreshing and delicious. The kind of beer my mom(or anyone who doesn't like beer) would and should drink.

 358 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a maderate amber with a nice half finger head of white that melted to a faint ring of lace.

Aromas are all cherries....wonderful sweet cherries that give way to a sweet amber malt.

Taste is just plain yummy.
This is a fruit beer that really, really works. Sweet cherries but with a bit of bitter bite at the end that dry your mouth and make you wish for more.
I don't know what else to say except for sweet cherries. This is absolutely delicious with many, many subtle flavors I can't begin to identify...only enjoy.

Yes...yes...I love it.

 549 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL green bottle with a thin layer of red wax over the cap. No date stamp or code.

Served cool into a goblet, Wisconsin Belgian Red is a stunning beer to behold. The color is a striking ruby red with great clarity. The head is a pale pink and settles quickly.

The aroma blows me away. It is the essence of cherry, pure and simple. If you love cherries, the smell alone is worth the price. Mostly sweet but slightly tart, the beer smells as though it was bottled today. In reality it has been cellaring for about 6 months.

Fortunately, the flavor doesn't disappoint. It's as radically cherry as any beer has the right to be. Sweet up front, fresh sweet cherries dominate. The wheat ale base is really just a simple stage on which the cherries can shine.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated. I expected it to be a little more effervescent but I enjoy that it isn't. Alcohol is nonexistant.

Overall the best fruit beer I've ever had, hands down. It makes all others look weak by comparison.

 1,015 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped and waxed green bottle received as a Christmas gift along with some other pricey beers from my Parents.

Pours a murky brownish-red, completely opaque and delicious looking. As soon as the wax is cut and the bottle opened, the room is filled with luscious cherry. A closer whiff and I'm blown away by the intensity of fresh fruit - cranberry, some apple, but obviously cherry takes center stage. The flavor somehow eclipses the nose in sheer gravity. Fresh, mouth-puckering cherry and cranberry puree with some subtle hints of vanilla and oak. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety. Indulgent. Lightly carbonated. Reminded me of a fresh Door County cherry cider with a tart alcoholic bite. The sour and sweetness of the fruit balance each other nicely and make for an easy-drinking desert beer that I could see myself downing a couple bottles of in the course of an evening. It was hard to share it with my lovely girlfriend, but it's the Holiday Season. A truly magnificent fruit beer from New Glarus, how lucky to have them in my backyard.

 1,048 characters

Photo of Generik420
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the true greats brewed in the US. I have had it 4 or 5 times, always in a 750ml bottle. This beer pours at a deep ruby color with a fantastic cherry aroma. This is a beer that deserves to be served in a large snifter style glass, or something similar to a wine glass. Did I mention the aroma? Very tart cherry flavor that you will want to sip and savor. The flavor is not at all sweet as some might expect when they see the cherry on the label. This isn't an everyday beer, and it definitely isn't a session beer. This is something that is great for a nice meal or after dinner.

 585 characters

Photo of MJR
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cool raspberry color with an interesting light pink head. The head disipates somewhat quickly.

Smell: Scent of sharp cherries, with a touch of a musty, earthy smell. A kind of sweet/sour balance which is very well done. A hint of oak too. Very addictive aroma...

Taste: First impression is that of a sharp, cherry tart. This flavor stays the whole time, but doesn't smother the others. I pick up on cinnamon, which grows stronger as it warms. Slight spiciness too. I can tell this has been aged/stored in oak barrels, as there's a nice earthy, oak character on the tail end. I pick up on a slight sweet, bread/biscuit flavor as well. The balance of sweet and sour is absolutely incredible. Amazing well-done brew...

Mouthfeel: Sharp and acidic...this easily replaces Champange. Finishes very dry with an overall light to medium-light mouthfeel. Makes me hungry!

Drinkability: Really, really high...in the right place and mood. This isn't an everyday beer, but it truly is spectacular in the right setting.

For a while, I had heard how great and unique this beer was...the many awards...the constant critical praise, etc. Now that I've tried it, all of it is fully deserved. In true Belgian style, it stretches the bounderies of what beer is and can be. Objectively speaking, this is one of the best brews I've ever encountered.

 1,362 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottled served at about 50 degrees and poured into several gold rimmed tulip glasses over the course of the evening.

A - Poured a wonderful fire engine red color with a very hazy, cloudy and murky look to it. Almost looked somewhat like a Hawaiian Punch type drink to put it in perspective. Very nice head of light pink colored foam then reached over top and formed a nice little pillow on the top of it that reached a height of about two fingers or so high. Nice gradual settling of this left behind little to no residual layer and just a small amount of side glass lace. Some carbonation was visible streaming up from the bottle of the glass, letting you know this one was still going strong.

S - The aroma was very thick and pungent, with huge smells of deep rich cherry that you could literally pick up from across the room they were so good. It was one of the freshest aromas I have encountered, being very sweet and at the same time still tart. Lots of sugar in this one and that was really very obvious from the first whiff you took. Now they say over a pound of cherries in each bottle, and I can believe it from this smell, it was tremendous and I could not wait to dive into this.

T - Now the taste, what can you really say about this one other then the fact it was pretty much perfect for the style. I have never had any fruit beer as good as the ones being put out now by New Glarus. They are really just tremendous in their freshness, depth and flavor and this was the prime example. From the first moment you took a sip it was all about a deeply rich, sweet, sour, tart, cherry flavor that is almost indescribable it is soo good. The level of sweetness at first was huge, but as I let it warm up it started to get a little more tart, without loosing any of the great flavors. There was just a tremendously large amount of fruit in here, really stronger then anything I had before, comparable only to their own raspberry tart, which was also in a world all its own. Really nothing much more I can say, I was almost speechless this was soo good. The finish again was very strong and very sweet, leaving me with a very long lasting flavor that was simply a treat to go back and get more of.

M - Seductively smooth and I really mean that. The consistency was like that of silk, very fine carbonation bubbles giving it that really smooth let alive feel that simply rolls around and really starts to pop on your tongue. Crisp and refreshing when cold and a perfect dessert as it warmed, this was just fantastic.

D- Now lets be honest here, sometimes went you get something loaded down with as much fruit and flavor as this it could be a little difficult to have that much of it as the flavor really starts to become a bit overwhelming. Not in the case here as I easily went through the bottle, and if I had more time and another bottle I might add, could have gone through that one as well. This was just really that good. Quite different from anything else and really just an awesome brew.

Overall I really do not have enough good things to say about this one. Every aspect of it was fantastic and I would gladly welcome a steady supply of it into my home. It is one of those things that are perfect for a special occasion or just sitting around watching a movie. Truly unique and in a world of its own, these New Glarus beers never cease to amaze me. I must start setting up some trades for this one ASAP.

 3,427 characters

Photo of thehand
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One pound of cherries per bottle? I'm there!

Poured from wax sealed bottle into New Belgium goblet. Pours a clear medium ruby red with about 1/2" foamy pinkish head that settles to a bubble film with some sticky lacing. Aroma is very strong sugary sweet but very tart cherries. Cherry is the only thing I can smell in this beer, but that's ok because I love cherries. The aroma literally makes my mouth water. Taste is intensely rich, sweet and tart cherries. I love it. It's like liquid cherry pie. Medium bodied, high carbonation, feels a little sticky sweet. The sweetness limits the drinkablility just a tad, it's a little cloying, but this beer is so delicious, I can't put the glass down. Couldn't drink this beer very often, but it makes a great treat once and a while.

 777 characters

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 950 ratings.