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Wisconsin Belgian Red | New Glarus Brewing Company

985 Reviews
For Trade:
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 985 | Ratings: 3,404
Photo of angrybabboon
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to rmalinowski4 for sending this my way

Review adapted from notes taken 11/13/11

Appearance: This is the most red beer I've ever seen, ever - it's a rich, dark red - off-white, kind of pink head, keeps a bubbly cap - minimal lacing, especially as it warms

Smell: Borderline disturbing, but also good - so, so much cherry - like a bowl of cherries floating in cherry juice topped with cherry jam and flavored cough syrup - more or less no hint of malt, just cherries - a touch of sour, too - kind of scary, unpleasant until I actually tasted the beer

Taste: Absolutely ridiculous - so much cherry - kind of reminds me of a cherry Popsicle - tons of cherry, but the overall taste is better than just the cherry flavor - tastes like carbonated cherry juice, maybe a carbonated cherry pie, utterly no hint of alcohol - it's kind of a stretch to call this beer - a little tart - sweet, but not excessively so for half a 750mL

Mouthfeel: Medium body, crisp carbonation, juicy, sticky cherry juice

Overall: Is this beer?

This is the fruitiest fruit beer that I've ever encountered. The smell is a little intimidating, but the flavor is excellent. Bonus points for the style. I would love to share this with a group of people that think they don't like beer. I'll be making efforts to acquire more!

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Photo of PDXHops
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ThomasHardy for this 750ml bottle, poured into a LaChouffe tulip. The massive cherry pie aroma more than makes up for the pedestrian appearance. Just the right level of carbonation to keep the rather oily body from becoming too sticky. Multiple layers of cherry deliciousness. Light biscuity malt and light caramel sweetness bring crust to mind; you might as well be drinking cherry pie. Quite a treat on its own, and fun to blend with a nice stout as well.

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Photo of calir1
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zizzybalubba for this one. Pops good with a bit of bubbles. Smell is cherry candy and all cherry. There is no doubt this is a cherry beer. Thick and full of flavor and pretty sweet. Tates like a kids drink or something like that. Very different beer, but for a fruit beer, this is awesome. I drank the bottle and was wore out doing so. I think the first glass was great, but at 4% I thought I would be able to do this on my own. The last glass was starting to get to me, but the first glass was wonderful.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep yet bright ruby in color with thin lacing when swirled. The nose shows off an abundance of rotting cherries. This continued into a medium-bodied palate with lots of carbonation and crispness. While simple this is very well-balanced, refreshing and enjoyable.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My fifth or so time with this beer due to a generous relative of mine who lives in Wisconsin. About time I gave it a review.

Appearance- Pours a really nice shade of ruby-crimson into my snifter with about two fingers of pink head sitting on top. Head gradually dies down to a thin sheet across the top. Mild lacing and beading as i drink.

Smell- Wow, a whole lot of fresh cherries here. Smells like a fresh cherry pie, just a little bit sweet and jammy. Hard to really detect anything else beyond the cherries, but very fresh and not artificial at all.

Taste- Again, really up front on the fresh cherries. Lots of fresh, sweet cherry and cherry preserves. Mixed in however is a little bit of cherry pit woodiness as well, which adds a little bit more depth. Very nice for dessert, and I imagine it would go very well with cheesecake. Finishes off with a very mild tartness at the end.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is solid with adequate carbonation and not too thick. Drinkability suffers just a touch because this one got a little sweet towards the end of my glass.

Overall, a great cherry inspired fruit beer. Can lean a little towards sweet at the end of your glass, but it never struck me as an artificial fruitiness. Give it a shot

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Glarus- Wisconsin Red

Big thanks go out to Sholland119(Scott) for sending me this!

A- Reddish brown with heavy carbonation and a moderate bubbly head. Quick dissipation though.
S- Slight grainy malt aroma with cherries.
T- Big sour cooked cherries. Just like fresh cherry pie! Cherries, Cherry puree, crust, cinnimon, and nutmeg.
M- Big soury tart start but mellows out into a sweet tangy cherry pie feel.

Overall- Another great dessert beer. Exactly like Cherry pie! (Thanks Scott!)

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Photo of elmore
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint 9 oz bottle, which I purchased at Market Place Grocery Store in Hayward, WI. Turbid, murky pink color. Minimal head that rapidly receded with scattered lacing.

Not suprisingly this smells of cherries as the bottle reads "over a pound of Door County cherries in each bottle". Not of artificial cherries, but rather the cherry streusel I used to get on Sundays at a local German bakery. No hops, no alcohol, no malt - pretty much only cherries.

Taste is very sweet with a tart sour aftertaste. Thick syrupy mouthfeel, similar to grenadine or maybe the syrup from marichino cherries. Sweetness limits drinkability.

Very unique beer and a lot of fun to try, but not something I would regularly drink. I can barely identify this as a beer. Similar to a lambic possibly. I think it would be great as an after meal drink similar to a dessert wine.

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Photo of rayjay
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an undersized pilsner glass since I don't own a flute.

Nice deep red color that leans toward brown. Mild haze, but generally a brite beer. Not much in the head or lace department.

Nose reminds me of a cherry flavored Icee. Mild hints of dusty old wood and Luden's cough drops. Not what I was expecting but smells quite appetizing.

More of the same in the flavor department. Mild and pleasant tartness, with a more-than-normal amount of sweetness. Almost as sweet as a lambic from Lindemanns. Lots of cherries that lean towards the medicinal end of the spectrum, almost cloying but still quite balanced. The sweet fruitiness doesn't go over the top, but certainly walks on the ledge the whole time. Hops are undetectable. Mild pepper hotness and spiciness in the finish.

Very light carbonation (which I love), coupled with some sticky sweetness (not so into that).

Refreshing and drinkable. Recommended for fans of the style, but I prefer more dryness and tartness.

Thanks to DontCallMeSurly for the trade!

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this out of the bottle on Friday night, celebrating the finishing of college. Thanks erocks for the trade, much appreciated!

Appearance: Hazy red-pink with a pinkish head and lacing that is sticky and wavy. Looks unlike much other beer I've ever had, and I really fail to see where the beer is in the appearance, but it still looks quite nice.

Smell: Very, very cherry. Sweet, sour, puckering cherry. Sugars still seem pretty present, and quite heavy in the fruity aroma. Wow, no hop presence nor any real maltiness, either, just fresh, flavorful cherries.

Taste: Identical to the smell, except more soda-like than beer. If I had not known better, I'd swear this is a cherry soda with no alcohol and certainly no hops. They just aren't there. Sour but not over-the-top, very sweet, and highly intense cherry flavors. I know this is the style, but man this is a very sweet beer, and it's tough to remember that it is, indeed, beer.

Mouthfeel: A little too syrupy for my liking, but also effervescently carbonated, a little too much so. It was like carbonated cherry syrup, which made it feel more soda-like once again. It could actually be a little scaled back and probably still be okay, but still, the sourness covers a lot of ground and makes up for a lot of that by giving a distinct and memorable mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not excellent, for me anyway. Too sweet to really be consumer en masse, but not bad, either. Paired with the right dessert, I'm sure it's exquisite, and with the right lady, I'm sure it's even more so. An experience for sure, and worth trying.

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Photo of jamescain
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer.

Appearance: Bright red with a pink head about two fingers thick that fades into a lacing and clings to the side of the glass.

Aroma: Tart cherries, almost to the point of cough syrup, but the tartness helps keep it away from that area.

Taste: Tart and sweet, bit cherry flavor. I would have preferred more tartness and less sweetness, but it was still not overly sweet (even for me).

Mouthfeel: High carbonation and light body that is both enjoyable and refreshing.

Overall: I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this one. I was expecting it to be way to sweet for me.

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Photo of DIM
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a slightly murky, apple cider brown with some cherry highlights. It poured with a smallish fizzy head that quickly faded.

s: A combination of sweet, sugary, candy cherries and tart cherries.

t: All cherry here as well. There is some sugary sweetness here, but overall the tartness prevails. Still, I wish this had been a bit more tart.

m: Thick and chewy with gently fizzy carbonation.

d: Thanks to imperialking for this one. Very good, but I prefer the Raspberry Tart.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle brought back by AM and shared, much thanks
2011 edition, poured into a New Glarus flute

The New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red is perhaps the extreme fruit-dessert beer. Unapologetically sweet in its combination of fruit and malt, there is no escaping the cherries that were sacrificed in the making of this beer. All the components work together to form a highly drinkable ale, though I would have enjoyed more tartness. Because of its intensity on a single-focus flavor and its sweetness, I'm not sure how often I'd crave this beer, but it is good to have tried it.

Pours a pale pink head of medium-sized bubbles that fades, slowly, to a thin ring around the glass. No lacing seems to have been left. Beer's body is reddish hued, with active carbonation streaming from the bottom.

Aroma is dominated by sweet, ripe cherries in sweetened cherry juice, with just a hint of tartness. Could be cited as being one-dimensional, but the fruit is meant to be the focus of this beer.

Taste opens with cherry sweetness, a little like a cherry lifesaver. Quickly followed by full cherry flavors, layers of them, deep, reminiscent of cherry pie filling with a bit of tartness to balance. Enjoyable, complex cherries with some serious depth of flavor. Surprised at the low ethanol content. Closes out with a faint maltiness, which lets you know you're still drinking beer. Aftertaste, not surprisingly, of sweet cherries.

Medium to medium-light bodied with the carbonation giving this a crisp, almost champagne-like quality to it. Carbonation is not antagonistic, which is pleasant. Finish is quite dry.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Im sampling a 750 bottle wax sealed and cellared for a year. The beer is poured into a snifter and exudes a cloudy orange-red color with some bright cherry red highlights when held up to the light.
Very minimal fizzy, off white head after the pour that is nothing fairly quickly after the glass settles.
Aroma is sweet candi sugar and cherries with a bit of tartness hiding out in the background.
First sip reveals a light crisp body with minimal fine carbonation that gives just enough texture to this brew.
Flavor is sweet candi sugar and cherries almost like a ludens cough drop. Nothing but sweet fruit and a bit of tartness on the finish. No booze, no hops anywhere. Sticky on my lips and sweet but still fairly good drinker, next time I will split the 750 though.

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Photo of oreo
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served into my New Glarus tasting glass during the tour.

Pours a light red with minimal head.

Smells like a ton of cherries. Lots and lots of cherries.

Taste is very good. Nothing but cherries in my mind. Hard to believe this is actually beer. Almost like kool-aid.

Thicker beer than I had imagined this would be. Carbonation was perfect.

Wouldn't drink more than a few oz's at a time. Too sweet to be considered a session-able beer to me.

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Photo of robbrandes
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25oz bottle acquired via trade.

full disclosure - fruit beers are NOT my thing; tried many times, just can't get all the way there. having said that, i was suitably impressed with wisconsin red. nice red-purplish color, big fluffy head. the cherries in the nose are out of control! smells like fresh-baked cobbler, not a hint of artificial here.

taste - initially feels overly sweet, but the tart/crispness overpowers any lingering sweetness. clean finish, carbonation is a bit overdone for my tastes.

very glad i got to try something out of the ordinary.

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Photo of skybluewater
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark cherry-red. Smells like cherry cobbler, or one of those cherry pies you ate as a kid. Taste is quite the same, a huge, massive cherry explosion. It also tastes a bit sour.

This is certainly an odd beer. It doesn't even taste like one even. I'm sharing the bottle with family, because I don't think I could drink a whole bottle alone. Nevertheless, this is quite tasty, certainly the bridge between beer and wine.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a goblet. Thanks to MarcatGSB for this bottle!

Appearance - Dark, dull, red with a pinkish, but only slightly pinkish, head. Less brilliant looking than the Raspberry Tart. Great retention, great lacing. Aside from a dismal color, it looks quite nice.

Smell - Fresh cherry aroma. Nothing artificial about it. It smells like a box of cherries.

Taste - Slightly tart cherries, but nothing more than the cherries themselves. A hint of sweetness at the end, but it doesn't build the way the Raspberry Tart did.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and light. The sweetness is really under control with this one. I put this bottle away way too quickly.

Overall - A glass of cherries. If that's what you're looking for, great. It's still tough to rate these bizarre beers.

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Photo of surlytheduff
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, shared with the wife. The beer poured a ruddy dark amber with a fingers with of billowy red-tinged beige foam. The head didn't hang around too long, and after receding it left a tight circle of small white bubbles around the outer edge of the surface of the beer fed by a steady stream of fine carbonated bubbles.

It smelled like a juicy red cherry sweet-tart, with a twist of lemon and a hint of wheat. The taste was a direct continuation of the nose. Tangy candied cherries up front that leave you with a little pucker. The beer had a medium body with a medium-high (but well balanced) amount of carbonation. It felt mildly creamy, and had a somewhat acidic finish. I ended up drinking the majority of the bottle, and didn't grow tired of it through 4 smaller glasses. Was a very refreshing beer.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle brought back from WI for our anniversary. Thick, brownish red and opaque. Nice head turns creamy after a couple of minutes. smells like cherries and wine. Tastes like a liquid cherry pie, not very beer-y but some malt can be picked up on the finish. Texture of liquified fruit with heavy carbonation. Very nice overall. Best of the best as fruit beers go, I would say. New Glarus has the type down well...what with Raspberry tart on their menu as well.

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this as an extra from a very generous individual from whom I do business with regularly. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a 9oz. Cigar City snifter. This pours a cloudy, cherry red color without any semblance of a head whatsoever. The beer is plenty carbonated, but you wouldn't know it from the way it pours. The nose is loaded with cherries...in a Loudon's cough drop kind of way, minus the medicinal aspect. I know that's odd to say, but it smells really good. The nose leave's NO doubt this is a cherry based beer. The taste reminds me of the gelatinous part of a cherry pie. Seriously loaded tart cherry flavor profile. Absolutely fabulous. The mouthfeel is tart, with that lingering cherry pie aftertaste. This is just unique all around. This would be a perfect summer beer. It's light, very enjoyable, and would also complement a good meal or even dessert.

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Photo of thetomG
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a lovely reddish color with a small white head. Aroma is sweet cherries. Taste is the same but insanely intense and potent with some additional tartness coming through. Very bubble and lively as you sip this is a delicious and unique beer. Would definitely drink this again. YUM!

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to brdc for the trade.

750ml green glass with red wax-coated cap. no date. tasted in late april/early may 2009. poured into tulip.

dark, natural cherry juice color, skins and all, with no artificial dyes. slightly dulled by brown tint. no haze (slight dusting of sediment in the bottle). faintly pink, 1-finger head soon fades to wispy layer and ring, and eventually just wisps. nice, multiple rings of lace.

aroma: fruity, whole cherries - fresh and dried, with skins, pits and all. touch of earthiness? whiff of acidity.

taste: rich cherry fruitiness, similar to aroma. nicely fresh (and NATURAL), mild tartness matches well and has its own deep fruity character. dried grass and more fruit skins in the finish. possible touch of caramel maltiness underneath. just a trace of oak.

medium body, smooth, almost lightly syrupy, but with acidic texture towards the end. mild to moderate carbonation is crisp and refreshing, matching with acidity, and gives flavor lift.

would have liked just a touch more acidity and even just a trace of funk or farmhouse. oh well. still, this is nice, although the sweetness keeps the drinkability from scoring higher.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A great gift from my girlfriend, who recently visited this fine established while she was visiting her family in Wisconsin. Poured at 51 degrees into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: Poured with a slightly creamy, but mostly white colored head and mild lacing. The body of the beer is quite murky and exhibits a mix of bright and dark cherry hues.

S: The aroma is similar to cherry syrup, perhaps something you would find in a mixed drink or even a Roy Rogers. A slight medicinal quality is noticeable as well, which may thin out the smell at times.

T: The taste totally reminds me of a frosted cherry turnover, but in liquid form! The sugar flavor is extremely sweet, but not in the granular sense, more vanilla-like...without the vanilla flavor of course.

M: An ample amount of carbonation that lightens up this medium-body beer; the right feel for the style.

D: I have to admit this beer was difficult to guzzle down at times, especially the second half, but it's unique flavor profile is really what made this beer stand out compared to other fruit lambics.

Overall: Not the most balanced beer (to say the least), but again...the flavor profile is out of this world. I highly recommend acquiring a bottle or two. Man, am I glad my girlfriend brought me back two of these bad boys! Cheers!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice, clear deep red pour with a very small, but bubbly, off white head.

S: Cherries, some cherries, and wait is that? Yes I think it is. Cherries.

T: The cherries aren't lip puckering sweet, but dominant.

MF: Nice bite of carbonation. Tangy, but light with a slight creaminess.

D: A very nice sipping beer. Not an overpowering taste, but one you want to keep tasting. Gotta find more krieks!

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Photo of botham
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a wine glass. pours a rich and vibrant ruby red color with minimal pink head that leaves no lacings. artificial looking in the glass as far as color goes.

aroma is of fresh maraschino cherries with a very light acidity and a touch of sweetness in the background. very fruity in the nose.

taste is rich with cherries and a mild sweetness along with a vinous base and light tartness on the back end. nicely proportioned with a light acidity on the back end as well. overall, this is a pleasant brew for those who like cherries.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with an attractive quality and a lightly tart finish.

drinkability is good. the brew is pleasant and drinkable; the only complaint here is that it could be less sweet and a bit more acidic or tart. oh well.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 985 ratings.