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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

959 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 959
Hads: 3,225
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 19.04%
Wants: 1,141
Gots: 713 | FT: 82
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: 959 | Hads: 3,225
Photo of LeRose
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at several bars in Madison, WI. Not a big fruit beer fan, but really loved this stuff. Lots of cherry flavor, a nice tartness to balance the sweet, some malty character in the background. DIdn't get the artificial cherry flavor I've had in some other kriek-type brews. Definitely a good job by New Glarus on that aspect. Way in the background I thought I found some malty (ie real beer) backbone underlying the whole thing vs. the more soda pop varieties. Very nice, balanced taste and certainly drinkable. Sort of explosive flavor - very strong, competent flavor profile overall. The only knock for me is the "fizzy bubbly" - not a huge deterrent as the bar tabs would reveal...

Review from notes

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a a rusty brown/ maroon with tan-red head that fades quickly without lacing. The nose is very bright with notes of cherries, plumb, cane sugar, and slush puppie. The taste is similar to the aroma--a huge cherry sweetness that sugar-coats the palate followed by a very slight tartness to keep things interesting. Honestly this beer tastes and feels like a cherry soda...not nearly as attenuated as I'd hoped. However, it's been such a long time since I've had a beer like this that it's still enjoyable... I don't foresee myself getting this beer again, but it's still a great beer to suck down on a hot summer evening!

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.94/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared this bottle at a family tasting.
Ruby red with a creamy white head

The aroma is wonderful cherries sweet and tart very fresh aroma almost earthy

The taste matches the aroma wonderful cherries sweet and real flavor. The carbonation is sweet and wispy wonderful and fills the mouth

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Photo of Erish
3.94/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 25 oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: cloudy reddish-amber color, 1-finger pinkish head quickly diminishes into a scant cap with decent lacing.

S: pure cherry aroma, sweet, pie crust like malt; this smells like a fresh baked cherry pie!

T: sour cherry, sweet malt, the middle shows a fruity yeast character, the finish is slightly sour and surprisingly dry. I'm sure there are hops somewhere in there, but they are buried under a mountain of cherries. The taste is cherry, cherry, and more cherry, and while this was to be expected, I also expected just a bit more complexity and finish.

M: light-bodied, lightly carbonated, watery/lightly silky up front with a crisp, tart finish, wait for it... like a cherry.

D: It felt like drinking a bowl of cherries, which is heaven for some people, but just sort of cool for me. As I said before, I was expecting a little more from a "Belgian" red. The pink head is cute!

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Photo of largadeer
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby red, clear but hazy. The off-white head has a slight pinkish hue to it. Very good retention for a fruit beer.

Smell: Cherries abound, sweet and ripe. A hint of brown sugar and spice.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet and juicy, the cherries really take over this beer; it's like liquid cherry pie. Low acidity and very mild sourness. The malt backbone is soft, barely noticeable to my palate. Full-bodied yet spritzy. A clean finish without much residual sweetness makes this a lot more drinkable than most sweet beers, but the sweetness does still become taxing after a while. One glass is plenty, but it's one highly enjoyable glass.

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Photo of KeithE
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love cherries as much as the next guy, but this beer reminded me more of the cherry wines from door county than any highly rated fruit or sour beer. It is way too sweet. The bottle was super fresh as I bought it less than a mile from the brewery and drank it within a few days after purchase. Lucky I rated it over 3.5. If it was from Illusive Traveler or a Blue Moon seasonal I would have probably have rated it lower without giving it the benefit of the doubt. I finished the bottle the next day and it seemed slightly better but still can't go over 4. The sour seemed a little more prevelent but the sweetness of the cherries still was very strong. I think the anticipation of each testing affectedme in that I expected a great beer the first day and a horrible beer the second tasting and neither met those expectations.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The cherries predominate, and it tastes almost like a cherry-flavored soda or sparkling wine. Straddles the divide between beer and wine, to paraphrase the label. Interesting, quality product, but not sure I'd call it a beer.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this as part of his haul while heading with a group of us to Wisconsin.

The appearance is a nice blood red color with the slightest of pinks adorning the head on the surface. Despite the cherries on the label the initial aroma that I gathered was of raspberries, and fresh ones at that. Accompanying the aroma is the sweet smell of cherry syrup. Now in describing the taste, there is basically a red fruit salad before me. Cherries, Raspberries, and hints of Strawberry to boot. The best part about the flavor of this beer in my opinion is that I actually can taste some beer maltiness behind it. That's really a pleasant surprise for me as far as the flavors are concerned. The mouthfeel is a tad too sweet for me to drink too much of but it's really a very solid fruit beer. One I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for said genre of brew.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle thanks to thebigredone. Poured into HF glass.

A- Pours a fairly opaque dark brownish cherry grape color with about a finger's worth of off-white head that has a retention, a slight brownish hue, and leaves sticky layered lacing. Considerable amount of carbonation- lots of consistently rising small carbonation bubbles.

S- Very fruity aroma of cherries, plums, raspberries, and grapes jumps out at you balanced with a light malty backbone. Very pleasant fragrant aroma that at first was a little bit overly sweet and fruity.

T- Cherries, plums, raspberries, grapes, and other dark fruits. Fairly sweet and very fruity, almost overly so. Very strong aftertaste of cherries and plums that lingers on the lips and palate.

M- Syrupy, decent carbonation, very easy to drink (not surprising considering the 4% abv). This is my least favorite part of the beer, in my opinion it's a little bit too syrupy and almost makes it feel like you are just drinking fruit syrup.

O- This was definitely an interesting beer that I enjoyed trying. Probably the fruitiest beer that I've had and extremely sweet. I enjoyed drinking it, but it was definitely a little bit too syrupy and fruity for my taste. If you like really fruity beers then I definitely recommend checking this out.

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Photo of Gtreid
3.92/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 m bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: A semi-clear ruby red color. The pour produces about a finger of off white reddish head the receeds to a thin rim, and left no lace.

A: Cherries all the way. Tart cherries, sweet cherries, more cherries. There are some bready malts and a little earthy hop presence, but the sweetness of the cherries is strong.

T: Very nice if your in the mood for this type of beer. Tastes like cherry juice with a hints of hops and bread. Super sweet and very fruity.

M: Medium body, high level of carbonation give it a strong tingle at the back of the throat. Semi-creamy, nice.

D and overall impression: For me, it is too sweet. I really enjoy the flavor component, but I had to share the bottle with a good buddy of mine. So it doesn't get high marks here. Overall, I think this could be a beer my wife would like,(she's not a craft beer lover). I like it, just don't love it. Skal.

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Photo of rhodeska
3.92/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting beer, thanks to my trading buddy hu5om for this one!

Very deep cherry smell, pretty much caught all cherry ever since the bottle was opened. Nice red color to it, wasn't quite sure if this was the beer I was looking for tonight, though.

I pretty much got the same taste as I did smell. It was like cherry pie all the way through, with a nice sweet taste to it. Not a fizzy carbonation or anything like that either, just a very fruity beer.

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Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous crimson red, pinkish pastel foam. Slightly murky and unfiltered, a little bit of spotty lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell is nice initially, pie cherry dominates, but then it starts smelling like a musty dishrag. Flinty minerals and attic must.

Sweet and vaguely tart, it's like a Chinotto spritzer but with pie cherry, definitely Door county in origin. Straight up cherry pie, crust and all, sweet cherry hard candy, with a soda spritzer level of carbonation. At the riverside brewery, this used to be aged in large oak foeders, not sure if that's still the case as it doesn't have much oak character at all. Mainly an apertif with cheese, or paired with a dense chocolate dessert. Not something to put down solo really, more of a crossover for wine cooler drinkers.

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Photo of Cresant
3.91/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 750 mL, dark green, waxed bottle into a snifter. No date. The body was a murky, red-brown. There was no head only a minimal sizzle upon pouring. No lace.

Smell was cherries! Pure cherry pie filling. Tart and sweet.

Taste was sweeter than anticipated, but never cloying. Flavor was like a liquid cherry turnover. This one is not complex but it is well fashioned. The light bitterness increased as it warmed. This beer is a dessert.

Mouthfeel was medium to full. Mild carbonation, slight slickness. A world class fruit beer.

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Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wisconsin Belgian Red pours a very hazy brown color with a slight reddish tint. I was expecting something a little more 'red,' if you will, but that's not the case. It features a tan head on top. It only reached a finger or so deep and was pretty quick to recede. Lacing was definitely on the lighter side. It's intriguing and nice looking, but far from a knockout.

The nose is very sweet, sugary, and full of cherries. Imagine that. Beyond that, there's a slight earthy twist to it. Perhaps some grainy notes. That pretty much wraps it up. Ordinarily, I'd be extremely disappointed. In this case, not so much. I generally am not a cherry fan. Nor am I fan of fruit beers. But, this stuff smells pretty impressive in light of both of those facts. I'm not blown away by any means, but it does have a nice smell.

The flavor is extremely consistent with the nose. It is indeed very sweet and sugary. It has a very strong cherry flavor. I was expecting something more sour, but it's not that at all. It's just a sweet, straight forward cherry flavor. In a way, it's oddly reminiscent of cherry pie filling. But, it does have a nice earthy, grainy flavor to take some of the edge off and add a little depth. Fruit beers always disappoint me because they don't resemble beer very much. I can't say that this one is all that different. But, it does have a nice flavor that's enjoyable. Given my typical disdain for all things cherry, that's saying something. This is pretty damn good stuff for what it is.

Its body is light medium and has a smooth feel. Carbonation is light and isn't distracting at all. It goes down easy and is easily above average as far as drinkability goes. Ultimately, it's just a little too sweet and a 750 bottle is chore to finish. I'll pull through, but I would've preferred a 12 oz. bottle.

So, what's the verdict on Wisconsin Belgian Red? Well, it's without question a really impressive fruit beer. But, it is a fruit beer. I like it, but I'm not quite in love with it. I'm not sure that I've ever 'loved' a fruit beer. Just not my thing. It's very sweet and is probably best appreciated in concentrated amounts. But, it's easily one of the better fruit beers I've encountered. It's not very beer like, but has a strong enough flavor to be an overall success. From me, that's big for a fruit beer. Trust this. Definitely pick up a bottle if you have the opportunity. Just keep in mind that you're getting a fruit beer.

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Photo of crossovert
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped and waxed green bottle. A "World Champion" according to the label.

Pours into my oversized wineglass with a borwn/red hue. A small bubbly white head rises a centimeter high with a vigorous pour.

Smell is of cherries, nothing much more than that. It does smell delicious though.

Has a solid tart Wisconsin cherry flavor that mixes with a tad bit of malt giving a cherry pie feel. I really like the taste of the cherries, there not the crappy sweet variety but there is an ample amount of sugar backing. It seems like there might be a few spices thrown in as well. Nice mouthfeel with good carbonation that coats the tongue.

Drinkability is that of fruit juice.

Its a great fruit beer if a bit sweet.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light pink to reddish color with a small white head. In the aroma small sour cherries. In the taste, cherry, very cherry with a small sourness lingering behind. A smooth medium body mouthfeel and a dry cherry aftertaste. Cherries feel a bit medicinal, kind of like cough drops. A small tartness, and big in cherry.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%

Pours a light cola color with lots of red accents. 2 finger dense tan head that lingers for a while. 4.5

Straight up cherries on the nose. Sugary. Some wafers . Mostly cherry pie. 4

Quite sweet. Massive amounts of cherries again. Intensely sweet, but remains fairly balanced. 3.75

A quick carbonation burn towards the start. Drinks very easy. 4

O- One of the better fruit beers I have tried. Cherry pie in a glass. Perfect desert beer 4

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Great beer from the first craft brewery I had an allegiance to growing up. This brewery was only about 30-40 miles from where I grew up in Wisconsin.

Exceptional brilliant red hue eminating from my goblet. Sort of a deep amber and brown, the red shines through like garnet.

An aroma of deep caramel and cherries. You might as well have your nose stuck inside a cherry pie. This is ridiculous.

The taste is SWEET! A bit of sourness in the finish, and even a hint of oak. However, the taste is definitely dominated by SUGAR SUGAR!

Very complex and amazing beer. Not too drinkable for me, as I like the drier and funkier fruit beers. Nevertheless, an American Classic. Bravo.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of a trade with soulforpeanuts. Tasted with dgb3. (I love BAs!) I was blown away by Raspberry Tart and was really looking forward to this one.

Appearance is not what I'd expect from a Belgian. Very cloudy rubies and purples and reds, which makes the body absolutely gorgeous. But the head is minimal and there's not much retention to speak of. Aromas are all cherry...it's very prominent and in your face, but the flavors reveal something a little more subtle. It's actually a lot sweeter on the palate than expected. At the tasting, I said the aromas were freshly picked and ripened cherries, but the flavors were more on the maraschino cherries side of the spectrum, just really sweet and tons of residuals covering the mouth. Each sip revealed a varied level of tartness, which I suppose kept things interesting. Not much "Belgian" in here that I could discern. The cherries really take this one over.

All parties agreed that this brew would be best for either a hot day or a brunch. It was really great for what it was, but I couldn't drink more than one goblet of this in one sitting, whereas I happily drank the entire bottle of Raspberry Tart in a short amount of time.

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Photo of katan
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mil bottle - no date that I can find. poured into a snifter

A - I would have thought a cherry beer would be completely red. Not so the case here, it is a brown beer that does have a red hue to it. A bit hazy. Little head formation, but it does leave a small film behind.

S - There are the cherries - very potent on the nose. Sweet smelling. Almost has a cideresque background to it.

T - Very acidic. Cherries are the dominant flavor for certain, however it is backed up via some sweet more general fruit flavors like apples. Some phenolic flavors - not sure the potency here, but it seems apparent. Aftertaste is certainly stronger than the actual feel - more of that acidic flavor.

M - Moderate body - solid but not syrupy. There is a bite to the body from the acidity, not so much the carbonation. I'm surprised at the low carbonation after how the beer label draws it out specifically.

D - Easy to drink - light on the palette and the stomach. ABV is low and doesn't hurt me. For the style, which obviously isn't in my cellar very often, I would fine this very drinkable.

I find this beer similar to the Red and White from DFH - an interesting melding of flavors. I would consider keeping this in the cellar for when guests come around for something different as a dessert drink.

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Photo of nonpo
3.89/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured red cherry with good carbonation resulting in a 1 finger reddish hard.... Not
Much on the nose.... Hard to get aroma... Slight sweet cherry tones..... Taste is very balanced.... Not as tart as I expected more on the sweet side, but not overly so... Good acidity... Finishes clean... Refreshing beer!!!

Overall it went well with homemade mac and Cheese with bacon and Panko crust.... Acidity paired well!!!

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Photo of david131
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to fellow BA warnerry for sharing.

A- A hazy reddish orange liquid with a thin and splotchy pinkish-white head.

S- Cherry candy, cherry jam... there is about all I can get out of it. Very aromatic and intriguing albeit a bit simple.

T- Sweet and tart cherries. A bit medicinal, but not in a bad way.

M- Tart with a bit of lasting sourness. Pretty clean on the finish.

D- I appreciate everything that they were going for, but it is still a bit of a sipper. Simple and kind of reminded me a fruit soda. Still, it is well executed and unique.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Doodler sent this to me as an EXTRA in our most recent trade. Thank you for the generosity my friend.

WARNING: My bottle foamed over as soon as I had the cap off and made a decent mess on my kitchen table. I'd recommend opening this over the sink just to be safe.

A: A finger of off-white head sits atop a beautiful reddish brown liquid that gives off ruby hues when held to the light. Some spotty sticky lace sticks to the sides of the glass. Head mostly dissipated after a few minutes.

S: Pretty much straight cherry and not much else. Hints of sourness and acidity are present too. In general, this isn't an unpleasing aroma at all. However, when it's coming from a beer I worry it's going to be too sweet.

T: Tart cherries an a little yeasty funk. Pretty much tastes like sour fruit juice. Are you sure this is beer in my glass?

M: Light body and not a whole lot of carbonation. Dries out a little in the finish. I would actually have liked to see a little more carbonation here.

D: This was good, but I'm not crazy about it to be honest. It reminded me a bit of table wine: very sweet and appealing to drink in small doses. After I was about half-way through the bottle, however, I'd had enough. It just got a little too sweet after a while. I wouldn't drink 750 ml of fruit juice, and that's basically what this tastes like. Despite this, it's still a very respectable fruit beer. The Red Raspberry is much better IMO.

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Photo of Treebs
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Founders snifter.

A: Pours a great ruby with pinkish hues around the edges when held up to the light. A nice light pink head forms with a vigorous pour, about 1.5 finger but recedes quickly. No real lace to speak of but a nice ring follows the brew down the glass.

S: Candied cherries up front with a slight tartness. Has a slight medicinal smell but in a good way. Has some hops to it that peak in around the cherrys and nice barley to smooth it out.

T: Hello cherries, so nice to finally meet you! The cherries are extremely sweet and candied in nature, almost like a cherry lollipop. The taste transforms into slight bitterness at the end, but it's very mild.

M: Medium bodied with a great carbonation. Coats the palate with a thinly veiled sweet cherry. A little sticky.

O: I normally do not like fruit beers or sweet tasting beers, but this guy really struck a chord with me. I wouldn't be able to drink it on a regular basis, but it was nice to have after a good dinner. I'm interested to see how the raspberry tart I've got in the fridge compares.

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Photo of beckje01
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 1Pint 9oz bottle poured into short glass

A- Ruby red, small white head around the edges.

S- Light cherrys a touch of malt in the background.

T- Semi tart cherry very sweet. Alittle bit of a bitter end.

M- Good feel no activity.

D- A slow drinker, very sweet nice desert drink.

Notes: This is a great beer because my girlfriend also like it who at other times usally described beers as too beer tasting... not that I ever understood that. So its worth a try unless of course you hate cherry then don't bother.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 959 ratings.