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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

960 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 960
Hads: 3,231
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 1,138
Gots: 714 | 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: 960 | Hads: 3,231
Photo of ptykozoon
3.11/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours tomato red with a hairs length of foam on top which never leaves. Decent lacing, with tons of minuscule bubbles that play around the top when swirled.

Smells of fruit punch, cherries, cherries and more cherries.

This is an interesting beer. It is very hard to describe, there are of course the sweet cherries, acidic carbonation. Then there is this earthy quality, herbs, floral bits, perhaps vegetables come through along with a touch of sour. I suppose this just isn't my type of beer but it tastes too sweet and off-balance to me, like a cherry flavored soda or exotic mixed drink - which taste fine but aren't particularly appealing to me in a beer. Not gonna lie - reminds me of a higher quality, more subtle Mike's hard lemonade.

No alcohol detected. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, with a touch of syrupy sweetness.

Drinkability is no good on this one, maybe if I was a child drooling for candy, but after a while this makes one sick. I'll revisit this again sometime but it's not too appealing to me as of now.

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Photo of papat444
3.17/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to oakbluff for this one.

Poured from a 1 pint 9 fl. oz. bottle into 2 champagne flutes (me & my wife)

Appearance: Pours a dark, crimson red with 1 finger head & lots of carbonation. Not bad.

Smell: Sour cherry notes with slight sweetness. Nice smelling aroma.

Taste: Sourness hits me straight on. Sour cherry with a dry, wood-like quality.

Mouthfeel: Heavily carbonated but sourness unrelenting. I would have liked some more sweetness to balance it out. I have trouble distinguishing some of the nuances & am feeling the taste getting to me which brings us to:

Drinkability: I had trouble finishing this one, even while drinking it with my wife. A 12oz. bottle for 2 would be enough until then, i don't think i would try it again.

Overall: As with the Raspberry Tart, i must admit to being overwhelmed by these brews. They are high-quality for sure as the taste is clearly natural & not artificial but not for me which is strange because i actually like many fruit beers but i guess these particular ones aren't for me. I am grateful for being able to try them though.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.18/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am the one who usually likes the unusual fruit beer.Not this time. This is way too tart and way too cherry.

I dragged this back from Wisconsin last week. It seemed like a great value, but now I'm not looking forward to finishing it. Throwing it out would be alcohol abuse.

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Photo of jdoherty
3.18/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I suppose fruit beers and lambics just aren't my thing, but I could not help but try this belgian red at the New Glarus Brewery.

Appearance: About as close to red as beer can get, you can see the carbonation bubbles flying towards the top

Smell: Cherries, a whole pound of cherries! You can smell it from a mile away

Taste: Incredibly sour, obviously I know this is a matter of palate, but I just could not handle it.

Mouthfeel: Champagne dry, almost needed a glass of water afterward.

Drinkability: You're not exactly going to drink this down fast, to be served in small doses. Definetely a beer for non-beer people, and the big fruit beer fan's holy grail, just not for me

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Photo of squaremile
3.21/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured at a recent BA tasting event. Someone said that these NG beers are what you give to people who say they don't like beer as a way to convert them and I can easily see that. This pours a hazy auburn and smells overwhelmingly like maraschino cherries. The taste is like drinking a cherry dum-dum pop. Very sweet. Light on the tongue but the sweetness for me was overwhelming and I didn't want any more than about 2oz of it. Warrant would love this beer.

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Photo of Jaunty
3.22/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Warm red color, poured in a pilsner glass.
I had this beer before and loved every minute of it Head poured thick, but soon disappeared to a
fine white lacing. Fragrance comes across very sweet, almost syrupy
Wonderful fragrance of sweet cherries.
Other reviews I read thought that this was a very sweet beer. I did not find this so.
Very tart cherry flavor permeated the brew. Previous versions that I remember having did not seem as strong cherry flavor. This tart taste may take a while to get used to. Maybe, I should have aged it longer.
The finish is a very spicy with a dry/bitter bite.

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Photo of davedahl
3.25/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle I picked up at Woodman's in south-west Wisconsin.

Appearance is ruby-red. Red red red. So much so that it makes me slightly nervous. Hard pour gives a couple fingers of pink head which dissipates very quickly - snap crackle pop.

Not much to the nose - slight cherry scent. Smells vapid cold and cherry.

First sip is a blast of cherry sweetness. Whoa. Some tart too which makes it less of a cherry popsicle. If you look for it you'll find a slight, but interesting, roasted malt flavor in back.

The mouthfeel starts syrupy then quickly gets crisp and thin.

I bought two bottles, will let the other age a bit and hopefully the sweetness will relax a bit. Glad I had the young one, but won't likely have another till the second bottle ages 6 months or so.

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Photo of Etan
3.27/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a tulip, shared by Agold at last night's tasting.

A: Ruby with a small off-white head.

S: Syrupy. Cherry cough syrup. Hrm...

T: Better than the aroma. Cherry pie - candied cherry flesh, sugary pastry dough, heavy spice like nutmeg and cinnamon.

M: Slight carbonation, medium-bodied.

O: Pretty interesting - tastes just like cherry pie - but I could barely kill my 8oz pour, let alone a whole bottle. Good for a one-time experience.

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Photo of tempest
3.34/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't think I got a bad bottle, the the beer store had this one in the fridge, I just think I'm not a fan. It did look gorgeous, I've never seen a pink cascading head before. The aroma, however, just reminded me of Juicy Juice, not a fine beer. The taste was a little more complex with a mild tartness and sweet cherry flavor. I really couldn't find much depth here. I'd go back to the Raspberry Tart before this one.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.38/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an almost clear brown with red hues. Very thin tan head that doesn't stick around. Nose is cherry juice. Flavor is much of the same. Tastes like cherry cough syrup almost. Almost seems like a touch of apple cider on the back there as well. Eck. Feel is much like the flavor. Syrupy. Carbonation is a bit lower I guess. Good lord. What a disappointment. I think this is going to be a bit of a challenge to drink. I put this on the level of all those overly sugared fruit beers from Belgium. This just makes me miss Liefmans Kriek even more.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.4/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer offers lots of big cherry flavor, replete with a puckering mouthfeel of cherry sourness. It is good, but doesn’t really rank among my most enjoyable beer experiences. It offers a cherry tartness so rich, I feel like Pac-Man (level one) when drinking it. I would almost prefer something a bit more understated and nuanced, like the Lindemans kriek. Still, I love sour, so it is difficult for me to badmouth this beer.

Its color was not as pleasant as I expected (more of a red brown than a brilliant ripe-fruit red), and aroma was just so-so, but that flavor was a big punch of flavor that I really enjoyed.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.43/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a deep brownish garnet color. bright red garnet colors when held to the light. not quite opaque. a finger of a reddish tan head that leaves a strong lacing on the sides.

Smell: sweet cherry juice, some wheatiness. some caramel malts. very sweet and not overly complex

Taste: opens up with cherries. comes off as sweetened cherry juice. wheat and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: fairly light and sweet. fairly sticky too

Overall: very sweet. too much so. taste a bit too much like a kids cherry juice. not as impressive as raspberry tart.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.43/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split this one with the wife after dinner. Poured mine into my duvel tulip and my wife used a lindemanns flute.

This thing is bright and clear. Pinkish red with a pink tint to the head. Nice vertical chunks of lace hang on the curves of my glass.

This beer smells like ludens cherry cough drops- you remember the ones that were more like candy than medicine. Cherry is all I really smell or taste... With exception of a slight sourness that hopefully intensifies with age. I'll be saving a bottle for a while and re-review this at that point. I'm hoping the cherry mellows out and other flavors make an appearance.
I mean this really reminds me of cherry pie filling.

The level of carbonation is great, though less than the raspberry tart. The body is still light and drinkable. This does lose some points on taste and drinkability for being a one trick pony...
But it is not a total loser... It is enjoyable for what it is...It is a fruitbeer afterall.

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Photo of beagle75
3.43/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, medium amber color with less than one finger of diminishing parchment-tinted foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Aromatic fruit is rich and purposeful, making for a strong perfume. It shares a similar smell to its raspberry-brewed sister beer; this beer smells as much like raspberry fruit/seeds/tea as it does cherries.

T: Begins sweet, with refined malt that contributes just a touch of bread to what is otherwise pure fruit. There is an acidic thread present, which together with even less assertive earthy hops cultivate the expected tea-like quality. Fruit flavors lose some of their intensity in the clean finish, allowing the cherry component to stand out more there than at any other time.

M: Medium viscosity, acidic at times but otherwise balanced on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: To many, yeast and its metabolites are what distinguish Belgian-styled beers from those inspired by other brewing traditions. Despite being called Belgian, this fruit beer lacks any detectable Belgian yeast qualities. It, like New Glarus' other famous fruit beer Raspberry Tart, is a delivery vehicle for fruit qualities. This beer gains an advantage over its sister, projecting more honest cherry that the other was able to do for raspberries. Pair with dessert and women.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.43/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A friend of mine brought this back from Wisconsin to drink while watching the GB game.
Pours a thick ruby color, hazey, some floaters. Off white/red head, minimal strength, some staying power.
Aroma hits at first as a cherry bomb-cough syrup, but it has a nice biscuit hint mixed in there. Semi sweet. Not as strong as the Lindeman's Kriek, a bit more complex.
Taste was cherry filled, sweet, sticky. Phenols make the cherries feel fake and syrupy. A thick feel to it with a small bite in the back to soften the syrup feel. A good brew, but not very drinkable to me.

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Photo of
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle courtesy of a trade with Flyingbison -- Thanks!

Cloudy, dark red/brown. Medium sized, rocky, light pink head. No legs, minimal lacing.

Smells like raspberries/berries/cherries. Sweet overall. Hint of alcohol.

Sweet more than bitter, but not by much. Tart is a better adjective than bitter, actually. Cherries -- big surprise! Other berry flavors as well. Chocolate as it warms.

Medium body. Medium + carbonation. Refreshing.

Stylistically, very well done compared to other fruit beers I've tried. Unfortunately, not to my taste. Glad to have had the opportunity, though.

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Photo of aaronh
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Murky, opaque red liquid topped by a moderate cream colored head. Aroma is very much like cherry pie filling, with a noticeable sweetness. Taste is also much the same, but with a sharp tartness on the finish. This beer is so acidic on the finish it tasted more like strong cherry lemonade at first. Even after 40 minutes of sipping on this, I still get occasional chills from the sharp bite on the finish. Every once in a while, a slight medicinal bitterness comes through, only to get smacked into submission by the sourness. Mouthfeel is good, with a medium body a supple carbonation. Drinkability is average. It seemed to take me forever to finish this beer. While I'm not trying to question the ingredients in this beer, it just tasted somewhat artificial. I don't know why, but to me it just does. It's interesting, and I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.46/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a ruby red color with a fair amount of carbonation. A couple inches of light tan head with a tinge of pink forms, which has very nice retention and lacing. Pretty nice looking beer.

Smell: A ton of sweet, maraschino cherries form on the nose. Maybe a touch of spices. As it warms I get a lot of cherry cough syrup as well, which is not nearly as enjoyable. That dimension gets stronger as this beer goes along.

Taste: A lot of sweet, syrupy cherry character comes out immediately, along with some spices. Again, a lot of cough syrup comes out as well, which retracts somewhat for me. Not enough to make it unpleasant, just not quite as enjoyable.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light bodied with a very nice amount of carbonation. It goes down quite easily. Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, though less than Raspberry Tart. Still, definitely one of the best fruit beers you can get in the States. A should try, for sure.

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Photo of Holland
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: reddish brown to orange in color with a pinkish brown head that dissipates but leaves some lacing and a good rink around the edges.

S: sweet and sour with cherry

T: cherry, sweetness, some tartness, very juice-like

M: pretty thick and syrupy for such a light beer, medium light carbonation

O: not really impressed with this, but I thought it was better than the raspberry tart even though I don't like cherry flavor too much.

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Photo of popery
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I kinda enjoyed this, but I have no idea how to rate it or what I would do with a bottle if I had one. That said, I would like another small taste to give it a fairer shake. Pours a brownish red color. Fairly cloudy. Small beige-pink head. This beer was quite sweet and tasted like concentrated cherry pie filling. Good cherry pie filling, though, and no artificial fruit flavor. That said, there’s a strong cough syrup flavor in there, too. The feel is less sticky than the taste would suggest, but it was still a bit much, at least coming to the beer without any foreknowledge. Little to no oak was evident. This is a beer that I might enjoy a lot more in specific circumstances, like as a compliment to a fancy dessert, but I can’t say that I loved it on its own. It definitely gets an entry in my list of beers to revisit.

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Photo of marc77
3.49/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy ruby in hue, covered by a lightly pinkish, thin white head. Cherries expectedly dominate the aroma and are very fresh in nature. As the brew warms, a caramel malt aroma and nuttiness surface slowly, lending a subtle marzipan note when combined with the fruitiness. Assertively sweet in flavor, with sugary fresh cherry sweetness dominating the flavor profile. A mild tartness partially offsets the sweetness, but fruity sweetness remains dominant. Strong cherry persists from start to finish and perhaps overshadows malt character, leaving this brew a bit one dimensional. Well carbonated with a spritzy mouthfeel. Appropriately light body. Finishes with a combination of sugary sweetness and subdued tartness lingering on the palate. Although the fruitness was very fresh and clean overall, Wisconsin Belgian Red seemed to lack the malt character that their Raspberry tart had. It's a unique and enjoyable brew nonetheless!

Big, huge thanks to Bighuge for the bottle!

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Photo of Brunite
3.49/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared this bottle with family at Mom's b-day.

Appearance: Deep violet-red. Not much head.

Smell: 100% tart cherries.

Taste: Cherry is all. Tart & sweet. Just a tad on the sweeter side....perhaps too much for me. Just shy of being cloying.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and tart.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer but preferred the Raspberry Tart. This one was just a bit too sweet for me. I'd never be able to finish a bottle by myself. I could with the Raspberry.

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Photo of Azurescens
3.49/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle with no bottled on or freshness date, poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 9/2/11.

A: Pours deep red with light pinkish head that leaves a bit of lacing around glass.

S: Lots of cherries in the aroma, not wild cherries but more of a maraschino - candy - cough syrup cherry aroma, some malt and no alcohol or hops.

T: Like the aroma, lots of maraschino cherries, sweet and slightly tart as well. no alcohol or hops and a long lingering taste of cherries.

M: Light, crisp and slightly tart light-medium body and semi-dry finish.

O: Lots of cherry flavor from start to finish, but I am not a fan of the artificial tasting cherries in this opposed to the natural cherry flavor of a kriek.

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Photo of devilben02
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a much appreciated gift from my in-laws after they visited the brewery. Shared with a number of friends, this one pours a rich red-amber color with an only slightly tinted white foamy head. The presence of the fresh fruit that goes into this beer is immediately apparent, with an aroma of freshly-pressed cherry juice just exploding from the beer's surface.

As enticing as that fresh fruitiness is in the aroma, however, the fact that the flavor is much the same is a bit of a let down. This beer just doesn't have the depth that I would have wanted. I wanted to sense some complexity from the interplay of the fruit with the grains, some degree of balance from the hops, and especially some earthy/woodsy character from the oak aging. Instead, all I got was an all-natural version of Cherry 7-Up.

Make no mistake, this is an easy-to-drink, lightly sweet, pleasant drink. The light, soft carbonation keeps the sweetness from overwhelming, and this beer can almost be considered refreshing. In the end, though, I was expecting a world class beer and instead got what tasted more like a world class soda.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.52/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9 fl oz. Green glass. Red wax-ed over iconic branded pry-off cap. Good label design. Courtesy of the very generous Duff27.

Served cold into a Cantillon flute at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live as a Belgian red ale per the label, though its obvious fruit component is a big factor.

Allowed to come to temperature as it warms.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1.5 inches wide. Pinkish white colour. Nice complexion. Not real thick or full. Retention is nice - round 4 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear vibrant deep red. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a nice looking red ale, but it's not stunning or unique. I recall the other New Glarus fruit beers looking brilliant; this pales in comparison.

AROMA: The dominant cherry is nice, but some North American drinkers will definitely note medicinal cough syrup character. Powdered white sugar. Very tart, to its benefit. The tartness plays well with the cherries - as least here in the aroma.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I find no oak character, roasted barley, wine, or hop notes (as mentioned on the label).

It's appealing overall, but I worry it will be medicinal.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Cherry rightly dominates, and is complemented beautifully by the soft powdery mouthfeel. The tartness plays off the cherry, delivering a gorgeous one-two punch of synergistic flavours, but I can't help but wonder if some souring bacteria additions would really set this off in a direction I'd love. It's beautifully balanced, though it does flirt with what some North American drinkers will associate with a medicinal or cough syrupy taste.

Balanced as it is, it's not the most intricate brew, and doesn't boast the level of nuance and subtlety that the other beers in this series do. Still, it's a lovely build for a fruit ale, and I'd definitely call it gestalt. That said, the ostensible Belgian character is lacking; nothing about this screams Belgian yeast.

I also find no oak - which is a missed opportunity - and no roasted barley (Belgian or otherwise) or overt hop character.

The mouthfeel is wonderful, boasting perfect carbonation, an ideal light to medium body, and perfect heft and weight on the palate for this kind of beer. It's sticky, sure, but not syrupy - which helps it avoid the pitfall of a medicinal cherry taste to me. Acidity is well above average.

Well put-together and enjoyable to drink.

The mouthfeel exceeds the taste in quality, and its excellent execution helps make the beer more expressive. Nice pairing of texture to taste.

OVERALL: It's a lovely albeit simple fruit ale from New Glarus that is devilishy easy to drink and pretty high in quality. That said, it's not the world-class offering the other New Glarus fruit beers are, and there are missed opportunities for increased intricacy and subtlety. I'll love putting this bottle down, but I don't think I'd buy it again if I had access to other better New Glarus beers. It's disappointing if only because I expected greatness given the brewery, but it's still a hell of a fruit ale, and always tastes like a beer - never a candy or fruit soda. Easily one of the better genuine fruit ales brewed in the U.S.A.

Enormous thanks to Duff27 for this long-time want.

Low B (3.52)

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 960 ratings.