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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

949 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 949
Hads: 3,173
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 1,134
Gots: 692 | 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
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Reviews: 949 | Hads: 3,173
Photo of LeRose
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
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 starrdogg
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Bertram for sending this one out my way. Served alongside Thanksgiving dessert.

Pours a hazy dark reddish-brown with a thin pinkish head. Smell is awesomely cherry, like a cherry pie with a great mix of both sweet and tart notes. Taste follows the nose and is really quite excellent. The cherry pie flavor is incredibly well done, and it's got a bit of tartness happening here too. The beer manages to be sweet without being overly so, and actually is rather well-balanced and drinkable, which is what separates this from most other fruit beers. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is probably the best fruit beer out there, at least that I've ever had. It's incredibly well made and is much more complex than you'd expect from a cherry beer. The only thing that keeps this beer from getting a higher score is that it's not something I'd want to drink with any sort of regularity. This makes for an excellent dessert pairing beer, but I have a hard time seeing myself just sitting around and drinking a glass while watching a football game.

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Photo of tarheels86
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL red wax on numerous occassions. Pours a bright, translucent deep pink to red with a small, pink, creme head. Aroma is cherry Sucrets, cough medicine, thankfully moving to maraschino cherries and clafoutis/cherry pie. Taste is sweet, black cherries, cherry pie, rich and viscous with a major spiced note of cinnamon and nutmeg. Palate is rich, creamy, dessert like, not oily or watery. It’s not the show stopper that NG Raspberry Tart and NG Apple Ale are, but it is evident that if you like true cherry beer and aren’t in the mood for kriek, this is the ultimate non-sour cherry fruit beer. Just impossible for anyone to compete with New Glarus in the fruit beer category.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's snifter. It pours a hazy, but beautiful, ruby-red color with a nice pink head that dissipates quickly. There are lots of fresh, tart cherries on the nose as well as hints of almonds and bubblegum.

The beer has a medium-light body. The carbonation is lower than I expected, but it still has a nice firm, silky feel. Very strong flavors of sweet cherries (skins and all - I can almost feel them in my teeth) and fruit juice on the front of the palate. Flavor then becomes slightly acidic and tart, yet still maintains a nice appetizing balance between sweet and sour. Other flavors include mild notes of apple, red grape, and a hint of cranberry. The finish has some mouth-drying tannins and is very refreshing.

Overall, an outstanding beer. Very fruity, nicely-balanced, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face (and a pucker on your lips). It probably won't appeal to all beer fans, but I thought it was delicious.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a 750mL bottle from Woodman’s in early Fall 2012 for $8.79 when I heard about the shortage of Belgian Red until early 2013.

It pours a dark maroon color with a slightly pink, bubbly head. The scent is rich with fermented cherries giving it a very sweet aroma. The taste is rich, sweet, and fruity with an overall great cherry flavor. It’s smooth, refreshing, delicious, and slightly tart. One of New Glarus’ signature brews that is regarded as one of the best fruit beers one the market. Definitely something you have to try.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from wax-sealed bomber into Peg's snifter.

A: Pours a deep crimson brown color with a thin, off-white head. Good amount of visible carbonation.

S: Cherry aroma dominates, and reminds me of pie filling or Sucrets - but not unpleasantly so. Some sweet malt here too. Overall impressions are berry-sweet, sour, and tangy.

T: Follows the nose well. Sour, tangy cherries; a sweet that fades to sour. Quite tasty. Still reminds me of pie filling, but not particularly as a negative.

M: Thicker body, good carbonation sensation, and a very mild alcohol presence.

O: This is very good. It seems to clearly be a dessert beer, and not a drink that I'd grab out of the fridge on a regular basis. But at the right time & in the right mood, this is excellent.

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Photo of WankelEngine
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a wine glass

A: Pours a ruddy brown color with a ruby tint. There is a light tan head which fades fairly quickly to a ring of foam. Light, spotty lacing.

S: Delicious, tart cherries. The smell really leaps out of the glass. Incredibly fresh and real.

T: A cherry bomb to be sure. The dominant theme is light, tart cherry but I also pick up some apple and light caramel malt. Very refreshing. Sweet but the sweetness tastes like real fruit, not sugar.

M: Low level of carbonation contributes to a slick, smooth and refreshing drink. Sticky but not too sticky.

O: Delicious and refreshing. Tastes like real cherries, not like a lot of other fruit beers which are syrupy and overly, fakely sweet.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorites and could easily be considered a gateway craft beer for some. Poured from the bottle into a snifter, the red was a murky maroon color with a very modest off-white head. From the top of the glass, one can detect a waxy cherry aroma that alomst brings to mind penny candies. I wonder if the wax top of the bottle affects the aroma. The initial taste brings a tall shot of tart and sour cherry, the best qualities of a cherry. The taste really grabs the attention of the sides of the tongue, making them tingle with delight. A backbone of a biscuity bread allows the cherry to shine, while still having a subtle quality. This Beligan certainly has some thickness to it, almost like a beer milkshake. Mildly fizzy, the carbonation and the thickness allow the taste to linger for several pleasant minutes. A sour cherry aftertaste continues the fun, not straying much from the initial taste. However, I find the aftertaste slightly more sour.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a vibrant crimson red in color with pale ruby highlights and a thin head that barely left any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: tons of cherry fruit oozes out of the aroma with slight citrus qualities, tons of noticeable sweetness, maybe a little booze but not much. the cherries are definitely overwhelming but not in a bad way.

T: the story here is cherries cherries cherries, almost like a cherry puree but with slight booze. In the middle of all that cherry character I did manage to get a little citrus and hunts of funk but barely.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had very fruity, slight citrus, mild funky, and sweet finish.

O: This beer is a cherry bomb all the way. It surprised me that the cherry profile was still potent even after I sat on this bottle for 2 years; trip out.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sender for this bottle...

A: Pours a cloudy dark red with brown hues. There is about a half finger of light red head that dissipates fairly quickly. There is little lacing to be seen on the glass as it drinks.

S: I get a good amount of cherries out of this beer, along with a mix of vegetation slight spice, and that familiar New Glarus funk. It's nice, even for someone who isn't a huge cherry fan.

T: Definite cherries, with a great play between sweet and sour. I get that earthy vegetable like quality, but it's not overwhelming. It's earth. This beer reminds me a bit of the cherries found atop a Sarah Lee Cheesecake.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's wet to start and the sweet and sour notes linger of the palate for some time. It's a "sticky" beer, but it's highly drinkable.

O: This is a really nice beer, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try it again. If you like cherries/cherry pie/cherry cheesecake, give it a whirl. It won't disappoint.

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Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dear New Glarus,
The candle wax you guys drizzle atop bottles of Wisconsin Belgian Red and Rasp Tart is ugly as sin. Not only does it look cheap, it's flimsy enough to fall into the beverage after opening the bottle. Either use a wax with heavier consistency or avoid waxing altogether. Thanks.

Anyway, WBR pours a handsome dark-red hue in my glass. Bubbly off-white head churns on the surface. Strong cherry-spice aroma fills my nostrils, reminiscent of the dark maroon cherries at my grocery store being dunked in a spicy cider.

Taste follows suit: fall spices meet fruit. The juicy mash retains a mild amount of sweetness -- just enough to keep things interesting. I remember this being much sweeter (overly so, a la Rasp Tart), which is simply not the case here. Delicious.

Yeah, I don't remember liking this as much as I did today. My last bottle was medicinal, yet today's sample was a well-crafted example of craft brewing. Would love to grab another bottle, preferably un-waxed :)

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

arguably the best fruit beer ive ever had! it pours hazy pinkish pale red with a lovely white head on it. the nose is sour cherries, tart and a little sweet, with some funky yeast and a light malt body. my friend i shared this with took one whiff and declared, call them up and order me 50 cases. he hadnt even tasted it yet! positively wisconsin this beer says to me, with a cherry taste you cant get from washington state. over a pound per bottle it says, and i believe it. the taste is puckey from the cherries, almost like a sour beer, but this isnt one. theres also some other fruit esters in there, green apple and pears too, but this isnt fruit punch. there some bitter hops on the tail end, and a rounding cystal and pale malt body underneath it all. the carbonation is gloriously bright, while the body is just as big as it needs to be. i am in awe of this, one of the best fruit beers ever. drinkable and interesting, but unfortunately unavailable in our state of colorado for the time being. never ever pass this up if you get a chance to try it, youll be blown away.

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Photo of abrand
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into snifter glass

Pours an amber color with a 1/2 inch quick fading bubbly head that leaves some lining on the glass. Smell is full of cherries.. not much else going on. Taste is full of cherries as well. Very sweet but delicious. Mouthfeel is fully carbonated while light bodied. Overall this is delicious. Pretty cherry forward but still very delicious.

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Photo of WesM63
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a champagne flute.

A: Pours an opaque brownish amber with a tiny 1inch head. Lacing and retention are pretty much non-existent.

S: Tart Cherries! Honestly, just amazing tart cherries. Not the fake stuff either.

T: Spot on the nose. Huge amounts of semi tart cherries. Some sweetness hiding in there as well.

M: High carbonation, light to medium body.

O: Phenomenal! Honestly, after having New Glarus's offerings on Fruit beers, now sure ill be able to go drink any others. Buy it. Drink it. Enjoy it!

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Photo of cfrances33
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead Tulip.

Pour: Deep, hazy ruby red with hints of brown. A finger plus of light pink head that surprisingly great lacing and forms a light film.

Smell: A huge up front cherry, that resembles what I get from cherry jam. There is complexity of caramel sweetness, and dough in the background, mingled with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Taste: Oh my. At first sip, sticky cherry couch drop with a substantial sweetness, but at this warms it becomes incredible. Cherry pie filling complete with crusty dough sweetness and light spiciness I can describe as cinnamon or allspice. Really like a cherry pie.

Mouthfeel: Really, really sticky and sweet. Definitely detracts from my ability to drink a whole 750ml bottle, but I'll make it,

Overall: One of my longest running wants, and it did not disappoint. Absolutely delicious.

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Photo of tigg924
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: minimal head, high carbonation, red in color, clear

Smell: sweet cherries and fresh fruit

Taste: sweet and tart cherries, light cinnamon. The cherries are layered here so there is excellent depth of flavor.

Mouthfeel: super light body, sweet with a touch of tartness, high carbonation, prickly

Overall:This sets the new bar for me in fruit beers. I love the depth of the cherry flavors. This one is borderline wine-like, but still has some beer flavor. The fruit seems natural and not in any way artificial. When I am back in Wisconsin next year, I will bring back several. One of my favorite beers in any style.

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Photo of deebo
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this several times and enjoyed as a change of pace. Here's a review from a fresh bottle.
A-cloudy. Looks like rusty water. A weak tan head that quickly breaks down. Tons of lively carbonation
S-cherries and lots of them!
T-again lots of tart cherries. A bit sour and puckering. A nice balance of sweetness and sourness and of course cherry flavor.
M- lots of carbonation, light refreshing body. Slightly puckering at the end
O-amazing amount of fruitiness. Hard to believe there isnt cherry flavor added but with a pound of Cherries in every bottle I guess that is the ticket. A wonderfully unique delicious beer

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wisconson Belgian Red pours a hazy ruby color with a small, frothy head on top. The foam fades slowly leaving behind several spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is sweet and loaded with cherry. Reminds me of a cherry coughdrop.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is soft, rich and chewy on the palate. Mild carbonation. The flavor is like a cherry pie. Sweet with loads of cherry and a touch of toasted malt. Towards the end a touch of spice and sour notes poke through. Once gone the cherry flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a fantastic beer. I was lucky enough to get a bottle from a friend of a friend who was going to Wisconsin. Very flavorful and easy to drink. It's a dessert in a glass!

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
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 WastingFreetime
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Pours out a deep garnet / ruby color with a brief flash head and no lacing. Body is on the lighter side of medium thickness, silky smooth, and carbonation is on the higher side of medium strength.

Straight away, the cherry pie aroma fills the room upon cracking open the bottle, upon warming up a faint vanilla-oak essence joins up with the aroma. So...much...cherry deliciousness! If there could be any criticism to be had, it would be that it is difficult to find beer characteristics in the nose at higher than a faint garnishing level.

Maintains all of the juicy cherry pie sweet-tartness in the flavor as well, in fact I would dare say that oak wood shows up even more around the edges in the flavor than on the nose. Just an amazing dessert beer, especially when considering how it never gets medicinal or cloying at all despite how beefy all of the fruit aspects are.

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Photo of iadler
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

A- Pours a deep red with a one finger head that dissipates into a thin cap that leaves a few lines of lacing.

S- Tart and sweet cherry pie filling, bready malt and cherry juice. Smells like cherry pie in a bottle.

T- Follows the aroma closely with plenty of cherry pie filling, peppery spice, freshly squeezed cherry juice and a hint of caramel.

M- Medium carbonation and body with a tart and dry finish.

O- I've throughly enjoyed both the Raspberry Tart and now Belgian Red from New Glarus. Fruit beers are not typically a style I enjoy, however, NG has succeeded in making a fruit ale with a nice balance of sweetness and tartness.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle courtesy of AlAlvarez, split with my cousin with my end being poured into my Firestone Walker tulip.

Wisconsin Belgian Red pours a very nice polished ruby red, with gorgeous cherry highlights. A little more than two fingers of bone colored foam crown the beer, with minimal head head retention and lacing left behind. The nose has a huge ripe, sweet cherry skin aroma, with just a bit of earthiness behind it. The flavor is an absolute cherry bomb. It's still predominantly sweet, but there is a bit of a tart cherry edge to things as well. There's a slight malty sweetness present at the open, and the earthiness comes through in the finish. The body is on the light side, though with a little more heft than I might have expected for a 4% beer. The carbontion, while on the bubbly side, does let the sweetness mellow for a second or two before really kicking in. Wisconsin Red is, outside of one or two sours, the best fruit beer I've ever had. Fantastic all the way around.

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Photo of kevanb
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the New Glarus brewery, served in the NG Logo pilsner glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice bright garnet/ruby red color, slightly off white head, no retention or lacing to speak of. Looks pretty much exactly what you'd expect a beer with a pound of cherries to look like. The aroma is super heavy on the cherry, so powerful it at times reminds me of cough syrup, not in the best way either. However, it does also remind me of cherry jams, preserves and most importantly, delicious cherry pie. The flavor is much more approachable, obviously packed with cherries, slight malt backing, not enough to act as a pie crust, but enough to balance out the sweet and tart cherries with something earthy and neutralizing. The body is wonderful, light, crisp, bubbly, spritzing, juicy and full all at once.

Verdict: This is a fantastic fruit beer, probably the best fruit based beer you can find other than the fruit lambics that we love so much. New Glarus has hit a home run with this and almost all their fruit beers, hell, all their beers are dynamite, but this might be the star performer of their line.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a half finger of a white foamy head. Hazy deep amber/red body which clears as it warms. Minimal lacing with no head after a short time.

Smells like a big sweet cherry pie filling. Some simple carmel sweetness and light confectionery frosting notes.

Big medium tart cherry flavor. Light puckering acidity and sourness. Sweet forward and fairly refreshing.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Lightly sticky on the finish with an obvious cherry taste.

Great beer, great fruity flavors and well balanced for the style.

$9 a 750/bomberish

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Photo of xnicknj
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into large tulip

Pours a bright ruby red color with some black cherry darkness. Little head comes through, although a small collar of white film rests along the beer.

Boatloads of fresh cherry scent in the nose - almost like a fresh baked cherry pie or homemade jam. A bit sweet with a very light natural tartness from the fruit. Mellow and wall received by the senses.

Pure cherry flavor right up front on the tongue with a soft tartness. Almost like slightly unripe fruit, but with a tempered sweetness. Touch of sugar with juiciness. Finishes with more cherry and a lingering dry tartness.

Lighter medium body, slightly higher carbonation, smooth yet bubbly on the tongue. This is easily one of the better fruit (not sour) beers I've had in recent memory.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 949 ratings.