1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,516 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,516
Reviews: 908
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,016
Gots: 442 | FT: 41
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,516 | Reviews: 908 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of caskstrength
2.65/5  rDev -39.5%

Been wanting to try this, I do like cherries and Founders Cerise is a beer I enjoy. Had it with a monster tasting of the New Glarus fruit beers.

Pours a darker pink. white head. looks like what I expected a fruity cherry beer to look.
Good carbonation.

Smell is a little off-putting. given reviews thusfar, was hoping for a rich, real cherry vibe. literally smelled like cough syrup or some sort of cherry flavored medicine to my nose.

taste backed up the smell. too sweet. medicinal fake cherries dominate. Compared to the Cran-bic (excellent) and the Raspberry tart (decent), this beer rated the lowest.

Mouthfeel was fine for a medicinal oversweetened cherry beer.

Move along, this isn't the fruit/cherry beer you're looking for. I'm certainly surprised at the ratings around these parts.

caskstrength, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
2.68/5  rDev -38.8%

4/7/2012

Thanks!

A: Light red with some transparency and a long lasting beige head.

S: Strong cherry presence but the fruit comes across as artificial and medicinal, like cherry cough syrup. Malt is sweet and crackery.

T: Again, cough syrup. Candied cherry cough medicine. Very sweet.

M: Lower medium body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: I recall liking this quite a bit when I've had it before, but this was too similar to cherry cough syrup. The Raspberry Tart blew it away.

HopHead84, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of granger10
2.73/5  rDev -37.7%

This beer poured a dark dirty cherry color. It doesn't look exactly like a fruit beer but not really a normal beer either. Fizzy white head, medium in size, not really too much lacing. Aroma is exactly like cherry fruit gushers. I mean it's identical. I can't really get past it, I like it but in my beer? Taste once again has that cherry fruit gusher quality to it. Cherries aren't as tart as I expected. They're more sweet and almost taste fake. Body is somewhat thick and has a nice fizzyness to it. The first glass of this bottle was good but the second glass was tougher. Started to get cloying and too much cherry. Reminiscent of cherry juice. Sorry, I didn't care for this one.

granger10, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of Zorro
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

Sampled through the efforts of 120/190 BIF and lostbearbrew.

Pours a completely opaque reddish brown beer with not a great deal of head. In the looks department this one looks like real crap.


Smell is sweet and sour fruit aroma of raspberries. Not much more in the smell here except the fruit and a lemon edge. Scent is very much like Raspberry Lemonade.

Taste is extremely sweet with the favor of raspberry and tobacco in the first sip. Shockingly sweet with a sour after taste to match it. The after taste of this is all pipe tobacco. Quite powerful and not all that complex.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Well this is official not a favorite beer of mine. Far too sweet and sour this is something like over sweetened Kool aid with tobacco thrown in it. Not recommended.

Zorro, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of krl2112
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

krl2112, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of Crunkle
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

Crunkle, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of mdcrouser
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

Kinda ticked, as I'd reviewed a few nights ago while enjoying, and posted, but it's no longer here, so I'm reviewing based solely on memory.

Red in the glass so that when held up to the light, it looks like the cherry on a policecar. Pretty for a bright red beer.

Smells like a cup of freshly mashed cherries, but with obvious undertones of a Belgian - I'm intrigued!

If you're into drinking alcoholic jam, this one's for you. While it is pretty incredible what they've done to incorporate cherries here, it's just not a right for a beer in my opinion.

The mouthfeel is definitely the high-point here, being exceptionally smooth and inviting.

Because it's just so overloaded in sweet cherry, it's just not something that should be enjoyed more than as a dessert beer. (as I was left to enjoy the entire bomber by myself)

mdcrouser, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of mattyrubes
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

mattyrubes, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of pawpaw
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

pawpaw, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of mikecharley
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

mikecharley, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of ajs4bd
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

ajs4bd, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of dragonWhale
2.78/5  rDev -36.5%

from 5/28/10

I've been very excited to try this beer but deciphering the label has been difficult for me over the past several weeks. After much interweb searching, I was finally able to determine that Wisconsin was indeed part of the Anheuser-Busch sale to InBev which is why this beer can legally be called as it is.
A clear ruby pour with negligible carbonation. I want a fountain of pink foam, but there is a pitiable white dust above the clay. Cough syrup? Ny-Quil? Ahhh, no. Ludens cherry cough drops. They never worked, they were childish and sugary candies. No reward should be given for coughing! That will never ameliorate the situation. As coughing children, we should've had ginger punched into our ears. A much more likely solution to the ole coughing epidemic.
The taste, however, is not bad, heavy, heavy on the cherries with a nearly cloying sweetness and not much else. As the beer warms, it becomes more tolerable, the cherries become more lively, and the experience much more pleasant. Maybe, again.

dragonWhale, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of SacoDeToro
2.88/5  rDev -34.2%

Poured a nice ruby red with a small off-white head.

The aroma of the beer was full of sweet and tart cherries and some malty sweetness in the background. No hops or alcohol on the nose.

The flavor of the beer was full of sticky sweet cherries. In fact, it was like drinking carbonated sweet cherry cider - the non alcoholic kind. Is this really a beer?

The carbonation was adequate, but the mouthfeel was deathly syrupy.

I did not really enjoy this as a beer. If it were bottled as a non-alcoholic cherry cider, I would have believed it. IMO, it was a syrupy overrated mess.

SacoDeToro, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of CBack465
2.88/5  rDev -34.2%

CBack465, Saturday at 02:22 AM
Photo of bashiba
2.93/5  rDev -33.1%

Poured into my goblet a very cloudy reddish/brown with just a thin little lace of head around the rim.

Smell was completely and totally cherries, fresh cherries too, not some fake sweet cherry smell.

Flavor is completely and totally dominated by cherries, slightly sweet and slightly tart at the same time. A think its a little overpowering for my taste and really barely has any beer likeness at all.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, but with a touch of slickness to it.

Drinkability is low, I don't think I could drink to much of this one, In fact finishing off the 750 I opened was starting to be a struggle.

bashiba, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of dvmin98
2.93/5  rDev -33.1%

Being a huge fan of New Glarus and pretty much everything I've had from them, I was pretty excited to finally try this one. I love cherries, so this has been a want for a bit.

The appearance and smell were awesome. Nice reddish hue and big cherry smell. Good carbonation. Not a huge head. Looking good so far.

Then....I tasted it and I felt like I was a kid again when Mom was trying to shove that synthetic flavored 'cherry' swill down my throat when I had a boo boo. I took another sip, then another, then another...then stopped. Wife tried it and like it...wife gets bottle of Belgian Red.

Really disappointed, esp after how much I love Raspberry Tart and Serendipity. This was not good, at least to me. Wife thought otherwise.

dvmin98, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of Beertron
2.93/5  rDev -33.1%

It's been years, almost a decade, since I last tried this beer. I wasn't a big fan of it the first time around; I took a greater liking to their Raspberry Tart and have since picked up that when I see the two side-by-side. Either way, the lady and I were having spaghetti at her place so I thought this would make for a good pairing. Poured from the trademark waxed 750 into a pretty standard water glass (she isn't quite yet to BA level, but she's getting there...)

A - Carbonation is kinda odd with this sucker. As I pour, there's no head. When I finish, it jumps up to an inch (on a soft pour) and then dissolves as quickly as it appeared, leaving no discernible lacing. When shaken, the bubbles appear and disappear yet again. Other than color, which is bright clear red (almost like a red soda), this resembles champagne in every regard. I wouldn't doubt that champagne yeast was at work in the creation of this brew.

S - Smells strongly of syrupy cherries; like maraschinos, cherry Torani, black cherry soda or red cough syrup. Not being a big fan of syrupy cherries (or cough syrup, for that matter), this smell is lightly nauseating to me. There really isn't much noticeable beer aroma here -- just overpowering cherry -- and I'm kind of wishing there was.

T - Tastes allay some of those syrupy fears. This is dry and bubbly with a strong cherry flavor. Thankfully, the flavor shows real cherries, probably from the Northwest (Ranier or Bing). This is far more pleasant than the aroma led me to expect. There's also a fruity alcohol taste that reminds me of fermented apple cider -- not hard apple cider, but regular unpasteurized apple cider that's gotten a bit dated and in which wild yeasts have started converting the sugars.

M - This hits a number of places on the palate. At the outset, it's bubbly and light and sparkles on the tongue. Then its sweet with a light syrupyness that ends dry and sticky. Despite all of this, the feel is soft and dry and makes me salivate after 10 seconds or so. Fun complexity.

D - Ehhhh. Pretty tough to do much of this. Especially considering the bottle size, I'd say you almost have to share it with someone, or probably someones. That sticky syrupyness is pretty tough to get over and I think it would give me gut-rot if I tried to drink this bottle myself. It's food pairing qualities (see immediately below) are causing me to kick this up a whole point above where I normally would've in this category.

F - This is an incredible drink to pair with food, especially dessert, because its one of those rare beers that will add a whole new component to a dish. I'm pressed to think of any food that would stand up to it's sweet cherry flavor, but I can think of a billion that it would be great with in terms of a contrast: vanilla bean cheesecake, sweet chocolate, peanut butter sandwich, fruit salad, duck confit (depending very much on what's with it), sugar cookies, etc. Interestingly enough, I had it with homemade spaghetti sauce and found it to match perfectly. It provide a fantastic sounding board to the acidity of the tomatoes and balsamic/red wine vinegars, the dark strength of the herbs and spices and the grainy nuttiness of the pasta. This beer likes food. Additionally, I wouldn't doubt that it'd make a great reduction sauce on its own. I'll have to try that one of these days.

O - I must say, the syrupy stickiness is a bit too overpowering and the malt a bit too under-powering for my tastes. I have real trouble trying to figure out how this ends up as the best beer in WI according to reviewers on this site. Overall, I think this has much more in common with soda (or sweet champagne) than it does beer and that's probably why it gets such great reviews. Everyone loves pop. I'm not a big fan, so I don't think this floats my boat as much as the next geek. However, it does have an amazing affinity for food and, approached from that standpoint, I find it to be quite useful and amazing. Either way, it's certainly an interesting brew and still leagues beyond most ridiculous attempts at this style.

Beertron, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of leakyfaucet12
2.95/5  rDev -32.6%

I had this beer to celebrate my brother moving into his new house and I was anticipating this to be the greatest beer ever. When i saw the beer It wasnt the most impressive beer i have ever seen, but i felt that when you make a cherry beer it would look like this, in that aspect the brewer had gotten exactley what they wanted. The smell was wonderful. When you are making a cherry beer you should smell Cherrys and nothing but. That is exactly what i smelled. The taste hit me as medicinal. I dont like to ever speak bad of beers but i could not shake the fact that it tasted like cough medicine. The mouthfeel was an exception to the taste. The beer seemed to be perfectly carbonated and didnt give me any reason to review it as bad. The drinkability of this beer was not good FOR ME. I emphasize for me because I know that there are people that could drink this like crazy but i am more of a beer guy and never drink wine. I feel bad to ever give out a bad review but to me this beer was like a fine painting that would never look good in my house but I can thoroughly appreciate the effort and time put into it.

leakyfaucet12, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of zackinthebox
2.95/5  rDev -32.6%

The bottle looks great with its red wax seal over the cap. The beer pours nice with a decent head. The color is a burnt orange red. I would opt to drink this over many desert wines. It is not the type of beer that I would want to drink in larger quantities. I was surprised how strong the cherry flavor was until I read they put a pound of cherries in every bottle. Honestly I would have liked it better if it tasted more like beer.

zackinthebox, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of dlorton0844
3/5  rDev -31.5%

dlorton0844, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of ArdyExfor
3/5  rDev -31.5%

ArdyExfor, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of jobart76
3/5  rDev -31.5%

jobart76, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of texasclimber
3/5  rDev -31.5%

texasclimber, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Clutch5
3/5  rDev -31.5%

Clutch5, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of josephwa
3/5  rDev -31.5%

josephwa, Oct 08, 2012
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,516 ratings.