1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,812 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,812
Reviews: 921
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 1,063
Gots: 536 | FT: 55
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,812 | Reviews: 921 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crossovert
3.9/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of blackie
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

looks like I gave this beer - one of my all-time favorites - a 4.0 back in 2005, what a joke...delete and re-review

a: st. louis flute glass, the beer is a deep cherry red garnet, almost bloodlike though transparent, and capped with a tight pink head that eventually goes absent

s: no better way to describe this than cherry pie filling, not that canned shit but pure and fresh pureed cherries baked in their own liquid, a variety of overripe cherries, the barley lurks as a supporting unit and adds only a complimentary grainy depth, a pleasure to take in

m: delicate carbonation and a full, luscious body that borders becoming slick or syrupy but doesn't quite reach that point

t: this one wows me every time, it's absolutely flawless and the taste is easily the best feature of the beer, stewed cherries and fresh cherry pie, cherry fruit leather, sweetness delicately balanced with a touch of vitamin c acidity on the back of the tongue, barley sits in the back but adds a sweet toasty depth - the crust to this pie

d: had this many times over the years, both bottled and on-tap, and it's always a treat, hard to conceive how this ever gets a rating below 4

750 from the last Wisco voyage

Photo of CoolJosh
3.99/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Generously shared by my right hand man Treyrab. Poured from a capped 750mL into a tulip. Pours an orange red, incredibly hazy, with a light pink head head. Kind of an odd look, but I'm guessing a really tasty beer is to follow.

Tons of really sweet cherries, smells like a cherry pie. Really well done, some vinegar adds slight acidity in the nose. Some lemon citrus notes as well, Really nice well rounded scent, slight breadiness.

Acidic right off the bat, very tart cherry. Nice sweet malts uncovered with no hop presence. Bready tastes as well. Not as thin as I was expecting which adds a really nice texture to this beer. Very easy drink with slight wine characteristics. Very acidic again on the end. This was an easy drink, and to all you young cats out there trying to get your groove on with some honey, pop one of these and let the night begin.

Photo of sholland119
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this bottle with us.

A-Pours a murky reddish brown with a thin off white head.

S-The aroma has a ton of sweet maraschino cherries and not much else.

T-The taste, however, is a whole different matter. Very nice tart cherry flavors with a mild creamy finish. Nicely balanced between acidic and sweet.

M-Medium bodied and creamy.

D-A delicious beer. Next to Selin's Grove's Kriek, this is perhaps my favorite fruit beer.

HV

Photo of bulletrain76
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75cl bottle, thanks to photomike for bringing both this and the raspberry tart to the August SC tasting! This is another great fruit beer by NG, but I'm afraid it suffered a little bit being tasted along side raspberry tart, which is hands down the most amazing fruit beer that I have ever had. Maybe it's just my preference for raspberries though, because the beers were almost the same except for the fruit flavor. Red color with a small head. The aroma is just a surge of cherry pie, almost leaning toward maraschino cherries in a fake way, but managing to tip-toe the line and come across a little more like pie-filling. The flavor is pure cherry pie with a light tartness and surprising and welcomed lack of sweetness in the finish. The aroma doesn't burst with quite the amazingness of raspberry tart, but this was quite good in its own right.

Photo of fiver29
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours dark red color with a head that looks tan colored. Aroma is cherry candy. Has a medium mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation. Flavor is sweet cherry and not much else. This reminds me of a cherry candy I used to eat when I was a kid. That's what the flavor is to me. Overall its what I expected it to be.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Azurelimits for trading me this.

Poured in a big wine glass at F/ C.

Deep brownish-red color, quite pretty, topped with a small amount of beige froth. Fine, intricately patterned lace.

Big aroma of cherries, like good all natural cherry pie, sour and sweet. There's also a distinct almond aroma like bearclaws, presumably from the cherry pits, big but very well integrated with the fruit. That's all there is to it - cherries with their pits - but it's great, and even pretty complex, with different aspects of the cherries coming through in waves.

The flavor is fruity and sweet, sweeter than suggested by the aroma. A medium level of acidity cuts the sweetness just enough to achieve some balance. The pits' almond flavor is there, but more subdued than in the aroma. The sweetness begins to fade towards the finish. Long finish, cherry and almond, moderately tart, with some mild bitterness emerging at the very end as dryness is achieved, in the finish of the finish. Very tasty, but I would probably prefer a little less sweetness.

Smooth wheaty texture, with very fine bubbles. Refreshing and drinkable, but a slightly drier version might be even more so.

Stuffed with great cherry character. I enjoyed this.

Photo of DeeMented
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the waxed 750 mL bottle into a champagne flute.

The beer poured an opaque, rusty brown with a thin, tan-colored head. The head faded very quickly, and left a bit of sticky lacing on the glass. Not a very pretty beer.

The smell was cherries. To be blatantly honest, the smell reminded me of cough syrup, and I had a hard time getting around that.

It was hard to find the carbonation in the mouthfeel, but it didn't feel watery, either. Very light-bodied.

The taste was sweet cherries, like fresh cherry pie filling. There was some tartness to the finish, but the sweet, almost sugary flavor dominated. It was pretty tasty stuff, just very sweet.

This is a beer that I tend to buy more as a novelty than an everyday brew. I pick these up all the time as gifts, or to share, but very rarely get one for myself. I'm not a huge cherry fan, but I do enjoy several glasses of this every time I have it.

I've found it pairs well with good, dark chocolate.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this 750mL from Woodman's in Kenosa a few months ago and just now popping it open.

A: Pours a brownish-orangish amber color with light tan colored head that settles down to just a little bit of bubbles while lacing the glass a little bit.

S: Smells like sour, tart cherries, with some sour apple in there too, some fruity yeast scents

T: very similar to the smell, except with a lot of sweetness that i didn't expect. Sour and tart cherries, with sour apple and fruitiness from yeast. However, the sweetness of the cherries dominates.

M: Very full bodied and carbonated well that coats my palate and throat as it goes down the hatch.

D: Highly drinkable as I can down sweet beers, but this one could be too sweet to drink a whole lot of. This has good flavor and not really any alcohol flavor.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle shared with friends and my wife. Note: my wife often has a sip of my beer and we have yet to find one she likes - this changed with this beer, she really liked it!

Pours a brownish, dried blood red with regular old off white head (was expecting something a little more girly).

Nose is an explosion of ripe and tart cherries, fresh from the tree. No hint of extract or artificial flavor here, all natural!

Taste follows in line with an all cherry explosion. Very fresh. The sweetness of the beer is balanced by just the right amount of tartness to give it some depth. Smooth, rich body and flavor that belies its low ABV.

As I contemplate drinking more than a share of a bottle I lean towards thinking that the sweetness was a little too much, I would struggle to finish a bottle by myself. I would prefer a little more tart, perhaps a little more dimension. That said, this is a phenomenal, world-class beer that I am making a point to get more of - especially because it is wife approved!

Photo of sideshowrob
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Being in Maryland, this beer is much like Romulan Ale; I have a few people who sneak me some bottles now and then. Wish they distributed more widely, but I'm also glad to have some meaningful regional variability left.

The beer pours a reddish/amber hue, almost like thin blood. Little head, but strong carbonation. First hint of what you're about to get comes with the smell, a tart cherry aroma not unlike Dr. Browns dark cherry soda.

The taste, mouthfeel and drinkability are all harmoniously welded. The balance between sour and sweet is incredible. Each receptor in your tounge is overwhelmed with flavor. Once you start to quaff this elixer, it's hard to stop. The body just demands more and more. If Belgian Red was sold by the gallon that'd be fine with me.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.16/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A green 750 ml bottle, thin coating of sticky red wax around the cap. Not sure where I got this from but it has '08' written in marker on the label, so relative freshness is assured. Poured to a snifter, review #900 if anyone's counting...

A: Murky, rather sickly looking pour, a grubby tan. Among the more unappealing looking pours I recall: cloudy, thin head, scant film, lace is scattered at best. A roil of fizzy bubbles with each pour, gone in seconds - not winning any beauty pageants. A '3' feels generous...

S: So what if it looks nasty; wonderful aroma of ripe cherries! Replete with sweet/tart fruit, nice wheat backing. Could smell this one all evening...

T: Upfront with cherries...then cherries...and more cherries. No mistaking what the key ingredient is here. A sweet/tart pie flavor; interesting to compare this with the BridgePort Stumptown tart I tried last night - fruit is so much more resplendent here. Spiced apples, cinnamon and a caramel sweetness. Unlike any other 'beer', I've tried...more cider-like I suppose...

M: Quite crisp, tingly mouthfeel. Effervescing carbonation tickles in the mouth...

D: As tasty and unusual a beer as I've had yet one best kept in small doses; I recapped the bottle in hopes of enjoying later, with dessert. Absolutely worth trying/seeking out, certainly one to be shared.

Photo of fbinla
3.7/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a great reddish color with a nice fizz and head. Smells like a cherry soda, it's amazing how much cherry aroma this beer has. Taste is all cherry, tart with a sweet mouthfeel. The smell and taste just never give up.

An amazing beer, i just can't understand how they get so much cherry flavor in the beer. But personally it's too sweet for me.

Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful blood red with a tiny bit of head and lots of little carbonation bubbles that float to the top. The smell is of rich cherries. There's a slight whiff of alchohol and a little earthy grassiness. The flavor is so intense with cherry you swear you were drinking a glass of s straight cherry juice. I get a mild alcohol flavor more akin to wine then beer but it's faint. The flavor comes on sweet and tart and finishes so smooth it's scary. The carbonation dances with every gulp. Gulp is the proper word too. You find yourself taking drink after drink because NG made it so damn enjoyable. I've yet to meet anyone who can't enjoy this lambic.

Photo of dancinwillie
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark red, with a beige head up top. A lovely cascading effect as it settles down. Head sticks around for longer than I would have thought. Some light comes through around the edges, but that's about it. Pretty solid red.

Aroma is all ripe sweet, and a bit sour, cherries. Sounds simplistic, but it is actually quite amazing!

My god, I always forget how amazing this beer is! It's like a bite of homemade cherry pie, when you're starving. Saying it tastes like cherry is like saying the sun is hot. No evident hopping, a bit of roastiness from grains, but overwhelmingly cherry. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem out of balance. Medium bodied, but leaning towards full. Low carbonation.

I would love to pair this with some food. Maybe with some rich vanilla ice cream for dessert after eating some serious comfort food like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. Or maybe with some extra sharp cheddar.

High drinkability, however the big bottle would be better shared than drank alone. My palate usually gets a bit fatigued by the end of the second glass. But a small price to pay for such a terrific beer. Cheers!

Photo of Mistofminn
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a faded ruby red with a white head similar to a soda's in the way that it starts large, but quickly shrinks to just a small ring around the outside of the glass. Despite the quickly dissipating head, there is a little bit of lacing. Just a few rings show the previous levels of the liquid.

The nose is pretty much the most intense smelling cherry liquid of any kind I've ever smelled. Very acidic and vinegary, almost wine like. The best way for me to describe this is a cherry cider. Very sweet and very tart at the same time.

The taste is straight up cherries. Sweet and tart, more leaning towards the sweet side, but not overly sweet. To me, this is a combination of ripe sweetened cherries mixed with unripe tart cherries. There is literally nothing else here, just cherries. Me not being a cherry fan at all (I much prefer raspberries) this is great stuff. Cherry flavor is real cherries (over a pound in every bottle), and in no way artificial, which was a big relief.

Light bodied and slightly tart, with a lively carbonation. This has the mouthfeel of a slightly flat cherry pop. Great drinkability.

Overall, a solid offering from New Glarus, who ceases to amaze me. Every single time they satisfy me.

I have to say, I am a much bigger fan of Raspberry Tart, but this is still a more than stellar offering. Highly recommended and it definitely earned it's spot in the Top 100.

Photo of admiralcrunch
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CapitalAmber for bringing this back from WI.

750 ml bottle into big snifter (not the whole bottle)

A) Smells like cherry Italian ice. Wow!

S) The beer is quite opaque, and red to reddish brown depending on how the light hits it. Not a whole lot of head on top, but when it is there it has a pink hue.

T) The taste is all cherry and wheat. It's tart, but in a soft and mellow way.

M) It feels fairly sweet even though it doesn't taste particularly sweet.

D) I could probably have the whole thing but I'd feel bad about not sharing - it's too good to hog.

Photo of callmemickey
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Served in tall champagne flute. Dark bordeaux like red body. Moderate pink head with good retention. Some lacing left behind.

S: Fresh cherries. Simultaneously sweet, tart and sour. Very nice indeed.

T: Falls off quite a bit from the nose. For me, the cherry flavor is dampened by the general tartness that pervades from start to finish. The cherry flavor has a slightly artificial twinge to it, but is still very pleasant and enjoyable.

M: Nice, light body. Good carbonation levels without becoming fizzy.

D: A very nice fruit beer. Not quite as good as the Raspberry Tart, but a great representative of the style. Many thanks to mnjeff for the trade!

Photo of Gtreid
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of natasharai
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with a smooth off white/light red head composed of small bubbles that dissipates somewhat quickly to a thin rim around the edge of my glass and remained till the last drop of beer. The head is easily aroused and leaves some lacing down my glass. The beer is a cloudy reddish brown color.

Smell: Huge cherry pie smell, some apple pie/apple cider, then a very strong very sweet slightly tart ripe cherry aroma, and a light yeasty biscuit smell.

Taste: Sweet cherry, that becomes more tart, similar to cherry pie filling, some sour apple, and ends with a sweet very ripe cherry flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice tart tingle, good amount of carbonation, sweet sticky feel, and a bit dry.

Overall: Great drinkability, nice smooth feel, nice faint tartness to balance out the strong sweetness. Nice dry feel toward the end. The cherry flavor is NOT artificial which I was a bit worried about, but the cherry flavor is very sweet like really ripe cherries.

Photo of daledeee
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A trip to this brewery was well worth it. This beer comes in a larger bottle with wax over the cap.

The "red" pours with a nice powerful head and is bright red in color. The nose is very fruity.

Taste is fresh, sweet, very cherry and clean and at the same time a little earthy. The sweet and earthy seems like an impossible combination. The mouth feel is like sweet tarts. Lots of bite. This is such a refreshing beer for a summer day. Best served cool. The only reason I discounted the drinkability is the sweetness. It may be hard to drink much of this at once. I would be hard pressed to find a better beer in this category. It is easy to see how this beer won the Belgian beer contest IN BELGIUM!!

Photo of birchstick
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Ruby red in appearance with a pretty small head. There is a huge amount of lacing though, which makes it look very sexy in my flute glass.

S - I am glad the label said cherries were in this, otherwise I wouldn't have ever guessed (j/k). Cherries and spices (cinnamon?) pop out immediately. Smells quite delicious.

T - Wow. Starts off with a spiciness that is reminiscent of cinnamon. This is followed by the sweet cherries and a little bit of malt. Ends with a tart sourness to it. The flavors blend really well together, making for a very enjoyable, unique drinking experience. This would make an excellent beer to drink during the fall.

M - Surprisingly great mouthfeel. Due to all of the lacing I figured this would be packed with carbonation. The carbonation is there, however it merely tickles your throat as the Belgian Red slides down rather smoothly.

D - This is the best fruit beer I have tried without a doubt

Photo of Arbitrator
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of a trade with badbeer. Thanks Mike!

A: Pours a delicious ruby-chestnut body with a light rose-colored head that rises to 1.5". The head recedes into a thick collar and some filming on the brew, with washes of lacing that track each swig and slide slowly down the glass. Magnificent.

S: Tons of oak, cherry, and earth on this one. I couldn't pick out anything else. Good points for its sheer pungency.

T: The taste is where the complexity really shines. An initial light spice (cinnamon?) pricks the tongue, segueing into a tart, juicy dark cherry flavor. The finish is earthy with some oak tannins giving it a little acidic bite.

M: Medium bodied, with fairly fizzy carbonation that cleanses the palate pretty well and prevents the beer from becoming too cloying. Still, it is slightly syrupy. No alcohol burn, as expected for a mid-range ABV.

D: I'm not the hugest fan of fruit beers, so I won't go out of my way to trade for this. But I'm glad it was suggested to me as a trade, because it turned out to be damn good. If I saw it in person, I'd get it again.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle this poured a very rich and dark cherry head with almost no head. The nose is very strongly cherries and some hard to identify spices. Very lively mouthfeel. Flavor is sweet with the cherries dominating. This is a remarkable fruit beer.

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,812 ratings.