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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

958 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 958
Hads: 3,222
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 1,141
Gots: 712 | 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: 958 | Hads: 3,222
Photo of elmore
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint 9 oz bottle, which I purchased at Market Place Grocery Store in Hayward, WI. Turbid, murky pink color. Minimal head that rapidly receded with scattered lacing.

Not suprisingly this smells of cherries as the bottle reads "over a pound of Door County cherries in each bottle". Not of artificial cherries, but rather the cherry streusel I used to get on Sundays at a local German bakery. No hops, no alcohol, no malt - pretty much only cherries.

Taste is very sweet with a tart sour aftertaste. Thick syrupy mouthfeel, similar to grenadine or maybe the syrup from marichino cherries. Sweetness limits drinkability.

Very unique beer and a lot of fun to try, but not something I would regularly drink. I can barely identify this as a beer. Similar to a lambic possibly. I think it would be great as an after meal drink similar to a dessert wine.

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Photo of davod23
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the waxed-dipped bottle into a NG flute.

The pour is a clear, light red color with an off-white cap. It's not as dark or as striking a red as you might expect. It's okay looking.

I don't know if I even want to put separate "Smell" and "Taste" sections here. This beer is cherries, cherries, cherries, and more cherries. On the sweet side, but not cloying. If you like a good cherry beer, this is it.

Mouthfeel is fairly syrupy, with low-medium carbonation. Smooth. This would be a perfect score with precisely 13 more bubbles.

Drinkability is pretty good. If you split the bottle with another person, you're in good shape - any more than that, and the sweetness of the brew might start to wear on you.

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Photo of Jwaks
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving 22oz bottle, thanks to nflmvp and sinstaineddemon

Reveals a mixed tawny brown and venitian red through a slightly hazy body, ample miniscule bubbles race upwards toward a fine frothy pink tinted head. The head dissapates within a minute leaving just a very faint ring of tightly packed bubbles.

A medley of cherry aromas dominate a hugely aromatic nose, sweet cherry aromas take center stage supported by some tart and sour cherries with a bit of fruit punch and light floral aromas hanging in the background.

Sweet cherries flavor leads a suble entry followed closely by tart cherries on a soaring mid palate; flavors slowly evolve into a off-dry lingering sour cherry flavor thast lasts over half a minute. Tart cherry pie filling is the best description for this beer's flavor. Wow, this undoubtly hits the mark on a pure cherry ale.

Full on the palate with a delectable syrupy character, this goes down with ease offering awesome balance and nothing but delicious cherry flavors.

Barnone, this is one of the best cherry ales and fruit/vegetable beers available. It delivers on all accounts and sets a high standard by which all other fruit beers can be judged.


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Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grabbed this one as part of a big haul from Connecticut Avenue Wine and Liquor - big thanks to Al over there for coordinating an air-conditioned New Glarus truck-haul from Wisconsin to D.C.

After a few of New Glarus's 12oz beers, I finally cracked this bomber pretty much brimming with excitement. I had been hearing about New Glarus's fantastic fruit beers and sours for ages, so it was great to test that hyped-up mettle.

Poured a cloudy, deep red with some pink-white sudsy bubbling on the surface. Aroma was of sweet cherries, practically candied, all qualified by this overarching sourness and a little bit of bite. On tasting, that sourness turns out to be more of a tartness, with just a bit of the wild notes I was expecting. Still, that bite comes through just as it's needed to unhinge the balance that's otherwise too sweet. The mild carbonation and the medium body give this beer the reach across the mouth it needs to deliver all that tartness.

Having had this beer after New Glarus's Cran-Bic, I feel like this is just the inversion of sweet/sour I wanted. For me, Cran-bic was maybe .75 sweet to .25 sour. Switch those two values around, and exchange the cranberry for cherry, and you get this stellar Wisconsin Belgian Red. After having loads of Belgian Kriek's, this is an awesome response from Wisconsin.

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Photo of marksto
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been fortunate enough to have had many samples of this one through the years, but waited until I had a new tasting opportunity to write a review.

Pours a deep, translucent red with off-white head made of dense bubbles. The nose displays a huge cherry essence along with some faint almond and a light mustiness. Flavor features a huge, juicy cherry flavor with just the right amount of sourness and tartness. This is not the "cough syrup" cherry you get from a lot of these fruit beers, but an exceedingly pleasant fruit flavor.

In the background is also a tangy "brown sugar/apple skin" element that really completes the complex flavor profile, and this represents a signature profile in this beer that I have tasted in no other. The complexity lends a vinous character that is marvelous.

NGBR is an absolute world classic, and a worthy recipient of it's excellent reputation and many awards. The perfect example of a beer that can make people who don't like beer, like beer. I've seen it happen many times.

I consider it the best fruit beer I've ever had. A must-try for anyone who can get their hands on it.

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Photo of ballz50401
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark red with steady carbonation. Nice head that is reddish/tan in appearance.

Smell: I get a nice spicy belgian yeast character paired with a bold cherry aroma. Very pleasent and inviting.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A very good, smooth cherry flavor. Nice and sweet with a touch of oak character. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall: A nice little treat that doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of brow1901
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wax top green bottle, something you don't see every day.

A- Pours a bright and ruby red. Initially there is a nice one finger off white head, the head has a nice pink undertone to it. Unfortunatly the head never lasted long, maybe it was my glass. Once the head dissapeared it looked like a glass of rose wine. The beer left no lacing either.

S- The smell is just pure cherries, but not fresh cherries. It smells more like a cherry pie. The smell is more earthy and nutty than fruity and tart.

T- The frist thing I notice is the tartness, it almost gets to the point where I make a sour face but backs off. After the sourness comes the delicious cherry flavor, this time more grassy and fruity than the smell. Finally the taste shifts to a dry oak and buttery taste, this really reminds me of a white wine.

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation. The carbonation is nessicary the keep the tartness in line.

D- One or two glasses is pleanty for me so a whole bottle is too much. The tartness and fruit flavors become too much for my palete. I enjoyed this beer when it was cold, like fridge cold, it was fun to taste it as it warmed but I found it better cold. Also I really regret not pairing this beer with some food or cheese.

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Photo of sideshowrob
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to bennetj17 for the beer trade.
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a oversized wine glass.
Sampled bottle with fellow BA nisjer05.

Amazing beer!!!! Bright hazy, reddish color, very small white head. Lots of carbonation, very little lacing. Looks like some kind of fruit juice. Fantastic smell!!! Smells exactly like fresh cherry pie filling. Yummy!! I can't believe this is beer! Very sweet and tart, a true pleasure to drink. Light and slightly fizzy mouthfeel. My first offering from New Glarus, and the best fruit I've tried so far. Only available in Wisconsin, so do whatever it takes to get this beer. You will not be disappointed.

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Photo of halfP1NT
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to EliteDigger for hooking me up with this one!

This beer pours a beautiful, cloudy, deep mahogany with a warm reddish hue, almost purple. There is a fizzy quality that creates a nice, off-white head with a red tint. Some lines of lacing are left behind.

First smell to hit my nose is sweet cherries. It reminds me of a black cherry soda.

Taste is sweet black cherries with a tart finish. The flavor coats the inside of my mouth and the tartness lingers for a while. It becomes even more tart as it warms. I actually enjoyed this beer at a colder temperature; I found it very refreshing.

This beer reminds me of a nice black cherry soda, except the beer's sweetness is not as overbearing, its body is more robust, and its carbonation bubbles are much smaller, giving it an enjoyable mouthfeel. This is a very unusual beer, like nothing I've ever tasted before.

This is a great fruit beer; just thinking about some other fruit beers that I think missed the mark (Southern Tier's Raspberry Porter comes to mind), this beer is right on. The sweetness is accompanied by a thick, full body and enticing tartness that makes me want to keep drinking.

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Photo of hoffman
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is amazing that anyone could capture the smell and taste of this beer. The beer is ruby red in the glass with a smallish white head. The smell is purely cherry like pie filling or marachino (sp) cherries. An amazing smell for a legitamate beer. I absolutley love it. The taste is largely sweet, and quite tart in the finish. Possibly some slight hops in there but mostly just cherries. The mouthfeel is quite creamy and good very nice. If you can get your hands on this one...try it. It is what it is and it is damn fine at that. Drink it after a big meal and you cannot help but be satisfied.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This was good. Poured from a champagne bottle; it has a garnet color with a small slightly pinkish head. The beer is light in carbonation although this meshes well with the sour and sweet tastes that are imparted from the cherries. Has a tremendous and complex cherry taste. This bottle was gone way too fast.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to LJArsenal, my Wisconsin pipeline, for this trade. I have to say that I wasn't expecting great things from a fruit beer, but god damn this is hitting the spot right now.

A - Bottle is sealed with red wax. Pours a deep red and brown with a beautiful 1/2 inch pinkish off-white head. Lacing goes all around the glass.

S - Lambic sourness with cherries prevalent in the background.

T - Syrupy cough medicine from childhood. Cherry and malt with other dark ripe fruit.

M - Thick and syrupy, mild carbonation tingle at the end. Coats the tongue similar to tannic wines.

D - A beer I'd want to drink around Christmas instead of those shitty macro Christmas beers.

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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 AllDayIPA23
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Was able to get a bottle in a trade. Really have been into fruit beers recently, and this one did not disappoint.

red cherry appearance. Big foamy head. Strong carbonation is visible.

Tons of cherry in the nose. I saw someone mention a creamy/buttery scent, and I definitely picked up on that.

Taste was a fantastic representation of cherry freshness. Extremely addictive taste. Very refreshing. Easily drinkable. Not overly sweet.

Light-body with strong carbonated feel. Creamy.

Wonderful beer that I had on my Want list for a very long time. Exceeded expectation. Would purchase over and over.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2 year old bottle. I've been sitting on this bottle for a while now. Drank the first one I had about a year ago. Decided to crack this one tonight. Why? Just because.
Poured into my Houblon Chouffe snifter.
Pours a clear garnet hue with a quick off white head. Head disapates to a nice ring of lace with some clinging lace up the sides. Lace is long lasting and clings throughout the entire session. Even roughing up the beer a bit, the secondary head drops very quickly. Frothy but quick. No signs of carbonation.
First whif is straight cherry reduction. Deeper than any cherry could give straight from nature though. Deep and rich and sugary, but definitely inviting. No hops present. No discernable malt overtones. Just cherries. Lucious, slightly smokey cherries.
Now for the goods. The taste. First thing that comes to mind is blood soaked cherries. I thought that the first time I tried this beer, and a year later, that's still what I think. You get a rich, tart, almost coppery tang. I can't expliain how deep the flavors go. Slightly sour, not like a lambic, but there is some "twang" there. Sweet and extremely drinkable.
EXTREMELY drinkable. No alcohol is present. Medium mouthfeel fills the mouth with cherry goodness.
This is a gorgeous beer. Albiet not for everyone, but I love cherries. This is the best fruit beer I've ever had. I dare someone to try to one-up this one. Good luck.

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Photo of Iguana
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle gotten via a trade with JeffKrenner

A: Poured a bright reddish with brown hues. 1 inch pink head that went down to lacing after a couple minutes.

S: Smells like fresh cherry pie.

T: Taste is simply amazing. Cherries, sour cherries, and umm cherries. As it warms up a nice chocolate taste starts coming through that took me awhile to nail down, but I thought it was tootsie roll flavored. Man thats a nice combo.

M: Smooth, very full and kinda tart which really brought everything together.

D: Quite probably the most enjoyable beer I have had to date. Gave my parents a try and neither of them who really cares for beer both said that 1 they would go out and buy. I know if I ever get the chance to get more of this, I will stock up. This beer is a must try for anyone especially if you enjoy cherries.

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Photo of thirdeye11
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a good friend in Wisconsin for shipping me some of this! I have the Raspberry Tart up next.

Presentation: Poured from 750ml bottle into a snifter style glass.

A: Beer pours an absolutely gorgeous red color that is clear, effervescent, but has little to no head or lacing.

S: Smells like cherries and nothing else. Reminds me of a cherry pie from the smell, slightly tart and slightly sweet.

T: I can't imagine a fruit beer tasting any better than this. It's straight cherry pie filling that is refreshing and so good. Goes down really easy, but I like to sip it because the tartness coats my mouth with each sip and I want more.

M: A little undercarbonated maybe, but aside from that I have no complaints. This one is great.

D: I don't think I could drink more than 2 8oz glasses of this due to its tartness, but man does it taste good.

This may be the best fruit beer on the planet. I know I haven't had a better one yet, but it is very delicious and ANYONE beer drinker or not should seek this one out if they get a chance. This could convert some non-beer drinkers to start.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt. 9 oz bottle. Pours with a quickly dissipating pinkish white head, that leaves behind next to nothing in terms of lacing. Beer is a pleasing, hazy brownish red color. Smell is dominated by tart cherries, with maltiness lurking in the backround. Taste is also dominated by cherries, with maltiness still lurking in the background. Mouthfeel is quite nice and tight with decent carbonation. Overall, though it's not a beer I would drink quite often, today is the hottest day in Chicago in five years, and this beer is incredibly refreshing and is really hitting the spot.

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Photo of kylehayworth
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Mark for this beer. We don't get New Glarus in IN, so this was a real treat.

A: Reminds me of the inside of a chocolate covered cherry. The amber hue when the chocolate and the cherry mix together.

S: I knew I was in for a good beer when I could taste it before the first sip. An overwhelmingly balanced yet intense smell of tart cherries, with a backdrop of some mild sweetness.

T: Strong but amazingly well balanced cherry taste. It is definitely real cherry here, no extract. Tart and sweet all at the same time.

M/D: Normally, I would say you couldn't drink more then one or two of these throughout the course of a night, not this one. It has a nice rich body with perfect carbonation. I really want to drive the four hours to Wisconsin to buy this again right now. For my first beer from New Glarus I would have to start the slow clap and build up to a thunderous roar...

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Photo of TVolt1
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful light red clear beer with light pink finger width of head.

S: Smells very strongly of cherries. Reminds me of children's cough syrup but one i would like to actually drink/taste.

T: Its a very good beer, reminds me of a wine more than a beer though. Tastes of cherry and berries. It is a drinkable beer and I think it has a great taste.

M: Great crisp, light, moderately carbonated drink.

O: Overall, i love this beer. Very easy to drink and pleasant taste.

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Photo of Popkas
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep reddish brown with a creamy froth with pinkish tones.

S: Wow, the cherries hit me upon opening the bottle and continue to dominate the nose. Very tart and a tiny bit of fink. Lovely.

T: More tart cherries. Very sweet complimented with a little sourness.

M: Thick and syrupy with loads of carbonation. Reminds me of a flavored soda.

D: Very enjoyable, but certainly only one in a sitting and it should be shared. I will certainly be enjoying more of these in the future.

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Photo of srroos
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a flute.

Pours a hazy brownish red with a short lived earthen tone head. The aroma is juicy tart cherries. The taste is tart cherries upfront with a sweet and slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Easy drinking, but well suited for sharing due to the tartness.

An excellent brew and a definite must try!

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Photo of iabeerbaron
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this while in Madison. Poured a dark red color with a off white head. Aroma heavy of cherries. This beer is always on hand at my house; perfect for dessert and great for people looking to try something different. First drink was very sweet. Very delicious fruit beer.

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Photo of Dansting
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a cloudy reddish-purple color with a light white head. No lacing. Aroma is very strong with a nice sour cherriness to it. Mouthfeel is excellent as it is very smooth. Flavor is a nice tart cherry taste with a nice sour aftertaste. An excellent beer.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 958 ratings.