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Unplugged Cranbic Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

524 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 524
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 243
Gots: 75 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: alcstradamus on 10-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 524 | Reviews: 316 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Pours a bright yellow with a splash of orange. A thick white head crowns the beer and slowly dissipates. Sour smells of fruit fill the nose with apples, cherries and cranberries dominating. A tad of sweetness follows. First sip is both super sour, super sweet, with a touch of bitterness. The sweetness is heavy enough to distract from the desired sourness. None the less this beer is unique. Mouthfeel is sparkling like a wine cooler to the point of not being a good thing as the sweetness also is like a wine cooler. In fact the best way to describe this beer is a wine cooler gone sour. Still enough good qualities combined with uniqueness makes this one worthy of being sought out.

ATLbeerDog, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of bsuedekum
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

Made a pit stop in New Glarus on the way to Minnesota this week, picked up this bottle at a liquor store in Onalaska since they were sold out at the brewery.

A - A very clear light red with about two fingers of head when poured.

S - Very similar tart/funk taste as the Raspberry Tart only with a cranberry background. Highly enjoyable

T - Delicious. Sweet, tart, cranberry balance with a slight less funk than what's detected in the nose. Well balanced and the only disappointment is that I didn't buy more of these.

M - A little light, very crisp with a sharp finish. Doesn't linger very much.

O - Great beer. I'd say if you like Raspberry Tart you're going to enjoy this one as much if not more. New Glarus knows what they're doing when it comes to fruit beers.

bsuedekum, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of suspect
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%

2011 vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stange. Thanks to beerwolf77 for the NG hookup.

A: Pretty crystal clear pink color. Aggressive pour leads to a fizzy 2.5 finger head that disappeared quickly. Mild amount of little bubbles coming up from the bottom.

S: Dry champagne smell with a touch of cranberry and a pinch of funk. Not overpowering but definitely not offensive. Nice smell.

T: Fruity front, sour in the middle and dry bitter cranberry finish. Really well done lambic.

M: Makes you pucker that's for sure but it's a bit undercarbonated. Not thin per se. Creates a lingering sour aftertaste that lingers.

O: A solid lambic and one that's very easily put back. A really nice brew and one that I would be glad to have on a regular basis.

suspect, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%

2011 vintage. Pint glass.

A: Pours amber and pinkish with a decent frothy, lively cap of white head which recedes to a ring. No lacing.

S: Fresh, fruity, sour funky cranberry, some dry woodiness (?). Wow, great stuff.

T: Refreshing sweet cranberry and a little spice, supported by some nice but pretty restrained tartness. I can see how this beer might be polarizing due to the sweetness; it's almost like drinking an off-dry rose. The funkiness doesn't really show through here much.

M: Carbonation is on the medium-high end. Light bodied.

O: Tasty, slightly sweet but pretty refreshing. Great warm weather beer. Drinkability limited only by the sweetness.

pmarlowe, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of wschmit
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%

12 oz. bottle into a flute.

A: Almost rose-champagne-like body belies a quick, red-tinted head that sputters out into nothing. Plenty of carbonation in the body, however. Could use better retention. Still, the pinkish, vaguely brown body is crystal clear and attractive.

S: Here's where things pick up. There's pretty good, varied tartness, and an oude-bruin sort of malty sweetness. Obviously cranberry is a big part of the nose, but there's a pretty pronounced lambic funk as well--a bit of gym bag and barnyard, very pleasant, and frankly unexpected. I assumed this was going to be on the mild side for a lambic. Quite pleased.

T: Puckering, right off the bat. Obvious cranberry, but with a balanced sweetness that keeps it just this side of a Sour Patch Kid. Then comes the horse blanket/wet hay notes--not strong, but noticeable, and welcome. A really great base lambic complemented by a seldom-seen but intriguing fruit pairing.

M: More body than I anticipated (a good thing), with pretty good carbonation. Not a trace of alcohol.

O: Well executed. I feel like it could have some better head retention, but it looks, smells, and tastes really nice. NG always puts out very solid renditions of whatever style they approach, and this is no exception.

wschmit, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

Thanks to Vande for the great New Glarus trade!

Beautiful light pink/red color and clear, head was small but had some lasting power and lacing was ok.

Smell was really tart, much like a flander's red ale. Cran-fruits and that typical "unplugged" New Glarus fresh smell dominated the nose.

Taste was pretty sour, cranny, and lightly sweet and fruity. Downright delicious!

Nice mouthfeel, easy to drink yet heavily fruity and well carbonated.

Good job again. New Glarus fruit beers rock!

AlCaponeJunior, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%

Grabbed the Cran-Bic as part of a big New Glarus haul from Connecticut Ave Wine and Liquors. Was very excited for this 12 oz. option when I wanted something exciting, but wasn't quite ready to crack open one of the few NG bombers I grabbed.

Poured a gorgeous deep rose color into a couple of wine glasses. Can't really understate how appetizing this beer looks, with a pretty fantastic smell to boot. Unfortunately, in the nose, I start to detect what's my biggest drawback for this beer - a ridiculously sweet aroma that ends up being just as much a part of the taste. There's a bit of sourness that comes through as well, but it's almost completely buried under the sugar. That off-kilter sweet-sour combination though is aided by the cranberry flavor - very fresh, very fruity.

I opened this beer hoping for a sour punch-in-the-face with some cranberry backing. I didn't quite get that. Too bad for me, but awesome for the two girls I shared this with. They absolutely loved it. In the end, it may be for the best. There are many more puckering kriek style beers out there than there are beers like this one. It may have been a sugar overload, but I won't forget it anytime soon. Especially when it was such an all-around crowd pleaser.

petacutlasaurus, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Thanks to mnbearsfan for this one.

A - Pours a clear light reddish-orange with the smallest white head, almost just a film on the top.

S - Strong fruit tones, cranberry of course and some slight wheat pokes through.

T - Funky fruit, cherry, cranberry, and again some wheat.

D - Sweet, low carbonation.

O - Fruity and sweet, not much funk.

HuskyinPDX, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of crewfan16
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

Picked up while going through Madison area this last weekend. poured from a bottle to a pint glass. my first review of a lambic, so here goes nothing

a-pours a clear redish, pinkish color. sort of the color of a shirley temple that has had all the ice melt. a little bit of orange haze when held up to the light. a light white head didnt last too long on top.

s-cranberry is obviously there. some cherry as well as some raspberry maybe. some sour funk to it as well, but not a bad smell

t-a very unique and different flavor. sweet raspberry followed by the tartness of the cranberry. a hint of bitterness and then more tart cranberry finish. not terribly dry for cranberry, but very tasty.

m-lots of carbonation, but it works well. a bit of a dry finish, but not bad for being cranberry. not a ton of body but extremely drinkable.

overall, lambics are not my all time favorite style, but this brew is really tasty. a bit fruity for me to drink a lot of but another great brew from new glarus' unplugged series.

crewfan16, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of tewaris
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%

A part of what was known as the Unplugged series earlier, Cranbic belongs to the Thumbprint series of New Glarus' experimental and specialty beers. 2011 release poured into a Surly pint glass.

Pink hued, and brilliantly clear, Cranbic pours with a light rosy head that is pedestrian for Lambics, and that minuscule head leaves soon too leaving some patchy lace. Aroma hints at the sourness to come, along with some funk that I didn't notice at earlier tastings. Lots of spice (clove and cinnamon).

Tastes fruity tart with strong notes of spice, and surprisingly only a hint of cranberries. Maintains its beer roots instead of tasting like cranberry soda. The finish is tart and long with some funk at the back. Quite acidic overall, and more so than many a Gueuze in my opinion!

Well carbonated, very crisp and very very refreshing. And yet it doesn't settle as well as a similar beer would sit with this weather because of the spicy notes that remind me of a Winter Warmer/Christmas beer :/

Overall a beer that is above average for fruit beers and at an unbeatable price! (~$10/4-pack)

Appearance 2/5; Aroma 3/5; Taste 3.5/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 3.5/5

tewaris, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of peabody
4.4/5  rDev +5%

Pours out a pinky red color with lots of suds.
Smell is very berry and cherry/cranberry skin.
Taste is very sour with a bit of sweetness towards the end of the taste.
Mouthfeel is a little sticky but the sourness cleans the palate where you want to drink another drink every minute or so. No alcohol in any of the catagories at all.
Overall this is a great sour. I really like this.

peabody, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of cptnspeed1
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%

On tap at the Library in Madison. I've also had it in the bottle, and it doesn't change the review either way.

A: A beautiful ruby color with a half inch of off-white, slightly thick for the style head.

S: The cranberry is present as is the vinegary sourness. I don't detect much funk.

T: It's the sourest of the NG fruit beers, but its still not as sour as a typical Belgian lambic would probably be. The brightness of the cranberry shows first and foremost and is showcased nicely. It's a fruit that is hard to be overbearing with its sour not sweet nature. A bit of vinegar and some tart cherry pop through.

M: Smooth for a lambic and slightly on the "wet" side (ie not as dry). It does still have some dryness to it though. It is highly drinkable and not as sweet as its siblings.

O: A great beer at a great price. I plan on stocking up.

cptnspeed1, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of Klym
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%

Poured into a new glarus flute.

A: Like a shirley temple that is light on the grenadine with carbonation and a head to match.

S: Cranberry and raspberry sweetness with some cherry tartness and a tad of pine.

T: All of what is in the nose but wow, do the flavors dance and interact and changes. Tartness sweetness and itensity vary throughout the drink and give an amazing gustatory experience.

M: medium bodied with a little but of a syrupy viscosity and large-bubble carbonation feel. Great mouth on this.

O: This is one of those beers that tastes and feels so great in the mouth I can't help but give it a 5.0 even if I wanted to do otherwise. Seriously, ridiculously delicious and enjoyable to drink. Get this.

Klym, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

12 oz bottle poured into a Town Hall snifter.

A- One finger white head that dissipates quickly to a nice bubbly ring around the glass, clear pinkish red color, nice lacing and retention.
S- Nice tart aroma, some vinegar, sweet cranberry, slight funkiness in the nose,
T- Very tasty, sweet sour taste, tart, really nice fizzy bite after every sip, fresh cranberries really make this beer tasty.
M- Medium, tart, really smooth, clean finish.
O- Solid beer, I could drink this all day, love the sweet tartness, really easy drinkability and delicious.

Chriscrundwell12, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of uwmgdman
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

This ale pours into my snifter brilliantly clear pink-copper color with a bright white head that quickly diminishes to a skim. The aroma is oh so inviting--very fruity, obviously loads of cranberry and hints of wood. The flavor is sweet fruit upfront that quickly turns quite tart, yet velvety smooth beneath the pricks of high carbonation. The tart cranberry flavor lingers on the palate as the beer dries out after the swallow. Overall an absolutely delicious beer -- fruity, tart, very refreshing -- what a gem!

uwmgdman, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of Cavery
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%

shared with SundaySour couple nights ago, review from notes. This beer was acquired in a trade with a friendly Wisconsin BA who sent some NG goodies on short notice to my brother. My brother (Klym) gave me a 12 oz to try. Cheers to both!

Poured into a New Glarus flute.

thumb print (2011?) bottle.

A: An unusual coloration of rosey pinks, peaches, reds, and yellows. This reminds me a lot of nectarine skin patterns. No head or lacing or foam. This has a very high-sugar-soda-pop look. The amazing collection of colors keeps this an interesting looking brew.

S: Tart cherry skins, peach juice cut grenadines. A bright fermented plum scent that makes it hard for me to arrive at cranberries. A nice smell, but fairly standard brightness for the style. Lots of sugary dried fruits in here.

T: Oh damn, crazy delicious. A juicy sweet tartness that makes me salivate sip after sip. A very difficult flavor to pinpoint. There was an amazing job by the brewing of extracting complex sugary sweetness out of the cranberries, and only a subtle inclusion of its tartness. Sugary mandarin orange sweetness with the tartness of a fresh sun-dried tomato. Deliciously deep swirling complexity in a pendulum that swings over and back through oaky wood dividers of sweetness and tartness. Untamed wild berry complexity without a second of boredom. Late suggestions of dry wild berry jams.

M: Effervescent mouth that spreads through the mouth and nose like a deliciously potent pepper spray. An ultra fancy dryness that is more like rapid evaporation than medicines. Very strong showing here as well. Simple, but refined and fancy-feeling.

O: New Glarus really rocked me here. This is a hauntingly good brew. A beer that is fit for all fancy occasions and sits comfortably in flute glasses. When you make your first million, pour this into your flute. A million dollars in your pocket, a million dollars in your glass. This was an Insta-click exceptional beer. It let's you know how good it is from the very first sip. I could crush a vat of this fairy blood. This is seeping with flavor magic.

Cavery, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Slender lacing, color lands between copper and rose. Smells of tart cranberries, rose water, fresh cut wood and subtle wild flowers. Very puckering, very out there. Got some funk going on, mild but I'm getting that same rose water flavor as I did in the nose. Botanical, could be a by-product of the yeasties eating up the cran-sugars. Wood has a delicate pull on the palate. Very dry and certainly tart, all of which make for a very interesting brew. I am without a doubt happy to run into this beer.

Jason, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%

12 oz bottle poured into a New Glarus flute.
No date or info on the bottle. "Serve cold in a flute glass."

A - Tawny light red in color, Cran-bic shines nice and vibrantly as the clear beer releases few bubbles following the pour. A low, very light pink head is fleeting and leaves a tiny collar of lace on the glass.

S - With an aroma almost exactly like their last incarnation of Enigma, Cran-bic has brown malt and toast undertones with an upfront fruit presence that's quite a medley. Faint tart cranberry, fig, and some artificial strawberry. A mellow funk and wet wood comes through but it hides in the back mostly.

T - Malty sweetness, also reminiscent of the brown ale base for Enigma and Apple Ale shows bits of toasted wheat bread but plays a better role as just being a backbone. Moderately tart cranberry, along with other fruit nuances, finishes up with a light musky and wood note.

M - Spritzy with heavy carbonation, Cran-bic has a light body with a delectably tart finish. A treat for the hardcore sour fan and newbie alike, the lightly dry, refreshing and crisp finish begs for another sip.

O - Both a big compliment and disappointing insult at the same time, this beer is incredibly close to Enigma. So much so, they're nearly identical. The malt, the fruitiness, the light oaky musk; they are all fantastic characteristics but don't differentiate this beer enough. A little separation between it's "overall fruitiness" and the cranberry aspect would help it stand as it's own a little more. With that said, I'm reviewing this beer on it's own merits, in which case, it rocks. Grab a few four-packs of this beer, cause this'll flow down the hatch all too easily during these last few weeks of summer. Additionally, it pairs perfectly with Sartori's Raspberry BellaVitano cheese made with New Glarus' Raspberry Tart.

BeerFMAndy, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of WastingFreetime
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%

Pinkish-Orange (Kind of Rose-y colored) crystal-clear like a jewel in appearance, with an effervescent sparkling fizzy soda-style carbonation that matches well with the light crisp soda-style body. No head or lacing, just soda pop rising bubbles.
Smells of fresh tart cranberries, black cherries, , tannic oak wood, minor chords of apple cider vinegar and yeast with a whiff of light toasted malt. Amazingly complex and what's strange is that the proportional balance of each of these nose elements shifts around oddly as it warms up to room temp, but yet it never seems to fall into disarray or disturbing smell territory.
Taste is nicely sour-assertive in that signature NG fruit beer way. Very acidic, swiftly drinking this brew may lead to an upset stomach. (So don't be stupid and chug it) Sipping the beer reveals unfolding petals of oaked wood with old leather sub-harmonics mitigating the harsh pucker factor of raw tart cranberries by overlapping the astringency of the wood aging on top of the cranberry astringency, anchoring it into the middle of a perfect picture frame made of oak wood. The flavor of the lingering semi-dry finish develops a medium walnut-like character out of the blue that reminds me of Thanksgiving desserts. The sweetness and sourness are absolutely dead-on balanced against each other, neither overwhelming nor obnoxious, yet both also remaining boldly assertive and retaining a special kind of clarity.
I can't wait to see how this one develops in the cellar. My only complaints are that the malts themselves are somewhat hard to find in the taste, and that it might be interesting to experience some sort of head on top of the brew.

WastingFreetime, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%

12oz bottle of the 2011 Thumbprint vintage into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear ruby-red grapefruit body with a finger of frothy white foam; mediocre retention, but nice chunks of lace for the style. Lovely color.

S: Whoa, I was not prepared for this: it actually smells like a Lambic. Unlike the (amazing) fruit-bombs that are Wisconsin Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart, this beer leads with the funk: I’m getting some cheese, a bit of oak, and plenty of barnyard on top of straight lactic sourness. As it warms, some rich, fairly sweet cranberry aroma joins in. It’s absolutely amazing, and my only complaint is that it isn’t a bit more intense. Maybe with time…

T: Lactic and acetic sourness start things off, followed by a bit of funk and then a huge wave of juicy, vibrant cranberry that somehow lacks the bitterness that turns me off from whole-berry cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. The fruit sticks around seemingly forever on the long, semisweet finish. A bit of tannic oak balances out the sweetness perfectly on the aftertaste. The fruit gets more and more dominant as it warms, but never entirely outweighs the lovely funk and sourness. This is an amazing beer.

M: The body is just a touch shy of medium, and full of fairly lively, prickly carbonation. Not the beer’s strong suit, but not bad for the style. Fairly average.

O: I had high hopes coming in to this one, being a huge fan of the other fruit beers that Dan Carey had put out; based on how sweet they are, though, I was a little dubious as to the decision to identify this beer with true Lambic. One sniff was all it took, though, to put my doubts to rest: this is a truly wild, crazy, funk, fruity masterpiece of the style. I like it every bit as much as every fruit Lambic I’ve ever had (with the possible exceptions of Blåbaer and St. Lamvinus), and it makes me absolutely desperate to try a cranberry Lambic from Cantillon or 3 Fonteinen. This is seriously in the same league, and I do not give praise like that lightly. For ~$10 a 4-pack, this might be the single best value for a sour in the country. I’ll be buying as much as possible.


woosterbill, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

2010 vintage shared with Tony (ahalloin), thanks man.

A: Has an almost clear look with a gold highlighted orange huw. Nice ring of white head and some lacing left on the glass.

S: Fruit and oak combine nicely, a little tartness in the nose but not much. From all the New Glarus beers I've had, it seems their yeast kind of has a signature aroma in all these fruit beers. Raspberry seed, some other spices and sugar.

T: Very nice taste with exploding cranberry, raspberry and vanilla dessert all with oak, seemingly with a sweet crust or tart crumble on top. Very nice balance, just slightly tart but also sweet. I also get some dry grapey notes here as well.

M: Nice on the palate, seems light and refreshing and a bit thin. Nice for summer.

O: I enjoyed this beer and would buy it if it was easy to get (not).

Dreadnaught33, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of Scrumtralecent
4/5  rDev -4.5%

2011 version, poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A - A light rose red hue, with a thin head that quickly fizzles. Reminds me of pop almost.

S - Cranberries, and more cranberries. Has a darker subtle maltiness to it, but cranberries dominate with a little sour to them.

T - A nice cranberry carbonated juice taste, that sweetness is just up front and center. A little sour tinge, but nothing to make you pucker. Perhaps a little one dimensional, not sensing much backbone or lingering flavors besides cranberry. But what they did with the cranberry is very good.

M - Quite light, and lots of carbonation.

O - A solid beer, and wonderful summer beer. Very drinkable and approachable to any palate. I'd be interesting to see what some age would do to this.

Scrumtralecent, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of prdstmnky
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice. A reddish orange body, some pink highlights, and somewhat cloudy. Maybe a finger of light pink head - what there was fell pretty fast.

Nose is tart and sweet, cherry and cranberry as well as everything the oak brings to the party. Even as upfront as the smell is, I was still a bit shocked at how bold and fruity it tastes. Big on the cranberry, and the tart / sweet play off each other well. Very drinkable, and Im not even that crazy about cranberries. Medium bodied and maybe a bit below average carbonation. Really good - wish I had more!

prdstmnky, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to Homebrew311 for sharing this bottle!

And here a pretty crazy tasting ends. Good times. It pours a mostly clear pink sunset topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises raspberries, black cherries, cranberries, and very light roasted malts. The taste holds notes of sweet cranberries, raspberries, nutmeg, and black currants. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, considering my general distaste for cranberries, this wasn't half bad. I wouldn't mind having another, frankly. Pretty good times.

TMoney2591, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Mdog
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%

Appearance: Looks pink coming out of the bottle but amber in the glass. Fast fading head knocks off a point.

Smell: Cranberries, leather.

Taste: Tangy cranberries but not overbearing. Woody flavors balance out the tangy fruit.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. My glass was empty in no time. Tasty and reasonably priced.

Decided to give the Cranbic a try even though I haven't liked cranberry-infused beers in the past. I was pleasantly surprised by this, I think the wood aging knocked a fair amount of tartness out and replaced it with woody notes, that enhanced my enjoyment of this beer. I might even have to get a 4 pack of it next time I'm in Wiscoland.

Mdog, Jul 23, 2011
Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 524 ratings.