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Serendipity - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

249 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 249
Hads: 2,495
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 31.03%
Wants: 509
Gots: 670 | FT: 91
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Lemke10 on 10-15-2012

Severe Drought, we shared the farmer’s horror as Wisconsin’s cherry crop failed! Dan bought what cherries he could. The Apple crop fared better. Then joy! A grand Wisconsin cranberry harvest. What will Dan brew with Apples, Cranberries and Cherries? Oh my! You hold the happy accident of Wisconsin’s favorite fruit aged in oak with an almost magical wild fermentation. Serendipity is a wondrous celebration that sparkles your senses and dances across your palate. A kaleidoscope of flavor discovered by accident in a sour ale!

Cheers to the unexpected.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 249 | Hads: 2,495
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to BA Stevedore for sending this in trade.

Enjoyed out of a 25 oz green bottle with black wax around the neck and cap. No dating information that I can find. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack tulip glass.

Appearance - Standard pour yields a two-finger head of pinkish tan, thick and frothy, with a few larger bubbles up around the top that start to burst slowly. Begins to dissipate gently, taking a good 4-5 minutes before the foam is completely gone, leaving zero lacing on the sides of the glass or along the edges of the beer. Body is a deep, garnet red that reminds me of cranberry juice. Not really hazy, but certainly not completely translucent.

Smell - Cherries, cranberry, honeycrisp apple sweetness, some fainter elements of spice--like nutmeg perhaps?--that lend a tiny hint of baked pastry to the smell. There is a light acidity to the aroma, but it's mostly fruity sweetness. As it warms, that acidity becomes even harder to detect.

Taste - Delicious! Notes of cranberry juice, cherry sourness, some crisper apple notes and an underlying tartness that comes right up to the edge, but doesn't quite pass into full-on sour territory. Tart fruit and I love how the cranberry aftertaste contributes some faintly bitter dryness to the otherwise almost cloyingly sweet flavors.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and close to syrupy, with light carbonation and a mostly sweet finish that has drier elements.

Overall, this might be the king of full-on fruit beers. As with any fruit beer, there is considerable sweetness, but this one uses the combination of fruits to balance the sweetness with some cleaner, drier flavors. I would gladly drink this one again, were it to fall into my lap.

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

A: Clear, deep red pour with about a finger of red-brown head. Furious bubbles hold up the head and make the beer seem alive. 4

S: The fruit is aggressive and all up front. Very sweet, red fruits seem to be the focus, but I can't place specifically which. The aroma is not soda-like or medicinal. 4

T: The taste is all about the fruit as well, not a ton of sourness, hops, or other flavors. New Glarus knows its fruits, and this is no exception. The fruit is the focus, but it's not fake or overly sugary which you sometimes run into with beers like this. 4

MF: Light and carbonated very well. The beer is very drinkable, I can't put it down! 4.5

O: New Glarus made a great fruit beer, no way! Seriously, if you like this style you can't go wrong with anything they do. 4.5

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

750ml waxed bottle from my main man in the Midwest...you know who you are...my wife was geeked to pop this one and so was I...big Want poured into my Hill Farmstead tulip (cheers Aaron)...

A: Blood red/amber pour yields a mostly clear body...quickly receding white head leaves a little lacing.

S: Fruity, sweet, and slightly tart...big apple component here with lots of red apple skins and apple juice character...cranberry...hints of mulled cider, even cinnamon? Maybe some caramel and hints of brown sugar as well.

T: Juicy, crisp flavors follow the nose...apples and a pleasant fruity tartness dominate...cranberries, cherries, and again a carmelly/brown sugar sweetness complements the fruity tartness. A bit puckering with a dry pulling finish.

MF: Tart(er) medium/light mouthfeel with medium carbonation and a drying finish.

O: Walks a fine line between sweet and tart, a good beer. I was (incorrectly) expecting something closer to a Wild Ale, and this is most definitely a fruit beer, period. Refreshing stuff.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got a 750mL bottle of this from Woodman’s in Janesville, WI in October 2012 for $8.79.

Happy accident indeed! New Glarus took the poor cherry crop in 2012 in stride and came up with a new delicious brew. Serendipity pours a burnt reddish color with a slightly pink head. The scent is still mostly cherries but is overall very fruity and sweet smelling giving it that classic sour ale smell. Taste is sweet and fruity with all the main elements (cherry, cranberry, and apple) evident in the mix. Added to the mix was the great decision to age this in oak to make this an interesting, fruity, and delicious sour ale that is supposedly only to be around until Jan 1 in place of their usual Belgian Red. Get it while you can folks!

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Photo of daledeee
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have found the fruit beers from New Glarus to be a treat in the past so I thought I would try this one.

Poured a 750 ml bottle into my Ommagang glass. Got a dark brownish red. Head, light tan in color went away but left some good lacing.

Nose is yeast and fruit as expected. Give it a swirl and floral notes appear as well.

I was skeptical. Many times really low alcohol beers are watery in nature. This one proved me wrong. A nice full mouth feel with strong fruity flavors. Definitely cherries and apples. I did not notice cranberries too much. Plenty of yeast thrown in. Carbonation is bubbly but not too much like champagne. This beer is more sweet than sour but that is OK. It leads to great balance in the drink.
I must say that this is one of the most satisfying beers I have had in some time. I was proven completely wrong with the thoughts of mixed fruit and low alcohol. New Glarus Brewing has proven once again to be one of the best fruit beer producers in the world.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a deep reddish brown hue. a two finger of so off white head forms and has good retention and leaves a huge frothy lacing along the sides of the glass. dark and almost opaque but some brightness shines through around the edges.

Smell: apple juice, cranberries and cherries. the sweetness is cut by oaky to funky aromas.

Taste: opens up with some apple juice flavor. as it develops the cranberries come out second and are followed by cherries. the cherries are the lightest of the fruit flavors but still detectable. the backend has notes of wood, earth and caramel. some funkiness comes through

Mouthfeel: medium to fuller feel. amazing balance on the sweetness. very drinkable and refreshing. just a touch of tartness.

Overall: New Glarus is 4/4 with their big fruit bottles. Amazing fruit character, perfect balance and great complexity. if you want a fruit beer look no where else.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours almost rusty red-orange with a gentle purple hue and light red bubbly foam that quickly dissipates. Pours a little murky.

This smells glorious, perfectly bright notes of apple, cranberries, and cherries.

After immediate anticipation for the sip after the aroma, I was not let down. Apple, cranberries, and cherries are spectacularly blended to perfection with tons of sweet and tart.

Light bodied, medium carbonation, acidic, and tart.

Overall, just an outstanding brew from NG, they cannot be touched when it comes to fruit sours.

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Photo of kevanb
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle served in a stemmed New Glarus flute.

The beer pours a great garnet color, hues of burgundy and ruby red when struck by the light, a light and fizzy offwhite head appears but recedes almost immediately leaving behind no lacing or traces of film. The aroma is of strong cherries, almost medicinal with lovely tart apples and cranberries behind it, very well balanced and pleasant, a true celebration of the fruit, just wish the cherries didn't have that cough syrup element. The flavors are wonderful, great apple taste right away, crisp green apple and juicy red apple are showcased well, tart cranberry and sweet yet tart cherries at the finish. It really is like a perfect blend of Belgian Red, Apple Ale and Cran-bic. All of the fruit flavors are so fresh and vibrant, so easy to drink and very enjoyable. The body is great, medium to high carbonation that really dances on the tongue, really helps bring out the flavors.

Verdict: Another smashing success from New Glarus when it comes to fruit beer. They have a knack for this and this one is no different, I will miss Belgian Red for the time being, but this is a stand out beer and hopefully one that stays in production after Belgian Red returns!

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Photo of brianmandell
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red pour. Super sweet and sticky. Fruit punch, berries and a touch of cranberry tartness. Full carbonation. Definitely a beer to share due to the sweetness but in small quantities its very nice.

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Photo of Lucular
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't find fault with any aspect of this beer. Bursting with fresh fruit flavor with not even a hint of medicinal taste like you so often get with fruit beers. Simply delicious.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at the sour tasting that I organized with friends. Split with many people. Thanks for the bottle, Josh. Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours (as expected) a reddish color with slight amber or brown undertones. There's a bit of carbonation, but nothing too excessive - same goes for the pinkish, 2 fingers worth of frothy head that leaves, as other NG beers, tons of foamy, beautiful lacing all around. I honestly don't know how Dan does it, but he fully understands the concept of producing a beautiful looking beer with various yeast strains and residual sugars, and this is no exception. Glimmers like many great Lambics I've had, although it still is distinct in its own right. Super appetizing looking.

Smells absolutely fabulous, with notes of cherries, red apple cider, and light cranberries, or raisins, wafting to the front of my nose immediately. While it does appear to be a bit medicinal at first (the cherries are to blame), they're immediately taken aback with the cider notes and earthy flavors, imparted from the apples, and also from the oak spices. Caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, licorice, baking spice, chocolate, and vanilla coat the fruits at hand, making this very complex and extremely aromatic. There's definitely notes of brown, toasted malts as well as a grassy, dry backbone to this, but this is ALL about the funky yeast strains, diverse fruity notes, and oaky flavors overall. Can't say I've ever had anything like it!

The flavor is also excellent, although it's far different from the aroma at had - a tad more fruity, caramel-y, floral, and medicinal. At first, you get an immediate explosion of ripe cherry skins with some light medicinal notes, often resembling cherry Twizzlers or something similar. But then, the apples provide a wonderfully robust, juicy, and slightly musty backbone often found in dry cider, with hints of cranberries, or raisins (maybe Craisins), providing a bit of tart flavors. Then, the fruits meld into a wonderful caramel aftertaste, resembling the kind of syrupy sensation that you drizzle on vanilla ice cream. And, yes, given the oak, there are great notes of nutmeg, baking soda, and vanilla beans than finish off everything when it's all said and done. Very creamy and well carbonated - maybe a little too sweet in some respects, but you can tell that everything was chosen very carefully and meticulously in the recipe. Moments like this make me truly happy.

God, I really loved this thing. I'm glad I still have another bottle, and I'm debating whether to open it or not any time soon. The fruits are wonderfully present and robust here, as they should be, and the funky yeast and flavorful oak notes really add extra complexity to something that's already wonderful in its own right. NG has got to be one of the best fruit-infusing breweries in the country - I can't wait to try more from them soon.

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

Poured from a bottle into a La Fin Du Monde snifter. The pour is crystal-clear and cranberry-red with some nice bubbles streaming from the bottom. There is 2 fingers of nice, fluffy head that dissipates rather quickly. The nose has lots of tart cranberry aromas. I also get the apples and, to a lesser extent, cherries.

The beer has a light body and a nice, bubbly mouthfeel. I get lots of fruit flavors, primarily sweet and sour cranberry and apple (cherries definitely take a back seat). The beer is quite sweet, but it feels like a natural sweetness and it is well-balanced by tartness from the cranberries. The finish is also quite fruity, puckery, and has a wine-like tannic feel, drying out the mouth and leaving flavors of cranberries lingering behind.
It is extremely drinkable and should be tart enough to please fans of spontaneously-fermented beers.

I just loved this beer. It was the first of 3 New Glarus beers I traded for that I get to enjoy and already it was the most intensely-flavored fruit beer I have ever had. It had such intense flavors, it was almost like drinking fruit juice. I suppose that might not appeal to some beer drinkers, but I really enjoyed it. I wish New Glarus beers like this one were available where I live (I had to trade for this one - thanks ABisonEgo). I wouldn't drink them all the time, but I would definitely crack one open every so often. One word of warning, though. Do NOT buy this beer if you don't like cranberries. Be warned!

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Serendipity.

750 ml bottle split with my wife. She'll drink fruit beers, and that's it. Luckily New Glarus makes some good ones, and they're readily available. Served chilled in accompanying New Glarus glassware.

A) Cranberry red with two fingers of pinkish head. The head slowly dissipated, until none remained. No lacing...

S) I picked up a good amount of cranberry, blended with ripe apple juices. There is a faint cherry aroma. There is a sweet tart thing going on here for sure.

T) The flavor definitely follows the nose. The cherry is more prevalent in the taste, especially on the backend. Starts out sweet, with an aftertaste that is just slightly tart.

M) Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It's pretty refreshing. Finishes a bit dry.

O) New Glarus knows how to make fantastic fruit beers. This is no exception.

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a wax sealed 750ml bottle into a champagne flute.

A - Pours a ruby red color with a small off white head that fades quickly.

S - The initial, tart smell really gets the saliva going. I could also pick up the smell of crisp apples and sour cherries.

T - Much like the nose, the initial sip is a bit tart, but balanced very nicely by the sweetness on the finish. Exactly as you would expect, the taste is of crisp apples, sour cranberries, and juicy cherries. Very tasty and refreshing!

M - The carbonation is fine and champagne-like, allowing the flavors to really burst in your mouth. Slightly dry and sweet all at the same time.

O - I enjoyed this just as much or more than the Belgian Red. This one is a little bit more sour and tart, but the flavors really blend together nicely. After drinking this, I only wish I had another bottle...

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Photo of KevChiTown
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I've only had this one with a year or so of age on it, so I can't comment on a fresh bottle. Pretty much my flavor fruit ale! Almost jam like in its intensity and depth of flavor. So damn delicious on a hot summer day.

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Photo of weonfire
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Light opaque burgundy, creme colored-pencil thin head. small bit of lacing.

S - Delightful! Wow it smells nice. Aged cherries, sour apple and cranberry- the bottle certainly does not lie. In combination: scents of peach and aged pear. Almost like opening a bottle of maraschino cherries.

T - initially: sour hits immediately. first cranberry followed by a mellow aged cherry and lastly sour apple. beautiful tart flavor bites the tongue. tart level 6/10

M - froth is excellent. immediately after- carbonation pops and tingles the tongue.

O - Wonderful sour. Nothing overwhelming in any flavor. blended excellently in the oak - perfect for an after dinner desert beer. My only downfall is I'd most likely only drink one of these.

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Photo of stealth
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a few of these for $8.99 off the shelf - what a deal.

Ruby red pour with a head that vanishes quickly. Steady carbonation bubbles, and pretty much crystal clear.

The aroma is delicious. Apples and sweet fruit. No sour notes, or hints of sourness.

This beer is absolutely wonderful. First notes I get with each drink are from the apples, then it fades into the cranberries and cherries. Some tartness, not sour. Very, very drinkable. It tastes very much like Belgian Red with some Apple Ale (like others have said as well). I love the apple notes in this.

Very light on the palate, prickly carbonation, super drinkable.

I could drink this all day, and would have no problem slamming a bottle like it was water. Awesome.

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Photo of mcrawford
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours reddish-brown. The smell is an amazing blend of tart cherries and just enough cranberries to keep it interesting. On the nose the apple is very faint. The apple is much more noticeable in the taste and provides a solid background for the cherry and cranberry to take their turn. It's fairly sweet but never cloying and the fruit brings enough tartness to keep it balanced. Mouthfeel is just about perfect. Overall another great fruit beer from New Glarus!

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Photo of yamar68
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

But looking forward to this one for some time now. Love the concept.

Beautiful looking beer - cranberry reds and darker pinks, stuffed with slow and steady beading and capped with a frothy pinkish white head that laces consistently from start to finish.

The lush tart red fruit notes are showcased in the nose, not as aggressively sweet as the others. Just piles and piles of fresh fruit juice aromas, berries and sweet apple, pear.

Fresh, crisp cranberry plays the lead role, blueberry and apple type flavors beneath that. It's fruit and it's beer. It's delectable.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter, the beer was a deep brown color with a reddish hint. A slight white head topped the glass with noticeably big bubbles most noticeable at the sides of the glass. In the aroma, one detects the sharp fruits notes, particularly the berries. In the initial taste, one gets the sour of cranberry and cherries, apple on a lighter scale, and an impressive woodiness. Hidden are notes of caramel, honey, and clove. The apple becomes more apparent toward the back of the taste. The sourness lingers, dancing on the tongue several minutes after the swallow. In the aftertaste, the sour fruits fade leaving the oak expose to your taste buds. The thick texture allows the taste to linger a great while.

Between this beer, Raspberry Tart, and Belgian Red, I think this is my new favorite. The carbonation is not as strong as Belgian Red, and the sour note as not as overwhelming as Raspberry Tart. I really hope Serendipity sticks around for a while.

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Photo of Strix
4.89/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear red with an orange-brown tinge, good initial head, gradually fades.

Smells of real cherries and cranberries.

Super complex. Cherry, cranberry, sweettart, cherry pie, real raspberry aftertaste. A bit of apple and blackberry as well? Not at all cloying, as refreshing as if this were solid real fruit juice.

Quite bubbly when cold, mellowed a bit when warm.

This is definitely my favorite of the 3 fruit beers. They are all a treat, but this is the one of the three I think I could drink a whole bottle of due to the others being quite sweet. Hope this becomes a permanent addition.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This spin-off of the famed Wisconsin Belgian Red is an apple, cranberry and cherry concoction from New Glarus. The beer pores a nut brown with red highlights and sports very little foam. The cherries pull through the aroma along with a heavy dose apples. The yeast also contributes. The flavor highlights the fruit: in many ways it reminds me of carbonated fruit juice with an emphasis on apples and a twist of beery goodness. The cherries nicely compliment the apples. The cranberries contribute tartness. The palate is left dry. This beer is complex with unique character.

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Photo of Jonada
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with no freshness date. Obtained in a recent trade. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours red/brown in color with 2 fingers of a light tan head that dissipates to thin foam coating and thick collar. Leaves a good amount of spotty lacing. Body is lightly hazy but still relatively clear.

Smell: Tons of fruit aromas. Apple, sweet cherries, honey, hint of mellon and a light tartness, which I'm guessing is the cranberries.

Taste: Same as the aroma. Huge fruit character, apple juice, maraschino cherries, red apple skin. There's a slight cranberry character in the aftertaste, but you have to reach to find it. The beer is mostly sweet on the palate, but is balanced just enough with a slight tartness and very light sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp with medium lively carbonation. No alcohol whatsoever.

Overall: Easily the best straight up fruit beer I've ever had. Not super complex, but it's not supposed to be. The beer is a canvas with which to showcase the fruit and it does it almost perfectly. This is definitely worth seeking out. If it was available in my area, it would be the perfect beer to stock up on and drink during the summer.

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Photo of NODAK
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma here is quite fruity as you'd expect, and mostly tart. Notes of tart black cherries are there....I percept the cranberries as well. There's also a strong dark fruit component, perhaps plum??

Pours bloody red in my glass....head is fair, though fleeting.

And the taste. Ah....a good one. Sweet cherries are upfront, quite delicious...the apple component is slightly noted as well, though minor and fleeting. It seems to be overshadowed. There's also a certain note of caramel present that peeks through. The cranberries and their tart offering to this beer come after that, with a bit of a tannic note....wrapping it up on a somewhat sour note.

Tasty and a lot more complex than their other awesome fruit beers. That's for sure.

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Photo of jbwimer
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite fruit beer. Sweet apple and some tart cherries. Really nicely balanced. Love how juicy this is without tasting just like regular fruit juice. Great body for a 4% fruit beer, too.

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Serendipity from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.