New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Glarus Brewing CompanyNew Glarus Brewing Company
BEER AVG
4/5
Based on:
34 Beers
9,490 Reviews
Place Score: 99
Reviews: 61
Visits: 340
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

2400 Hwy 69
New Glarus, Wisconsin, 53574
United States
phone: (608) 527-5850

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Gift Shop
Monday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Free Self Guided Tours
Monday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Hard Hat Tour - Fridays at 1:00 p.m.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 61 | Visits: 340
Photo of BStalf21
3.61/5  rDev -20.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4

New Glarus is located in a very cool looking building sitting on a hill over looking the town.

I was kind of expecting something different then what I got. You have pretty much free roam of the building. I believe they have guided tours at another location in town. Where I went they had a person walking around answering questions, but with as many people as there was I felt my time would be better spent waiting in line in the tap room than the brewery.

The gift shop had a nice selection of things that seemed reasonably priced.

The tap room I hoped for more from. They had a small bar with just 2 people working. They couldn't answer any questions about the beers I ordered and would refer me to their paper print out in hopes that would get me to leave them alone. Once well ordering 2 similar styles of brew I had to stop them to get them to come back and identify which was which. I was happy with the glasses you get to keep after your stay. I, also, wish they had more of their beers on tap.

Their beer depot was nice with all their beer available for purchase at discounted prices compared to local places offering New glarus beers and the option to mix and match. (1,181 characters)

Photo of chancy14
3.7/5  rDev -18.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

My fiancee and I visited New Glarus on the way to Madison earlier this month. Most of my impressions match what others have said, but I will add a couple of things.

One, if you're going to take a tour, make sure it's a guided one. They only have guided tours on Fridays, and they're booked up a few months in advance, so you'll have to plan ahead. If you take the self-guided tour (which we did, since we visited on a Tuesday), you'll probably be pretty disappointed, since there aren't any additional materials--a brochure, a sheet of paper explaining what each part of the brewery is about, or whatever--elaborating on what you're looking at. We were basically able to figure out what was going on in each part of the brewery, but a tour guide would probably be able to give some additional context, backstory, etc. to make things a bit more interesting. We ended up just wandering around for about 20 minutes before heading back to the gift shop/tasting area. It was a little dull, to be honest. We also didn't get to see the old brewery, since that's only open (I think) to people on the guided tour.

Two, the selection at the tasting bar is not great, as other reviewers have mentioned. When we were there, they had Spotted Cow, Two Women, Totally Naked, Black Top, and Serendipity on tap. Now, I like all of these (except Totally Naked, which I haven't tried yet), but I kind of wish there had been both more and more interesting/intense beers on tap. Spotted Cow and Two Women (and probably Totally Naked, judging by the reviews) are fairly mild-tasting, good-but-inoffensive beers; more importantly, they seem to be cheap and ubiquitous throughout Wisconsin. If I'm going out of my way to visit a brewery rather than just buying their beer in a grocery store or at a bar, I want to try something unique, that I can't get elsewhere, and/or something sort of fancy that I wouldn't normally splurge on. The only one of the five on tap that satisfied those criteria was Serendipity, which is (1) unique, (2) available elsewhere, but (3) expensive enough ($9.25/bottle in the brewery's Beer Depot, $9 in Woodman's in Madison) that I most likely wouldn't have bought a whole bottle without tasting it first. I was also glad to sample Black Top before buying more, because I find that style (Black Ale) somewhat more interesting than the two lagers and the cream ale, but it wasn't one of the beers I was most excited about by any stretch. Anyway, your mileage may vary on this one. Maybe others will think I'm nitpicking. But if you're hoping to sample some of New Glarus's most "exotic," highest-rated beers--their other fruit beers, Dancing Man Wheat, Berliner Weiss, etc.--during your visit, you might feel a little let down.

I don't want to give the impression that you'll have a bad time visiting this brewery. I had a fine time, despite the "self-guided tour" (really not much of a tour at all in the absence of informational materials) and the small tap-list. The beer they did have was pretty good (and in the case of Serendipity, awesome); the building and surrounding countryside are very nice to look at; and the gift-shop is well-stocked, if a bit expensive (as all gift shops are). But you will definitely have a better time than we did if you take the guided tour, and if you temper your expectations re: the tasting taps. (3,341 characters)

Photo of TheBungyo
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

This facility is amazing, just as most of their beers are too. What would drastically improve the experience here though is a wider selection of their beers on tap and a nice taproom to drink them in. (201 characters)

Photo of atorres
3.85/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

One of the coolest brewery landscapes I've seen. While their beer isn't mind blowing, this stop was worth the miles. Self-guided your was super cool as they pour you a beer and cut you loose. Free tasting glass with 3 six-ounce pours? Yes, please! The only downsides were that the level of excitement on the service side of the counter didn't come CLOSE to matching the customer side and that a lot of their beers were cheaper at the next door gas station than on site. Overall this was a cool both on the belt. (511 characters)

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.9/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I visited the New Glarus Brewery on 9/28/12 and the brewery is on a hillside outside of the small town of New Glarus WI. It was a sunny 80 degree day and the place was packed with visitors. This was likely because of the unseasonably good weather and the Octoberfest celebration going on in town.

The selection of beers on this day was somewhat limited, the Staghorn Octoberfest, Fat Squirel, Rasberry Tart, Spotted Cow and Two Women.

There is an indoor tasting room but it was mainly empty. A wood stove pizza maker, La Fortuna was on site and was cooking pies. We tried one and it was enjoyed by all.

They have a decent size gift shop and the Brewery was built with an enclosed hallway so you could tour the brewery by your self, though one employee was around to answer any questions you may have. They have a seperate area to buy beer to go but I did not vehture in that shop.

A great experience and we will defintely return. (937 characters)

Photo of Suds_Suds
3.93/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5

The location and scenery around this brewery was great. Very quaint and charming. The taproom was slightly disappointing though. They didn't have any special beers on tap (couldn't even find Scream on tap the day I went), and they don't have food. Extremely reasonably priced though. (284 characters)

Photo of arnold931
4/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

They have a beautiful new hill top brewery. The tours are self-guided, so you can get a pint at the sampling room and then wonder around the brewery at your own pace. They have an awesome selection of glassware and tee shirts available. Also a beautiful new outdoor garden when can sit and drink beer and look over the Wisconsin country side. (342 characters)

Photo of Charley_Wilson
4/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

I was visiting some friends in Madison, WI, and we made a day trip out of this place. It is just outside the town of New Glarus, WI, which is a Swiss-styled town. Therefore, the brewery is also styled in the same way, which makes it very impressive to the eye. They also have a ton of different classic Bavarian style beer steins in their merchandise shop, which makes for a great keepsake.

Their beer is fantastic, and well balanced. When I visited, they had a Sour Cherry ale as their seasonal, that was all around a great beer. I also tried a session ale that was refreshing, as a session should be, and a Brown Ale. The only beer I had that I wasn't a fan of was the Two Women Ale. It was a bit skunky, a la Heineken, Kokanee, and others of the same ilk. I know others love this style though, which really helps to make New Glarus a very well balanced brewery. We also had a 3 year old girl with us, and she loved the decor of the place, which was a bonus! (962 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I've got to admit, New Glarus's brewery is an impressive operation. It's been several years since I've visited the brewery and the new location is absolutely amazing. The building sits upon a hill and has been designed to look as if might be in the Swiss Alps. Rocks, stone, and natural colors make the brewery look like it belongs exactly where it is.
The inside is no less impressive. Wide open with lots of glass and more glimmering stainless steel pipes than it's possible to count. It is impeccably clean. The new self guided brewery tour doesn't have a whole lot of information on it, but if you know the brewing process, it really doesn't matter much. Gawking at the facility is all that matters.
There are two shops on the site. One, near the parking lot, sells beer to go, while the other is a gift shop that sells beer for consumption on the premises. For $3.50 you get three tastes and get to keep the tasting glass. For $6 you get a full beer and still get to keep the glass. Either way is a deal. The beer shop down below sells all of the regular offerings plus the latest Thumbprint and the R&D (currently the golden ale). The gift shop sells absolutely everything you could possibly imagine, tastefully branded with the NG logo of course, at less than reasonable prices. (My 4 year old daughter was able to walk out with a plush "spotted cow." "Fat Squirrels" also available!)
And while I'll admit I'm not NG biggest fan, I was still impressed by the brewery, the operation, and the genuine friendliness of the people working there. (1,548 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.14/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Managed to take the self guided tour of this brewery a few weeks ago. This place is huge! I never expected it to be nearly as big as it was. The building is beautiful inside and out. The gift shop was really nice lots of very nice stuff to purchase ranging from Glassware to Clothing. The tour was self guided but there was at least one employee there who was mingling with people and answering questions for the guests. The brewery is spotless clean.. I feel like I could eat off the floor in this place. The visuals in this place were great too, pipes and and tanks and a furnace are just a few things that stick in my mind just from walking around. The bottle shop they have is loaded with many of the beers they make there. I left with 7 New Glarus beers I had never tried before in addition to a bottle of Moon Man and Raspberry Tart. Overall it was a great place to check out. Very good all around, I would go back here in a heart beat. (942 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Ahh, the New Glarus Brewing Company. I have been here twice and would consider it a must stop.

The complex is up on a hill overlooking New Glarus. There are 2 shops, 1 for beer, and 1 for souvenirs. They carry every beer they make and sell it at it's freshest.

The other store doubles as a tap room and there is also another taproom. You can order a beer and take it anywhere in the brewery or sit in the nice biergarten out back. They also have an outdoor patio tap area but I haven't seen it open. They usually have about 6 beers on tap with most being 6 bucks plus a glass or the fruit beers and Golden Ale which are 9 with the glass. There are also samplers available. The only food here seems to be cheese and chips, there is also some soda.

The facility is wonderful. You can tour just about any part of the brewery by yourself, or get a tour on Fridays I think.

Overall just an awesome stop. (902 characters)

Photo of Fargrow
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Definitely a very German brewery. The short drive off the main drag is nice with European-looking lamp posts. Currently they're doing some construction on the building (to expand) but it's still fully functional. The brewery allows self-guided tours where you get to see a few things. There's a 4-way pedestrian traffic jam between the tasting room, the gift shop, then entrance, and the door to the courtyard. There's some cool swag in the gift shop. Not a lot of selecting in the tasting room, but there's also a big room downstairs where you can buy a lot of off-season beers. (579 characters)

Photo of Studs1991
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Very nice looking brewery. New Glarus would be much more fun to visit in the summer time to fully appreciate the patio area. I also wish they had a better selection of beers on tap, as well as a brewpub. (203 characters)

Photo of pagriley
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Super cool place to go and hang out and have a few beers. Really interesting self wandering 'tour' (no real information but you can just wander around and check everything out). I do wish it had food available in some more substantial form so I could make an afternoon of it! Without some kind of dining it is a bit of a brief stop (334 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited August 31st (Hard Hat Tour), 1:00 - 4:00 pm-ish

I've tried a number of New Glarus beers over the last 5-6 years, thanks to traders and friends in the area - but never at the source. I learned about a business trip I'd be taking to Iowa around Labor Day weekend all the way back in June; wheels turning in my head, I decided to extend the trip to Wisconsin and Illinois to see family and friends. Even in mid-June, the August 31st tour was booked solid (the 'Hard Hat' tour is only offered once weekly -Friday afternoons- and limited to 15 people). Oh well, I'd still visit and go on the free self-guided tour... until, that is, a phone call on Wednesday 8/29, just as I was leaving Des Moines, informed me that *one* person had cancelled and that I could have their spot (I'd asked to be put on a waiting list in June, even though I was told 'nobody ever cancels'!). Hell, yeah!

I showed up at the Riverside ('old') brewery a few minutes before 1:00pm and was greeted by brewer Stephen and Alyssa... after a short snafu over my reservation and some impatient waiting for a late-arriving group of six we started the tour. I've been on a couple dozen brewery tours over the years; this was among the largest and most impressive. Even though I feel knowledgeable about beer and the brewing process, it was fascinating to learn about how New Glarus does it and about their growth/expansion (no plans to expand beyond the Wisconsin borders, even though it appears they could quite easily). We thoroughly toured both the Riverside and newer Hilltop facilities, including brewing tanks, packaging lines and R & D labs. The tour concluded with a 30-minute tasting of several beers (bottles) and six heaps of tasty local cheeses. We also learned a little of the Swiss heritage of the neighboring/namesake village and why the building had to designed in the 'chalet' style to keep with the aesthetic and of a scale to not be an eyesore nearby housing developments. For $20+tax, I was very satisfied with the tour; my only disappointment is that Deb & Dan Carey (who usually greet the tour) were away for the Labor Day weekend. I'd have liked to have met them and shaken hands.

Afterward, I had just a few minutes to stroll the grounds and shop at the bottle shop. Didn't have room for much, so I bought a 4-pack of the seasonal Thumbprint Saison and a 750ml of Raspberry Tart. Prices are about the same here as they'd retail for elsewhere. Of note, there's some ongoing expansion of the gift shop/bottle store and also of the 'Sensory labs', so expect some construction fencing and minimal disruption in the next year or so.

All in all, a very good experience - one I'd recommend.

For the record, what we tasted:
* Beer: Totally Naked, HomeTown Blonde, Laughing Fox, Thumbprint Saison, Staghorn Oktoberfest and Raspberry Tart.
* Cheese: Aged Cheddar (Voegeli Farms), Petite Frere (Crave Brothers), Limburger (Chalet Cheese Co-Op), Raspberry Bellavitano (Sartori Foods), Baby Swiss (Alp & Dell) and Dunbarton Bleu (Roelli Cheese) (3,032 characters)

Photo of craft_shannie
4.34/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

I'm offering up a review after our sixth trip to New Glarus in the last 2.5 years. This particular pilgrimage was to pick up a personal allotment of wild sour ale, strawberry rhubarb, raspberry tart, berliner weisse, serendipity, and the 20th anniversary old ale (limit 2 per person). To see the brewery expansion over the last 3 years has been incredible, but at the same time the 'visit experience' is less personal w. each visit.

W. this last trip, we were a bit disappointed that of the beers that we were there for especially, only serendipity was available on draft for tasting. The gift shop & tasting room were both flocked w. tourists which made our time in both areas - cut very short. The adjacent grounds keep expanding as well, so were able to find a somewhat 'quiet' spot to look out over the WI countryside.

The beer depot is well stocked and organized. The beer itself - just amazing. Deb & Dan have done an amazing job - and I'm super excited about the expansion of their sours.

It's a great brewery, impressive grounds. I just wish that it wasn't such a WI tourist destination for non-BAs. (1,112 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

After visiting half a dozen times, it's still a fun place to visit, whether you take a guided tour, grab a pint and relax outside with a view of New Glarus nestled in the rolling hills, or buy cases to stack in your car for home entertainment. Service here is helpful, though they obviously aren't beer geeks tending the tasting room in the gift shop. If you want to geek out, i'd advise you go into the brewery and ask questions, they are fully prepared to answer nerdy beer questions there.

Originally reviewed on: 2010-02-22

I've been to the riverside and hilltop breweries, and the new one was exciting to see. We actually went twice over the weekend, saturday when we got to town, then again on sunday to pick up some beer and take a self guided tour. Saturday is when the tourists flock, so if you're not big on crowds, Sunday is much more relaxed.

Case prices might be a little higher than Woodmans, as they don't want to undercut their distributors, but you can be sure you're getting fresh beer straight from the brewery. Downstairs is the beer depot, it has a spartan warehouse feel, with concrete floors and pallets stacked high. They had a good selection of 4 Unplugged series, available in singles, 4-packs, and cases.

The tasting room and gift shop upstairs is also nice, with rustic stone floors and a patio with a lovely view of New Glarus in the distance. They were pouring the R&D Golden, 9+ oz. for $3.50, and they were generous.

The tour was fun, and there was a "beer expert" on hand to field questions. I learned all their beers were pasteurized, and that Cranbic was indeed filtered after barrel aging :) (1,636 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Well if you happen to be anywhere near here and know anything about good beer. You absolutely must stop here and take a tour or just walk around and soak up the scene.

The new hilltop brewery is a sight to behold. It's like the most beautiful beer church you've ever laid your eyes on. The place is a masterpiece of stone and mortar. From the gift shop to the downstairs brew barn. The inside of the actual brewery is like walking into a full on science lab. Spotless with everything in it's place. The copper brew kettles shine so bright you check your appearance in the reflection. The outdoor drinking area is spectacular on warm sunny days. Sipping on a pint of while taking in the rolling hills of central Wisconsin is simply heavenly.

I've been to the brewery more times than I can remember and I still get excited every time I go back. (846 characters)

Photo of mobius387
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3

First time at the brewery for the sour Ale release. This place is just a gorgeous brewery, inside and out. Great atmosphere, very clean inside. Great gift shop with lots of cool brewery related and Wisconsin related items. Went on a self guided tour, but they do have guided tours too. Great outdoor space for drinking the beer. The only criticism is that they only had their regular stuff on tap, not that those beers aren't great just don't expect anything special.

Overall, loved the brewery and the city is very cool too. (527 characters)

Photo of cmbezln
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3

Not sure if i'm adding anything insightful to the reviews here, but I just wanted to chime in and say that this is one of the best brewery facilities in the US, if not THE best. I can only judge on breweries I've personally visited, but this one is hands down the best. Beautiful area, probably the most beautiful in all of wisconsin. The Facility is gigantic and I dont even understand why it's so big given they only distribute in Wisonsin, but judging from the size, quality and complexity of the facility, it seems like they could taken down Miller-Coors overnight if they wanted to. The facility is just jaw dropping like nothing I've ever seen before.

As for the rest of it, the beer here is excellent. I often hear this place being touted as some of the best beer in the country, which I think it being very generous personally, but it's certainly some of the best in the midwest. Their beers have a lot of subtle charm to them that you might not pick up on at first drink (especially if you've already been drinking other beers), but given a clean palate and the right pairing, it really brings out some subtle flavors in a lot of their beers. I had moon man with ribs the other night and it tastes amazing.

Cons: As has been said: Horrible, horrible tap selection. The beers they had on tap were the same beers I could go to any gas station in the area and pick up. The types of people who travel to breweries are the types of people that want to try new/rare/seasonal/limited releases. The only saving grace here was they had ONE 'thumbprint', which I think is there name for seasonal brews, in the "beer depot" downstairs I was able to purchase.

Also, the fact that it's only open to 4pm makes it a very rushed, hard experience for anybody traveling from out of the area. If anything they should just shift the time slot forward, starting later, ending later. Not sure if this is some local political thing, but very inconvenient. (1,963 characters)

Photo of mrelizabeth
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

We have been wanting to visit New Glarus for quite awhile. Couldn't make it on a Friday for the "hard-hat" tours. If you are planning on booking one, do so months in advance, for they sell out quickly!

Amazing location. About an hour from Madison in the middle of some really beautiful rolling farmlands.

Facilities are top-notch. A self-guided tour lets you wander the brewery. You will be amazed at the organization of this brewery. Great engineering.

Decent selection of merchandise. 6-8 beers on top for tasting. Would have liked a few more "rare" beers on tap. Good selection in bottle shop, but would have loved one or two more incredibly rare beers to bring home to Cali.

Bottom line- do NOT skip this brewery. If you are anywhere in the Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison area, make it a priority. If you love beer and find yourself a little further away (Minneapolis, Urbana, etc) plan a visit. (899 characters)

Photo of stouts4me
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Yeah, their brewery is def a 100, what an amazing destination. Mind-blowing how big it is. I have not been a huge fan of their beers, but I do have a few favorites, and the Rasp and Red fruit beers are top-notch. The thumbprint series is usually pretty epic, too. (264 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

My wife and I drove up for a visit in late May. Having never been there before, we came across the original brewery first which did not look like it was exactly open to the public. We then found a sign with maps inside that gave directions to the new Hill Top brewery which is where the tour and gift shop is. The hill top brewery is only about a mile down the road and it beautiful. Since it was a Tuesday, we found easy parking.

We took the self guided tour and got to see Dan hard at work. It was pretty simple, but very interesting. We also did their 3 samples for $3.50 and got some New Glarus gear. I had to make a stop downstairs at their beer depot before I went home. I was surprised there was only one brewery exclusive beer, the rest I have easy access to at work. No food on site but plenty of bar and grills to choose from in their downtown district. Nice folks and would love to visit again! (907 characters)

Photo of bound4er
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75

Stopped at the brewery after a long bike ride. What an incredible setting and beautiful brewery. We had a couple of beers on the patio and then proceeded inside for the "self guided" tour. It must have been our lucky day as an employee who works in the micro lab spent almost an hour with us telling us about the ins and outs of the brewery, beer making process, packaging, etc. He was great - wish I could have remember his name. The gift shop had really nice stuff available but it was a tad pricey. My only beef is that in the tasting room they have no Thumprints available to sample. Worth the drive and may be one of the nicest breweries in the country. Can't wait to revisit the entire New Glarus area either as it is beautiful. (734 characters)

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

This is one of the places that got me into the craft brew game. I've never had a beer from here that I didn't like. I really like their thumbprint series (one of the best double IPAs I've had 2 years ago) and willingness to experiment each year with new styles. Great place to stop if you are ever in WI, as New Glarus is a cool little town as well. Worth the visit and worth it if you ever get a chance to pick some up! (420 characters)

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New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, WI
99 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.