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New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Glarus Brewing CompanyNew Glarus Brewing Company
BEER AVG
4.01/5
Based on:
34 Beers
9,600 Reviews
Place Score: 99
Reviews: 65
Visits: 354
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: 65 | Visits: 354
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 lewk556
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I've traveled here twice now and I just love the place. I believe prices are up from last year, but still very good value. Your first pint comes with a glass and from there you can elect to get refills for a couple bucks cheaper or get a new glass if you want to take it home. Thumbprint series and fruit beers are a couple bucks more. They also have tasting glasses which are smaller but come with a wristband with 3 fills. The outdoor area is beautiful with plenty of seating and inside you can do a self-guided tour of the brewery at no charge. (547 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)

Photo of mdfb79
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Awesome place. Self guided tour which is cool, a nice tasting room/gift shop with all the normal beers on and a good system, and then a shop in the bottom which had a ton of everything and a fantastic selection. Everyone was nice and service was great, got everything I wanted. Great prices too...would happily go back. (319 characters)

Photo of Get_Lowell
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75

One of the most bucolic breweries in Wisconsin. Beer selection is surprisingly limited in terms of what's on tap. The beer that they do have is perfectly poured and fresh. Gift shop has everything else you're looking for! Staff is super friendly and the tour is impressive with regards to the scale of the facility. Prost! (322 characters)

Photo of NickyPogs
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

The outdoor grotto at New Glarus is beautiful. The stone work and half walls makes it a really amazing place to have a beer. The architecture of the building makes it feel like a Swiss Chalet or something straight out of Europe. The view on top of the hill is awesome and I enjoyed everything about visiting this brewery.

If you are an avid craft beer drinker, this is a must stop on your travels. (399 characters)

Photo of JohnnyTightLips
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Probably the prettiest looking brewery I ever laid eyes on. I liked the curvy gravel road detour you had to take off of route 69 to get there, which felt like you were somewhere off-the-path. When I first saw this place, it looked so new & nice that it could of been mistaken for a high end resort/ski lodge. You could either go upstairs, or to the right of the stairs was the beer shop. Weren't too many people there, just a few old touristy looking people.

The upstairs portion is the gift shop/tasting room. Service was nice and professional, despite hearing from others that the girls that work in this part were clueless when it came to their products. The girl there (short, big breasted redhead) was very knowledgeable and knew the answers to all my questions. She said that the reason why they don't sell in Illinois was that its very hard to obtain a license to sell beer in Illinois and that the high taxes didn't help either.

In the same room were some taps, where you could sample 3 3oz. beers for $3.50 and you keep your glass or you could get a pint for $6, $3 for refills and get to keep the glass. I didn't like that you only had 6 to choose from and I wasn't too happy about Dancing Man and Crack'd Wheat not on the tap list, when you bring up my visit in the summer and both styles were tailor made for the hot weather. There was a zig zag hallway, with a few windows that showed small rooms of where the magic happens followed by a trophy area where various medals/accomplishments were shown.

The beer shop at the bottom was basic. There was a lot of beer there, about 40-50 cases of each brew. They didn't have Crack'd Wheat when I was there. Pricewise, it was a little high, but when you come from a different state that has a higher cost of living, you probably wouldn't complain about the price. Anyway, here's the breakdown:
$8 6 pack
$9.75 Unplugged 4 pack
$16 2-6 packs
$30.50 a case (non-unplugged)
$8.75 750 ml fruit beer
$1.35 single bottle (had a mix n' match option)
They also had limited beers that were only sold there which were Two Women Pilsner (350 ml for $5.00) and Golden Ale (350 ml for $8.00)

Overall, I wouldn't go back, but its one of those places where you have to go just once, especially if you're a fan of their brews. Roy's market and the 2 gas stations off of route 69 sell their beer cheaper. (2,346 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I visited with my wife in July 2013, after good intentions for several years we finally made it. Located in southern Wisconsin's rolling hills, this is a beautiful beer stop. I found the views to be reminiscent of Andechs in Bavaria (high praise).

You can buy beers to go in the "beer depot", located next to the parking area. Open from 10:00-4:00 daily (same hours as the gift shop I believe). All beers are priced about the same as area stores, about $9.50 for 4-packs or bombers. Cases of Thumbprint series beers went for $55. This lowish price point highlights such a strength for New Glarus, an absolute value for the high quality and taste of their beers.

The gift shop is well stocked, plenty of different beer glass styles, bottle openers, shirts, signs, and other beer paraphernalia (soaps, games, etc). The tasting room is included in the gift shop, with 6 taps serving their standard beers + one special (currently Serendipity). You can get three 4oz samples or one 12oz beer for $6, and you keep the glass to take home. That's extreme value, especially for the 12oz pour as it's a beautiful glass.

The only seating is outside, and they are in the process of expanding it. It's a really nice courtyard, with new seating along a rocky path leading down the hill side. I saw a new tap-serving station on the slope as well, that should be nice when it's operational.

Only 2-3 hours from anywhere in Chicago, an oasis compared with urban breweries. So many craft breweries have an industrial feel when visited, but NG provides the counter-point. The only improvement I can imagine would be to add a modest (or not so modest) restaurant to compliment their excellent beers. (1,683 characters)

Photo of atone315
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Seeing as though it is only 2 or so hours from my house, I have visited New Glarus' brewery a few times. 2-26-14 was a completely different visit though.I went with a group of 4 other friends on their Hard Hat Tour. This tour is held once a week, on Fridays, at 1pm. It's apparently pretty popular too, as we had to buy tickets 6 months in advance.

So, the tour starts at NG's old Riverside Brewery where they now brew the specialty beers and fruit beers. Also at this facility is where the Wild Fruit Cave is located. This is where they keep all the barrel aged goodness and their coolship. So.freaking.dope.

After exploring the Riverside Brewery, our tour moved on to the main brewery, Hilltop. As you approach on Hwy 69, you see a Willy Wonka looking set of buildings built to look like a small Swiss village which goes along with the town of New Glarus so well you would think the Careys built the whole town.

This brewery is impressive!!! It's similar to MillerCoors in Milwaukee, not in size, but in cleanliness and organization. I'm a hobbyist photographer and I literally could have taken thousands of photographs. Everything in this place is amazing, even the plumbing and piping!!!

During the tour we were visited by both Dan and Deb Carey, the owners. They were extremely cordial and it seemed like they could talk to us forever. You can definitely tell what makes this brewery so successful, as these 2 are the backbone of the place and it showed during our visit.

Overall, this place is simply amazing! I would recommend to anyone that is thinking of visiting to do the Hard Hat Tour, it was the best beer experience I have ever had!!! (1,655 characters)

Photo of krl2112
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

This brewery is out in the middle of nowhere but that is actually nice. You drive up a winding road to the brewery and the outside is beautiful. Very pretty landscaping and beautiful old world kind of looking buildings. Nice gift shop and you can walk through the brewery on your own self guided tour which is nice. Also, the tour is free. Then you can go to the tasting room and it is extreemly reasonably priced!!! THey also have a nice bulk beer room where you can buy whatever they are currently brewing. Overall a very nice experience. I would highly recommend if you are in WI. (583 characters)

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

I can't go more than a few months without a visit to the brewery/town.

New Glarus is my everyday beer of choice. I drink, dabble, and am always looking for a great new beer, but I keep New Glarus beers in stock at all times.

If you love beer New Glarus is somewhere that you must visit/drink/enjoy.

Only in Wisconsin!!!! (324 characters)

Photo of IMFletcher
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Our last visit was two years ago, so much has changed at the brewery since then, and all of it for the better. The back patio area has expanded greatly, with a beautiful view, tables, and even locations for taps outside the tasting room. When there's events, I'm sure this is a great place to be.

The brewery is beautiful and gigantic. To think all this equipment only supplies one state....

The gift shop is nice, with a large selection of swag.

The beer store is the best place for getting the freshest beer, and often beers you won't find elsewhere. There was a Thumbprint Winter Warmer Scotch Ale on the shelves. Prices are reasonable, but you can hunt stores for bargains if you are pinching pennies.

The tap room had a much larger selection, with about 8-10 available, including Belgian Red, Serendipity, Berliner Weiss and Dancing Man Wheat. (852 characters)

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New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, WI
99 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.