New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Glarus Brewing CompanyNew Glarus Brewing Company
Based on:
33 Beers
35,848 Hads
Place Score: 99
Reviews: 67
Visits: 360
Avg: 4.53
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 

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: 67 | Visits: 360
Photo of amano_h
4.06/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

I'm slightly torn on how much I like the New Glarus Brewery; whereas the brewery itself was probably the most unique brewery I've had the pleasure of visiting bar none, my inclination toward brewpubs, where the focus is more about being able to sample as much of the brewery's beer as possible (e.g. All four Stone Brewpubs/Stations, the Three Floyds Brewpub, the Dogfish Head Brewery) as opposed to those that tend to focus more on the history and legacy of the brewery (e.g. Ommegang, NG, and... NG) kind of had me thinking NGBC fell a little short of a perfect experience.

That being said, the brewery is actually really cool; until visiting the brewery I had no idea that the town of New Glarus was Wisconsin's "Little Swiss" and a lot of what is now considered Wisconsin cuisine has Swiss roots. First time visits here will definitely last longer than your average brewery tour, even if you're not a big fan of beer, due to the sheer size and amount of things on display at the brewery.

But despite all the cool touches from the country that brought us the Matterhorn...ish, I can certainly see how hardcore fans of the craft beer company that only distributes to the state of Wisconsin--beating out the likes of Great Lakes, Victory, Ballast Point and many others that distribute pretty much to every state that will have them, in NATIONAL SALES--might be a little disappointed with the brewery experience, or the lack thereof, at New Glarus.

The following is a small wish-list I have for NGBC, that would probably bump mine and everyone else's rating of this establishment to a 5:

1. More beers on tap!
Not that there's anything wrong with the Beer Depot they have on site (all hail the beer depot!) but when I went, there was only three year-round selections (Moon Man, Spotted Cow, Two Women) plus one "special," which was Raspberry Tart. As much as I enjoyed all of these with the three tasters, I probably would have stayed a lot longer if they had some of their other non-year rounds available on tap (something that's already hard enough to find). I'm pretty sure droves of people would have flocked to the non-AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile friendly town of NGBC had word got out that the likes of Cran-bic, Scream IIPA, Apple Ale and etc. were available on tap on a seasonally regular basis. Oh and given NGBC's long brewing history, a tasting wheel (insert Hyperbole and a Half meme with "drink ALL the beers!" caption here) would have been nice too.

2. More Brewery exclusives!
I know that NGBC occasionally puts out and sells out of their R&D Series as probably one of the hardest to obtain and most sought after brewery exclusives in craft beer history (if you don't believe me, go look up the price of an R&D VSB or VSP on one of those many sites that sell "empty bottles" online), but heck, they don't all have to be as epic as the R&D series--just something that you know you can only taste at the brewery would have made the drive from Madison (which by the way only has one noticeable landmark, which would be the EPIC Campus) a lot more tolerable. And probably encourage return visits.

3. More Food!
Yes, the outdoor patio with the pizza is nice, but somehow doesn't really tie in with the whole Swiss theme -- heck, even a Moon Man Battered Cheese Curd stand would probably make the trip a whole lot enjoyable.

4. Less Flies
Pretty self-explanatory.

It doesn't seem fair to just rag on subjectively about what I think should be done better, so I'll finish with some highlights:

-A crap ton of NGBC paraphernalia at the Gift Store
-You get to keep your tasting glass(es)! They even wash and wrap the glass for you after you're done! WHO DOES THAT?!
-The Alphorn players are super chill
-You get one free pint with a valid DoD ID
-Plenty of parking

All in all, even if you're not a fan of New Glarus or beer in general, the brewery is a good place for an afternoon of wholesome family fun. Definitely beats driving to Milwaukee for beer.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.93/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

-The area. It's cool. Multilevel area overlooking a little valley below with lots of brick ruins housing tables. Gives you something to explore or sit down for some privacy. Only downside is that there is very little shade, and I wonder what they do in the winter.
-The signs make getting a beer more complicated than it actually is (different pricing on buying a glass and first beer and then refills, why not just say $2 for the glass and here are beer prices?). It could use some simplifying, but in the meantime the people behind the counter are very patient and informative.
-Pour stations were quick and efficient, if a little non-personable. Also, not many beers to choose from (5 or 6 regular beers and 2 fruit beers, all of which can be found in just about every gas station).
-Gift shop has tons of New Glarus merchandise, a lot of cool German steins, and other beer paraphernalia. Some is kitschy, but most is cool.
-Self guided tour, which is just a hallway where you can see their equipment. If you're a real beer nerd you'll probably like it, even if you've seen a dozen breweries before, but any less enthusiasm or knowledge and it'll probably be a little bland. But I am not griping, it is cool and good public outreach that they do this.
-Now, for the bottled beer store. Good selection, awful value. Unless you want just one of everything, it is cheaper to drive literally down the street to the gas station and purchase your beer, and you will have just about the same selection. Why is the brewery charging more than the gas station? Convenience fee? I do not know for sure, but I do know that I felt ripped off.
-Back to the vibe of this place. I know it is a new facility, and I do like clean facilities, but this felt a little sterile. Missing the details that really give a place character. It felt more like going through the motions to add the obligatory Swedish touch.
-No food is available, not sure if they allow you to bring your own.
-10 am-4 pm are not the best hours for a good vibe. Maybe they are trying to cut down on late-night partiers, but it's kind of a bummer

Overall, a good brewery to tick and an enjoyable experience- the drinking area gets a 4.95 for vibe (deduction for no shade) but my score reflects the whole facility- but the limited draft selection, bad bottle prices, and touristy feel (that gift store...) do not make this one I would go out of my way to return to, and if I were a local I could almost see coming here to hang out just based on that awesome view, if only it had better hours. Disclaimer: I did not go on the hard hat tour, which sounds like a really good experience.

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Photo of lewk556
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of NickyPogs
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.53/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of CoryJones
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

New Glarus Brewery scenery and landscape is outstanding as you enjoy the many varieties of beer that they will have out depending on the season and time.

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Photo of atorres
3.85/5  rDev -15%
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.

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Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I love visiting New Glarus brewery. It's so beautiful and there is so much space. It's very easy to take the family there too.

When visiting for specialty releases, everything is run so well and Dan and Deb are so nice.

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Photo of cmbezln
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Sconnie25
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is the best brewery I have ever been to. It is beautiful on the outside and on the inside. The Biergarten is wonderful. The gift shop is fantastic. The beer is the best I have ever had. The self guided tour is very interesting and I look forward to a hard hat tour in the future.

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Photo of Vondy08
5/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

By far the best brewery tasting atmosphere I've ever been to. I've seen the Portland scene, the Rome scene, the New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville scene. Seriously, go here.

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Photo of Get_Lowell
4.53/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Photo of BillRoth
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Maybe the best brewery I've visited. The enormous campus of Swiss chalet style buildings and the beautifully laid out brick bier fatten is just perfect.
Everyone was so friendly and helpful.
The tasting process that involved a tasting bracelets and "keep the glass" was great.
Giving you a coupon for a free beer at local restaurants was a superb way to add value for those tasting at NG and support local businesses.
Gift shop was equally good with a very wide selection of goodies at very reasonable prices.
It never felt contrived, but it was as well conceptualized and rolled out as any experience I've had.
Absolutely required visit.

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Photo of atone315
4.64/5  rDev +2.4%
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!!!

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Photo of Suds_Suds
3.93/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of Studs1991
4.23/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

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.

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Photo of pagriley
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

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

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

What a place!!! I was lucky enough to have a chance to visit this monstrosity for my birthday, thanks to my girlfriend. I've never seen a brewery set up quite like this. It is set up in a town that is very reminiscent of a Swiss community, atop a lofty hill with a massive amount of acreage. As you walk the land you wind through a maze-like path, going down stone steps and can rest along the way in/on ruins of old churches and house. There is a gorgeous gathering area found in the immediate back with park tables and a vintage I-don't-know-what in the middle that you can rinse your glasses. The gift shop has a lot to offer, as well as, leads you to a self-guided tour of the brewery. It's really cool to see what is going on while the employees are at work and even being able to see the bottling/labeling section. The tasting room is parallel to the gift shop (well priced) and you even get to keep the glass after you have a beer!

I could go on and on, but will wrap it up with the beer depot located at the base of the brewery. Chock full of fresh beer and a helpful staff, you walk in to see pallet upon pallets of the fruit, WI goodness! I was impressed at how low they keep the prices considering breweries are usually a lot more expensive (at least at the ones I've gone to).

If you have a chance to visit, please do! My girlfriend, who is not fond of beer, loved this place and the Raspberry Tart. We are looking forward to many more trips here while visiting her family in WI. Keep up the great work Dan and Deb!

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Photo of higherbrow
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

The standard lines and seasonal craft beers coming from New Glarus are, top to bottom, excellent. If you are a fan of a style of beer, and you see that style coming with this brewery stamped on the side, you can be sure you're getting, at worst, an above average example of the style. With a very reasonable price tag, the standard offerings are worth making a drive to acquire. The real magic is in the Thumbprint series, however. Unique brews all around, I have been put off by a Thumbprint now and then, but the Imperial Weizen was one of the best beers I have ever had. I'd highly recommend New Glarus to any beer drinker.

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Photo of Chief_Mug
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Awesome would be a description of New Glarus Brewery. When you pull into the parking lot you think you just traveled back to Europe. The tours are either self directed or guided if you go at the right time. All the employees are very friendly and knowledgeable. The Beer is Outstanding not matter which flavor you pick. My Favorite is their Moon Man - No Coast Pale Ale.

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Photo of d5001986
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Visited the brewery for the R&D Wild Peach release. The grounds and the structures are very classy and just amazing to behold. The staff and the owners themselves are very polite and friendly. I would have liked to take the tour, but it was just too busy that day. Other than that, the beer is excellent and always well supplied everywhere in WI. New Glarus Brewing is just superb all the way around and I will no doubt be paying another visit next year.

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Photo of justinrphillips
5/5  rDev +10.4%

I am happy to live in the Madison area and have New Glarus so close. I can say Spotted Cow was a "gateway" beer for me to try many new things and expand my taste into much more sophisticated beers, so always love the things coming out of New Glarus and look forward to more amazing beers such as Scream and others!

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Photo of madstoutmonkee
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Great atmosphere, friendly staff, and a nice laid back take on the brew tour. They produce heaps of high quality and delicious beer. Wish I lived closer!

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Photo of stouts4me
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, WI
99 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.