Zwickel (Old Version) | New Glarus Brewing Company

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33 Ratings

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Kellerbier / Zwickelbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old recipe ... review new beer here:

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-04-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by ryantupy:
Photo of ryantupy
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a moderatly hazy golden yellow hue that supports a nice white head.

S - Smells of sweet malts with earthy flavors of grain, grass, and maybe mild fruit.

T - Nice and simple here nothing radicall. Earthy flavors of grass and grain that are followed by the sweet malts and citrus.

M - Light bodied beer that goes down easy.

D - A nice session beer for a good summer day. Definatly worth seeking out.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of cokes
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very refreshing and quite tasty lager from New Glarus (as if I expect anything less...)
Pours a rich, hazy golden body, with a decent head that lasts most of the way through the glass. Doesn't smell of much. Very faint hops, virtually nothing else. Hops are pretty faint on the tongue too, the feature here is some sweet maltiness. Nothing heavy, but with the trademark New Glarus creaminess. This texture of the bier puts it about many others. The fact it is unfiltered makes it somewhat unique for a lager.
Still, probably nothing to shout about here, but a person can't go wrong shooting some pool with a bunch of these in the fridge.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brief white head over semi-hazy golden liquid. Fresh grainy nose with some light fruitiness. The taste is light bodied with snappy maltiness, some faint sour/tangy notes, and not too much in the way of hoppiness. Finishes on a vague fruity flavor, a decent lawnmower/thirst quencher beer.
Thanks to CRJM for the bottle.

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Photo of Jon
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of jackndan
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Zwickel: a bottle conditioned lager beer. Very nice color, but the taste is a little mild. It has an amber color, and a pleasant malt aroma. The taste is an understated blend of malt and slight hops, with the malt predominate, and a hint of malt. Nice light summer lager, nothing more.

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Photo of bditty187
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy (because I swirled the bottom third of the beer to remove the yeast from the bottle) orangey-gold in hue with a hint of copper. The head was white in color and about one finger in height, the foam quickly faded to a tight cap of a modest size. The head had good retention. It is a good-looking beer, not a common sight, for me at least. Bottle conditioned lagers are not a dime a dozen plus I’ve never had a Kellerbier before. Subsequent lacing was spotty and it clung poorly. The nose is crisply malty like a good Pilsner, toasty biscuit with just a hint of grain. At the back are some lemon and some fruity notes. The nose is nice, it doesn’t say much but I don’t know what to expect. The potency is fair. It is inviting, albeit in a straightforward and simplistic manner. Pleasant, nevertheless! The palate has yet to “wow” me, I’ve tried a few from the six-pack before I sat down to write this review. It tastes like a duller, wider, fruiter version of NG’s Pilsner. But it is not as good as their Pils. Maybe my simplistic definition of this beer is a bottled conditioned Pilsner. The malt has a biscuity, slightly sweet and grainy taste. The malt sweetness plays well with the fruitiness (grapes and pears) and to a lesser degree the flowery, lemony hops. For some reason, as a whole, the palate is only decent. Maybe the sweet aftertaste “ruins” the good vibes. By no means is the sweetness cloying or gross, it just doesn’t work right for me. The fruitiness/sweetness makes me want to think this would be a nice match for breakfast foods like pancakes. Medium/medium-full in body, the mouthfeel is healthy and very pleasant, modest but ideal carbonation. This is a decent and, yes, a drinkable beer, it is very good but I just don’t love it. True, this is an unfamiliar style to me. Maybe it will grow on me. I purchased a six-pack in Milwaukee, WI. It is worth a try.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed March 9, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Cloudy deep yellow pour with nice white head. Wondeful sheets of broken lacing. Strong apple and wheat aromas, with pleasent rustic cellar background. Sugary and fairly bland on the palate, except for some ethereal depth that I couldn’t put my finger on. Notes of honey and yeast. Palate is too watery. Very drinkable, would try again.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sweet! Lemme tell you guys about this beer: It is good. I found it similar in flavour to New Glarus's Edel-Pils, just 'more better' for lack of a better description. The bottle fermentation added a nice grouping of yeast flavours without becoming overpowering. Yeah, basically an improvement on the Edel-Pils, so if you liked that, you'll love this.
Then again, if lagers aren't your thing, you will not be won over by this beer. Mightly tastey, but that's tastey as defined by a cool, refreshing taste, not ale complexity.

Yum Yum, gotta get me some.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hendrick24
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a beautiful lager. Pale straw color with perfect clarity and two fingers of dense white head that lingers. Crisp biscuity malts, assertive hop presence that works in concert with the delicate malt profile, finishes clean. Each sip leaves you wanting another....I could drink this all day!

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with some amber tints. White one-fingered head settles down quickly leaving no lace. Slightly hazy appearance denotes the bottle conditioning.
Aroma has some light malt, grain, hay and some other adjuncts ?
Flavor is simple sweet but light caramel malt. Can detect no trace of bitterness at all.
Mouthfeel is smooth but low carbonation and lack of discernible hops make it a very short-lived taste.
Drinakability is pretty good can imagine this has a good summer ale with some cheese.

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Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If I’ve ever had a kellerbier/Zwickel, I must have called it something else, so this is in truth a rarity for this “Old Dawg Face/Gob”. The pour is a somewhat bemused golden-orange color with the head bright white in color and the texture frothy, the size is modest with the residual lace a bit thin and patchy. Nose is malt laden, somewhat sweet with lemon-lime crispness, fresh and pleasant this nose, start is sweetly malt and the top fair to middling in its feel. Finish is mild to moderate in carbonation, the hops subdued but pleasant and the aftertaste droughty, an interesting beer, my thanks to tavernjef for this sample.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" white head above the light amber brew. Head was gone in scant moments, but lacing was okay. Aroma is a slightly sweet pale malt. Taste is full-on pale malts, with a complementary slight citrus tinge to it. Mouthfeel and drinkability are excellent.

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Photo of battlekow
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden color, severely lacking in the head/lacing department. Smells grainy and bready, with a hint of apples and grassy hops. Tastes sweet and cookieish with the barest hint of hops, and then just evaporates--an extremely dry finish. Quite refreshing and clean, very easy to drink, just not particularly interesting. I wish New Glarus still made this, as I'd much rather Zwickel be on tap in every bar in Madison and Milwaukee than Spotted Cow.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of beermanben
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UffDaBock
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of beerguy101
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium gold color. Small head. Aroma is malty and a little ciderish. A lighter bodied beer. Milder tasting. Sort of lager-ish, but not a lager. Mild malts, slightly hoppy and somewhat yeasty. Extremely smooth. Hints of fruit and bread. Lots of flavor for such a mild tasting beer. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty sweet.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not very familiar with the characteristics that make a good Zwickel style brew so I had no option other than to give it averages for appearance, smell, taste, and mouthfeel. As far a drinkability goes, it was a crowd-friendly beer. There was a super dry finish that was a little too intense for me, but like I said, this may be very typical of this style. The aroma reminds me of dry hay. There is definately a nutty overtone, with a tart ending that finishes dry.
Not my favorite from such a wonderful brewery.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of BDitty. Thanks man, I needed this after paying close attention to the news today.
The beer pours a hazed, burnished gold, a short white head developing on the pour. Minimal lacing, merely a light spattering here and there, the head maintaining a tenuous foothold like the Sox in the 2004 ALCS series (minus the miraculous comeback). Taking a whiff, I gather what could be an honest to goodness european lager, but with a touch of cookie-like yeast and a brush of honey. Smooth, well lagered malt, very clean aside from a faint grassy/lemon note, with a small pile of noble hops riding atop. Pleasantly floral and fresh. Taking a sip, a smooth, mildly grainy pils maltiness greets the tongue, something more at home on the eastern side of the Atlantic, or closer to the Baltic Sea. Fine, yet assertive carbonation moves the brew easily across the palate. A soft wash of yeasty breadiness throughout, softening the overall feel, and allowing the hops easy access in the finish. Pleasantly and mildly floral, with a soft herbal, peppery tint. A nice enough beer, but really not all that different from any euro lager on the shelf. A very authentic flavor, but I immediately wondered about corn or rice the moment I took a sip, the flavor just seems pitched that way. It could easily be straight pils barley malt, but it almost edges into that adjunct lightness. Good stuff. This is my first zwickel style beer, so I don't have a basis of comparison beyond filtered lager.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a light golden straw/hay hazy yellow, with a thin but thickly frothed off-white head that sits a while before diminishing to a thin ring; fast drippy curtains of lace. Smell has a very nice fresh grainy aroma, biscuit malts, German/Bavarian-esk, somewhat sharply toned, with a small nutty faction playing underneath which is pleasant. Taste is mild and pleasing with a very nice bready malty sweetness, lightly bagel-like, smooth and just enough flavor to keep you inticed to have more. Good touch of light mild hop presense mixes through on the first parts of the finish which leads to a fresh barley malted sweetness with notes of corn and wheat breads laying out some lightly tangy/sourdough aspects in the lingering finish. Feel is nearly perfect for a beer like this, super fine, smooth medium body, solid malt mouthfeel with little nudges of grain, hops, and souring bread playing around throughout. A nice and subtle drinkable lager style beer, I just couldn't stop drinking this and will probably drink some more. Good stuff eh.

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Photo of truthbrew
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this weekend, enjoyed straight from the cellar at 52F. Next time I will chill before reviewing.

Semi-strong malt and light hop aromas from the open bottle. Golden straw color and ever so slightly cloudy. Malt is predominant character, full bodied and sweet, but not cloying.

It is not often that I drink a style like this, but I was very satisfied after doing so. Would definitely be enjoyed by BA’s and novices alike. Will wait for next summer to purchase more. I hate saying it, but literally a perfect lawnmower beer for a BA.

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Photo of jeffboo
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After viviting Switzerland and Bavaria last Feb. I tried the zwickel for
the second time this summer. It was spot on for the style (unfiltered
lager) . I really couldn't tell the difference between this beer and the
European one's I tried. The body is medium with a good malt backbone
and a nice touch of German hops that put American Light Lagers to shame for even mentioning hops in advertising (shame on you Bud).
A nice crisp summer beer that takes care of your thirst.

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Photo of ZAP
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not one of my favorites from this brewery but still pretty good....nice royal gold in color...cloudy due to the bottle fermentation apparently...nose is doughy and yeasty....pretty creamy in the mouth but I do get just a twinge of sourness on the finish....not hop bitterness, but more of a sourness..taste is OK...I guess I expected more...not that it's horrible but not one of their best in my opinion..

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Photo of Bighuge
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy deep golden with with little head. Some faint malt tones on the nose. This is a smooth beer. Medium to full bodied. Bavarian malt influence. Nice little aftertaste that isn't forward at all. Not a lot of bitterness, just a bit. A unique beer in that it is a lager that is intended to undergo third and final fermentation in the bottle. Thus the hazy appearance.

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Zwickel (Old Version) from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 33 ratings