Unplugged Cranbic Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

319 Reviews
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Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alcstradamus on 10-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 593
Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am soo happy to be able to review this and even happier knowing I have more in the cellar to enjoy. Poured into a snifter and consumed on 11/22/2009.

Gonna make this on short and sweet as alot has already been said about this one but ut is clearly just sublime. Pours out of the bottle a nice reddish color with a small head on top that receded into some nice side glass lacing and really just looked the part from the beginning. Rich aroma of tart cranberry mixed with hints of cinnamon spice and nice touches of brown sugar. Warming really brought out the fruit though as the rich cranberry aroma and flavor dominated everything around. Warming brought some nice light notes of brown sugar, nutmeg, hints of cinnamon and a really nice just fruit pie like flavor to it. Really a nice and sweet spice note to it all the way through really just perfectly done,

I will skip down to summarize that fruit beers can go either way but this one is done damn near perfectly. I have to say one of ths best i have ever had hands down.

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Photo of brian23456
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a DFH Signature glass.
A- Nice copper/pinkish hue, not much for head or lacing.

S- Tart cranberries, funk and maybe a little oak.

T- Mmmm Fantastic! Refreshing and lots of cranberry flavor. Then tart with a clean finish that makes me want to have another drink. After a few more drinks I think there is a slight flavor of cherries and grape. The oak is mellow.

M- Medium-light body, good amount of carbonation, perfect for the style in my opinion.

D- This glass is emptying very, very quickly.

I would like to give this beer a 5/5 as it seems flawless, but after having Blåbær, I just can't give it a perfect score. Very easy drinking, well balanced and tasty. Easily my second favorite lambic/fruit beer, for now...

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a 12 oz. bottle, thanks vacax and jerz,

A: Pours red with a nice white head, good head retention all around, solid.

S: Fragant cranberry all the way. Sugar, fruit pie, real fruit.

T: Absolutely delicious. The fruit flavour is nuts; it's incredibly good. Cranberry city, pie crust, I love it.

M: Smooth, very lightly acidic, I wouldn't classify this as a lambic due to the light acid, but it is very smooth and easy to drink.

D: I could drink this stuff by the gallon, it's just fantastic. I didn't think I could like a New Glarus beer any more than Wisconsin Belgian Red, but this is coming close. Good Lord can these guys make fruit beers!

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Photo of robbyc1
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange light that is with small white head, good lacing, very nice.

Nose of cranberries, yeast, and sour vinager. Fits nicely together, sour milk nose as well.
The flavor has the crans, plus cherries, and vinus winey fruit. More tart than the other fruit beers they make, this is damn near perfect.

Optimal medium body, well carbonated, and a drinker for sure. So tart yet balanced this is an optimal refresher.

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Photo of minnunderground
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yay finally got a pack of these! Been waiting for weeks to come to my stomping grounds,

A- Pours a cool orange/red color, clear pretty good carbonation

S- Sweet cranberries

T- Sweet cranberries and tartness with it, what I expected...awesome

M-medium and bubbly with tartness

D- Very drinkable a sweet delicious lambic, I need to get more!

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Photo of younger35
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a few of these from Chicone's in Hudson Wisconsin. This will be about the 10th one of these I've had in the last couple days and I can't get enough. I absolutely love this brew. Drank from my Willimantic Brewing pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a light pinkinsh orange with excellent clarity and small bubbly half finger bright white head. A small spotty cap and thin collar remains with a few random spots of lacing here and there.
Smell- The smell is very tart and I don't think anyone would have a problem picking cranberries out of the nose. It has a tart green apple aspect as well along with a touch of vanilla. Maybe a touch of something cinnamon like from the barrel but for the most part the nose is simple and inviting. Simply great.
Taste- Like the nose it's fairly simple but amazingly tasty. Starts with a sharp tartness that is unmistakably cranberry and unmistakably tasty. Slightly acidic with a tinge of vanilla and oak from the barrels. A light sweetness does hide underneath everything with a light touch of caramel malt but that's about it. The cranberry is an intense fruit and it comes through in this beer fully. A touch of vanilla does linger well into the fruity finish.
Mouthfeel- Light to medium body with a slightly quenching tart and somewhat dry finish. The carbonation is fairly aggressive and right where it needs to be.
Drinkability- Like all New Glarus fruit beers, this one continues the world class tradition. I literally could sit here all day and drink this without blinking an eye. The tartness might be a bit much for some but I wouldn't change it for anything. It'll be interesting to see what this does over the next year or so (if I can save some that long). I dare say that I may even like this more than New Glarus's Apple Ale (maybe... It's a tossup). Great beer!

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Photo of Klym
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a new glarus flute.

A: Like a shirley temple that is light on the grenadine with carbonation and a head to match.

S: Cranberry and raspberry sweetness with some cherry tartness and a tad of pine.

T: All of what is in the nose but wow, do the flavors dance and interact and changes. Tartness sweetness and itensity vary throughout the drink and give an amazing gustatory experience.

M: medium bodied with a little but of a syrupy viscosity and large-bubble carbonation feel. Great mouth on this.

O: This is one of those beers that tastes and feels so great in the mouth I can't help but give it a 5.0 even if I wanted to do otherwise. Seriously, ridiculously delicious and enjoyable to drink. Get this.

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Photo of BeerInReview
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this beer up on a recommendation from a friend. And, he didn't steer me wrong.

A: Pours a copper color with very little head. The head dissipates quickly. No lacing was left.
S: A distinct cranberry aroma emanates from the glass.
T: The malt hits the tongue right away, but it doesn't last long, as the tartness and taste of cranberries quickly grab your taste buds and puts your salivary glands into overdrive. As it finishes, it leaves an oaky taste on the back of my tongue. Mmm...Tasty!
M: A medium bodied beer with very fine carbonation.
D: This is one exceptional beer. This will be my beer of choice this Thanksgiving.

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Photo of supercolter
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, this was an absolutely exceptional beer. Appearance is off-reddish with a small head that disapates quickly. Smell and taste are very similar, with the nose tinging more toward funk than the taste. But there is a nice cranberry overtone with a strawberry and pear underbody. No alcohol or hops seem to exist. Slightly bitter but very drinkable. Highly recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of pweis909
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear, with a red color evocative of a christmas lollipop that has been sucked on for 10 minutes, thinning the candy and diminishing the absorbance. The head is thinimal and fleeting.

Aroma promises unspecified fruit and possibly a little funk. The taste combines sweet and sour, comparable to New Glarus's Raspberry Tart or Belgian Red, but cranberry is a less easily recognized flavor than cherries and raspberries. Cran-bic is intriguingly cryptic in this way.

This goes down like an After the Fall carbonated fruit drink. Don't get me wrong. I loved those things. It's a delicious beer. The alcohol is not noticed. Consuming one makes me crave the rest of the 4-pack. Highly drinkable if you don't mind sweet and sour.

New Glarus fruit beers really change one's perception of what beer is. If you are looking for hoppy or if sweet or sour turns you off, look elsewhere. For me, I am open to the broader perspective. Although NG fruit beers are accessible to me and I could stock my fridge with them, I tend to drink only 1-2 a year. Keeps them special.

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Photo of RJUGA03
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured into a fluted tasting glass. The body was orange with a redish tint and some outter rim head with minimal lacing.
S-Slightly sweet with a well represented cranberry tartness.
T-Sweet, carbonated, and pleasant cranberry flavors initially attack your palate. Then your left with a sligtly dry tart sensation that has your craving more!
M-Effervecent and carbon tingled initally flowing into flavor-bursting after-taste.
D-Very drinkable, but I would save this one for special occasions. This gives me a new faith in Lambic beer. thanks Dan...

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Photo of drizzam
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review on Beeradvocate! I wanted my 100th beer to be a special one so I chose a brew from my favorite brewery - New Glarus. I also chose a brew style that I happen to appreciate very much.

Appearance - Poured from the bottle into one of my favorite New Glarus pint glasses. This brew is a clear orange/red color. A fairly aggressive pour yielded a beautiful white one finger head that dissipated after a couple minutes, leaving a thin white layer of head on the brew. What was left of the head left little wisps of lacing down the inside of the glass.

Smell - Smells of fresh cranberries. Smells tart but there isn't a huge nose on this one. Not a lot of complexity in the nose, just fresh, tart cranberries.

Taste & Mouthfeel - The taste mimics the nose. A big tartness up front followed by a bit of a smooth malty background. Medium bodied mouthfeel and minimal carbonation. Finishes crisp and clean. The label boasts that this brew spends 5 months resting in oak barrels...and I believe that. You do get some oak notes as you savor this one. I would say that as far as the lambic brewing style goes, this brew and Lindemann's lambics really are great examples.

Drinkability - Just consider that a pint of this brew disappeared almost as quickly as I did this review. I don't know what the ABV is but I would assume it's around 6%. I'm one that loves this brewing style so I could drink it all day. It might be a little too tart for others though. Either way, this is one damn fine beer from New Glarus. Get it before it's sold out!

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Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear strawberry with nice carbonation rising from the glass. White head displays some light lace.

Nose has tart cranberries, oak and farmyard funk.

Taste is full of sweet cranberries, wood, wild yeast and subtle funk.

Crisp, refreshing body. This is a great beer. It has a nice funky presence that I felt was lacking in their other fruit beers.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

high five to yeahnatenelson...thanks!

a - opened and filled my liefmans stange. poured a transparent pinkish orange with a thin bubbly head that bubbled itself away rather quickly. visible steady carbonation. mild sticky lacing.

s - very nice and appetizing cranberry. great sweetness balance. very tart and nice.

t - yum. that's fantastic. cranberry. perfect sweetness, perfect tartness.

m - mouthfeel is pretty spot on as well. it is not overly fizzy which i find most lambics to be. has a great juicelike feel.

o - overall, new glarus continues to kill it on the lambic front. super solid beer. i might need to move to WI.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pinkish-Orange (Kind of Rose-y colored) crystal-clear like a jewel in appearance, with an effervescent sparkling fizzy soda-style carbonation that matches well with the light crisp soda-style body. No head or lacing, just soda pop rising bubbles.
Smells of fresh tart cranberries, black cherries, , tannic oak wood, minor chords of apple cider vinegar and yeast with a whiff of light toasted malt. Amazingly complex and what's strange is that the proportional balance of each of these nose elements shifts around oddly as it warms up to room temp, but yet it never seems to fall into disarray or disturbing smell territory.
Taste is nicely sour-assertive in that signature NG fruit beer way. Very acidic, swiftly drinking this brew may lead to an upset stomach. (So don't be stupid and chug it) Sipping the beer reveals unfolding petals of oaked wood with old leather sub-harmonics mitigating the harsh pucker factor of raw tart cranberries by overlapping the astringency of the wood aging on top of the cranberry astringency, anchoring it into the middle of a perfect picture frame made of oak wood. The flavor of the lingering semi-dry finish develops a medium walnut-like character out of the blue that reminds me of Thanksgiving desserts. The sweetness and sourness are absolutely dead-on balanced against each other, neither overwhelming nor obnoxious, yet both also remaining boldly assertive and retaining a special kind of clarity.
I can't wait to see how this one develops in the cellar. My only complaints are that the malts themselves are somewhat hard to find in the taste, and that it might be interesting to experience some sort of head on top of the brew.

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Photo of LittleBug31
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Appearance: Beautiful Christmasy rosy red/pink that glows cozy and warm when held up to light.
Pale pink head with a subtle bubbly sparkle. Looks like the perfect holiday picture when poured into a snowflake flute (to match the flakes falling outside tonight!).

Smell: Excites my nose with a strong cranberry aroma reminiscent of my grandmother's homemade cranberry sauce. Light and sweet with flowery hints once you get past the juicy berries. A bit winey-smelling; alcohol barely present.

Taste: Perfect balance of sweet and tart. Intense cranberry flavor that bubbles all the way into my tummy. Sparkly and delicious--brings upon a feeling of happiness and holiday cheer. Sour, but not puckering.

Mouthfeel: Finely carbonated, burns my tongue in the most pleasant way possible. Smooth, no heaviness.

Drinkability: Awesome beer, but with the intense tartness, I'm not sure how much of this I could drink at one time. One bottle is delightful, however.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my tulip glass the beer is several shades of blushing red. Large pink head explodes to the top of my glass then fades rather quick.Not much lacing if any.

The aroma is sweet and tart. Just like cranberries. Then this fantastic barnyard funk hits you right in the nostrils. Berry based wines come to mind for sure.

The flavor is full on cranberry. Sweet and pleasant then sour and puckering. This then slowly fades into a musty, funky, dry, finish. So dry and sour yet sweet enough to make it more then mouth pleasing. I love it.

The body is thin and carbonated. Super dry. Makes my teeth feel like there gritty.

Overall a fantastic effort by NG. This might be my favorite unplugged so far. I could see drinking a few of these on a hot summer night. Might have to cellar a few four packs.

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Photo of wschmit
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a flute.

A: Almost rose-champagne-like body belies a quick, red-tinted head that sputters out into nothing. Plenty of carbonation in the body, however. Could use better retention. Still, the pinkish, vaguely brown body is crystal clear and attractive.

S: Here's where things pick up. There's pretty good, varied tartness, and an oude-bruin sort of malty sweetness. Obviously cranberry is a big part of the nose, but there's a pretty pronounced lambic funk as well--a bit of gym bag and barnyard, very pleasant, and frankly unexpected. I assumed this was going to be on the mild side for a lambic. Quite pleased.

T: Puckering, right off the bat. Obvious cranberry, but with a balanced sweetness that keeps it just this side of a Sour Patch Kid. Then comes the horse blanket/wet hay notes--not strong, but noticeable, and welcome. A really great base lambic complemented by a seldom-seen but intriguing fruit pairing.

M: More body than I anticipated (a good thing), with pretty good carbonation. Not a trace of alcohol.

O: Well executed. I feel like it could have some better head retention, but it looks, smells, and tastes really nice. NG always puts out very solid renditions of whatever style they approach, and this is no exception.

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Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a noisy & effervescent amber with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great lacing & average head retention

S: Sour cherry, oakyness, slight pear scent

T: Um cranberry, tartness, faint cherry & dryness up front, plus a faint bourbon sourness as well up front. Vanilla oakyness, cherries & cranberries are all there as this warms wrapped in a lovely tartness. Finishes sour, tart with a raspberry/cherry twang

MF: Slick with somewhat lively carbonation, then dryness dominates

Puckery tartness is moreish, but the dryness does slow me down a bit. Great take on this style right now would love to cellar some & see how the profile changes. Near perfection now!

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Photo of scaliasux
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Medium amber-red. Clear. Thin apparently off-white head.

Smell - Most prominent aroma is sweet-tart cranberry. Maybe a hint of light malt.

Taste - Starts with a mild sweet malt. Tart flavor of cranberry dominates. Authentic flavor - nothing of the cranberry cocktail here. A little extra green apple sourness in the finish. Seems well balanced to me. Very nice, unique beer.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp.

Drinkability - Two Wisconsin breweries are quite prominent in the fruit beer area. Where Leine's Berry Weiss seems to do everything wrong, this seems to do everything right. I wouldn't argue a bit if New Glarus decided to add this one to its year round slate.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from 12 oz bottle into New Glarus flute

A- This beer pours a nice pinkish/orange that is very transparent. There is minimal head that recedes rather quick. Many tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.

S- The smell is of fresh cranberries that you can tell are the real thing, not some syrup. There is a bit of woodiness to go along with what might be butter.

T- Much like smell, cranberry is the first taste but not overpowering. It is accompanied by the taste of wood which it was aged in. There also a creamy buttery finish that I particularly like. A good complexity that will probably get better with age.

M- There is that initial bit of bite on the front of the tongue but not too bad. There is a smoothness to this one, oddly just a little sour but not puckering.

D- On this, day of Thanksgiving, I give thanks to New Glarus for another stellar beer. I could put these back all night but that would take all the fun out of enjoying this great beer.

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Photo of botham
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a wine glass. pours a fiery garnet color with a single finger of rapidly dissipating head that is gone after a few seconds. resembles a soft drink in appearance.

aroma is of light funk and a touch of fruit, alongside a light vinous tartness. very complex and well proportioned in the nose.

taste follows the nose with a masterful bouquet of light farmhouse funk, a touch of vinous acidity, and a distant note of sweet cranberries. the fruit is almost framboise-esque in character. very pleasant and easy drinking.

mouthfeel is a wonderful mix of a light body and a light tartness with a touch of effervescence. this brew is excellent in mouthfeel.

drinkability is very good. well done and extremely well proportioned as far as the fruit, funk and tartness goes. cheers!

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Photo of newk340
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: no head, a sparkling amber that was gorgeous in the 6oz sampler glass it was poured into (split with hu5om).

S: difficult to discern a distinct smell, but there were faint hints of cranberries and hops.

T: a citrusy tart beginning that quickly fades into the sweet taste of cranberries as each sip concludes. as the glass gets lower and lower i find myself taking smaller and smaller sips to savor it all the longer.

MF/D: suprisingly smooth for as much as it sparkles, easy to drink too quickly and not savor the deliciousness. incredible mouthfeel overcomes initial tartness of taste. if it were still produced, would gladly buy cases more. please make it again!! this solidifies my belief that New Glarus is the premier craft brewery in the midwest.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle obtained via Local BIF from asmokingoat. Thanks for the opportunity. Red foiled cap. <Jeremy2002 = bad trader>

Poured into a Harpoon tulip, formed a 1/2" light pink-tinged head above the bright copper brew. Head is promptly down to an uneven layer of foam, leggy with minimal lacing at best. Aroma is dominated by oak character, with sweet and tart lurking in the background.

Wow. Flavor is totally different from what I was expecting. Taste is sweet cranberry upfront, peeks of hops in the middle, and closes with moderate tartness. Oak flavors linger in the mouth after the swallow. Mouthfeel is small-bubbled and so soft over the tongue, and drinkability is superb. Great stuff.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a sixer at the NG Brewery on the way to DDay.

Pours a pink color with a full finger of off-white head that retreats with some fizz.

I smell tart fruit, similar to fruit soda or spiked punch at the holiday party! Getting cranberries, cherries and raspberries.

Tastes the same, but there is a sour quality to this... as well as a bubbly champagne like fizz. It's not as overwhelming as the Red or the Tart, but there is still quite a bit of those NG fruity qualities in here.

It's light-bodied and finishes quite dry. Can't wait to have another with Thanksgiving dinner. Another winner from new Glarus!

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Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 593 ratings.
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