Unplugged Cranbic Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

319 Reviews
Read the review
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 593
Photo of paco1029384756
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear orange color with a small fizzy white head. Much like cranberry juicy, but bit lighter in color.

Scent of bitter, juicy cranberries, prunes, sugars and a hint of yeast. More like cranberry juicy than beer, but I still like it.

Taste of cranberries, honey, sugars, and a nice bready yeast flavor. A tasty fruit beer, but I am doubtful that this will stand up to aging.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with a medium to low bite of carbonation.

 457 characters

Photo of brdc
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle, poured into a flute as suggested on the bottle, cold.

Pinkish, copper tinted highlights, compact bubbly whitish head, good but not great retention and lacing.
Aroma is mostly sour and musty; oak plays subtle notes, and eventually the cranberry fruitiness takes over.
Medium to light bodied, refreshing, sweet and sour, fruity and slightly oaky. Nicely carbonated, ends crisp and dry, very easy to drink, a very nice one indeed.

 452 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a flute. It pours a clear copper/red mixture. A bubbly 1/4 inch off-white head forms and very quickly reduces to basically no lacing. Carbonation is readily visible.

The aroma includes a nice dose of sour and oak. This is combined with a fantastic dose of bitter/sweet cranberries and perhaps some cherries. I'm thinking a bit of vanilla too.

The taste is very good as well, including the expected cranberry bitter/sweet mix, but also healthy doses of sourness, oaky, cherry, and vanilla (mildly).

The mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp. The carbonation is high but goes well with the flavor. It is crisp and clean and leaves a pleasant dry and sour feeling on your tongue.

This is a very easy beer to drink and overall very good. It is flavorful but does not destroy your palate. I am glad that I have many more and get to enjoy it more in the future and have some left to trade, preferably at DLD.

 930 characters

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!

 614 characters

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

Thanks to d0b for picking up a four-pack of this stuff on his way to Darkness Day. Served in my trusty Kuhnhenn tulip while listening to some Richard Strauss.

A - Pours with a finger of eggshell white foam that slowly dissipates to a solid cap. Some patchy lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. Gorgeous transparent mauve-red color that has a fiery glow when held to the light. A dense stream of tiny bubbles journeys up the middle of the glass. Other than head volume this is pretty superb.

S - Sweetened cranberry juice, vanilla, oak, horsey funkiness, caramel and graham cracker malts. The smell is just as intense and appealing as the Belgian Red & Raspberry tart, but features a profound depth that neither brew can attain. There's a delightful hint of pediococcus lactic flavor, but thankfully no buttery flavors.

T - The taste is more tart, with a bit more aggression on the part of the cranberries and a bit less saccharine malt character - a healthy dose of horsey brett follows. There's some light vanilla mixed in the tannic oak character that sort of takes over mid-palate. Finish is mildly sour and again quite oaky. It's slightly more barrel-influenced than I prefer from my fruit lambics, but it's still pretty amazing.

M - The body is a surprisingly viscous medium body, with active carbonation. This is a little bigger than I was expecting - especially compared to the dry champagne-like character of Cantillon fruit lambics. This is more juice-like, with a sugar-coating residual feel and only a touch of dryness.

D - Wonderful taste, no obvious alcohol - the only knock is the slight heaviness in the feel. Damn - I may have to drive up to Woodman's to pick up more of this wonderful stuff, as the four-pack (errr...now three-pack) I have will not suffice. Quite possibly the best Unplugged series beer I've had, and that's saying a lot considering the impressive consistency and quality that comes from New Glarus.

 1,947 characters

Photo of Ek0nomik
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: New Glarus Brewery

Appearance: Pours a ruby red color with a finger of head that rapidly disappears. Slightly effervescent, as a thin stream of bubbles are making their way up to the top of my snifter. No lacing is on the side of my glass.

Smell: As one could guess, tart cranberries up front and quite dominant. Beyond the fruit subtly sits a Wisconsin barnyard with pieces of hay scattered on the floor.

Taste: My palate first picks up sweet cranberries, but this quickly turns into a sweet and acidic cranberry that's been sitting in a stable with horses, leather and hay. The brett character in this is quite pleasant for someone like myself who doesn't have a lot of experience with wild yeast. The brett character isn't blowing in your face, but it reveals itself throughout the tasting of the beer and it makes it really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: A light to medium bodied beer. A very strong and crisp carbonation up front, but it quickly releases as it hits the tongue.

Drinkability: This is a very well put together beer. It has a very nice fruit backbone, and a nice touch of brett that makes it incredibly drinkable and in line with the lambic style.

This beer is brewed to style for the beer enthusiast, and has enough fruit character to make this an enjoyable drink for everyone during the holidays.

 1,347 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some of this at the brewery on my way to Darkness Day 2009. Glad we were able to swing by there, an awesome brewery for sure. Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Pours red/pinkish color with a half a fingers-worth of off-white colored head that quickly vanishes leaving some spotted fizzy head on top and a thin ring around the glass. A small amount of lacing remains along the side of the glass.

S - Mild tartness with some fruit punch-like sweetness.

T - There's a good amount of tart/sour coming from this, which I'm excited about. It's tart enough for me to like but sweet enough to appeal to a larger audience. There's a nice fruity sweetness up front followed by a sour finish.

M - Light bodied, nice light fizzy carbonation, very refreshing with a slightly dry finish.

D - This is like drinking fruit punch with a sour kick...really damn good. Probably my favorite Unplugged beer from the series.

 924 characters

Photo of barleypopmaker
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to not only tour the brewery on October 16th, but also snag up this gem the day the put it out in the brewery's store. The guys on the tour told us they just slapped the labels on the day before.

The color is amazingly red, crystal clear, with a pinkish bubbly head to it. The aroma gives off some very mild earthy and barnyard aroma, lighter than I would have thought, but there. What I got most in the aroma was sweet tart fruit (obviously from the cranberry) along with some clean malt.

The flavor is a bit sweet, there is some sourness that mingles well with the tart cranberry. For how red this beer was, I was expecting it to be overwhelmingly cranberry like, just like the Belgian Red is very strong in cherry and Raspberry tart is smash you in the face with it's raspberry flavor, this beer was not quite as fruit flavor packed as those two. The flavor is very good, with just barely enough brett in it for those who want to find it to be able to, but not nearly enough to put off others. My wife even liked it, and she hates geueze because of the brett character. All in all I didn't find the cranberry flavor all that much as you have come to expect from cranberry juice, but was rather more like semi-tart cherry than dry and puckering like I expected.

In the end, this will be a huge hit during the holidays, because it is just enough lambic to keep the beer geeks interested, and enough fruit beer to satisfy those looking for an easy drinking, sweet, and refreshing holiday beer. But if you are a hardcore geueze or lambic fan, don't expect to be hit over the head with funk, I think this beer was meant to be more a sweet holiday alternative to the traditional holiday spiced beers.

 1,722 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, crystal clear glowing red color with lots of bubbles and a sliver of head that fizzles out before I'm even done pouring.

The nose is unmistakeably one of a New Glarus fruit beer. No fake/manufactured fruit present whatsoever. Just a healthy (but not overpowering) dose of fresh cranberries. Light tartness seems to be present, probably halfway between the Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart in terms of perceived sourness (meaning: not that much). Some cherry candy-like qualities are present as well.

First sip and I am surprised at the mellow nature of this. My guess that it would be stuck in the middle of the big 2 fruit beers was spot on. Sorry sour/funk heads, you aren't going to find much of it here. At least not yet, of course, since this is very young and will surely age well and develop for years to come. Luckily, I'm not a sour head quite yet so this is right up my alley for fruit beers. Actually, I think I might like this even more than the New Glarus twins....probably won't find many people that agree with me on that though. Very light vinegar and white grape characteristics, overall just a very fine brew.

Mouthfeel is medium light with carbonation kept relatively low. No prickly carbonation at all, and really not even enough carbonation to splash it throughout the mouth. Almost gives it a fruit juice character.

I have to say, as a lambic novice I really enjoy this one. I'm not sure how true to style it is, you'll have to wait for some other reviews to pour in before that determination can be made. But judged on its own merits, I really enjoy this beer and it is definitely one of the best Unplugged beers yet.

 1,661 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.