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Serendipity | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Severe Drought, we shared the farmer’s horror as Wisconsin’s cherry crop failed! Dan bought what cherries he could. The Apple crop fared better. Then joy! A grand Wisconsin cranberry harvest. What will Dan brew with Apples, Cranberries and Cherries? Oh my! You hold the happy accident of Wisconsin’s favorite fruit aged in oak with an almost magical wild fermentation. Serendipity is a wondrous celebration that sparkles your senses and dances across your palate. A kaleidoscope of flavor discovered by accident in a sour ale!

Cheers to the unexpected.

Added by Lemke10 on 10-15-2012

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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 2,758
Photo of Lemke10
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got a 750mL bottle of this from Woodman’s in Janesville, WI in October 2012 for $8.79.

Happy accident indeed! New Glarus took the poor cherry crop in 2012 in stride and came up with a new delicious brew. Serendipity pours a burnt reddish color with a slightly pink head. The scent is still mostly cherries but is overall very fruity and sweet smelling giving it that classic sour ale smell. Taste is sweet and fruity with all the main elements (cherry, cranberry, and apple) evident in the mix. Added to the mix was the great decision to age this in oak to make this an interesting, fruity, and delicious sour ale that is supposedly only to be around until Jan 1 in place of their usual Belgian Red. Get it while you can folks!

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter, the beer was a deep brown color with a reddish hint. A slight white head topped the glass with noticeably big bubbles most noticeable at the sides of the glass. In the aroma, one detects the sharp fruits notes, particularly the berries. In the initial taste, one gets the sour of cranberry and cherries, apple on a lighter scale, and an impressive woodiness. Hidden are notes of caramel, honey, and clove. The apple becomes more apparent toward the back of the taste. The sourness lingers, dancing on the tongue several minutes after the swallow. In the aftertaste, the sour fruits fade leaving the oak expose to your taste buds. The thick texture allows the taste to linger a great while.

Between this beer, Raspberry Tart, and Belgian Red, I think this is my new favorite. The carbonation is not as strong as Belgian Red, and the sour note as not as overwhelming as Raspberry Tart. I really hope Serendipity sticks around for a while.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Serendipity.

750 ml bottle split with my wife. She'll drink fruit beers, and that's it. Luckily New Glarus makes some good ones, and they're readily available. Served chilled in accompanying New Glarus glassware.

A) Cranberry red with two fingers of pinkish head. The head slowly dissipated, until none remained. No lacing...

S) I picked up a good amount of cranberry, blended with ripe apple juices. There is a faint cherry aroma. There is a sweet tart thing going on here for sure.

T) The flavor definitely follows the nose. The cherry is more prevalent in the taste, especially on the backend. Starts out sweet, with an aftertaste that is just slightly tart.

M) Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It's pretty refreshing. Finishes a bit dry.

O) New Glarus knows how to make fantastic fruit beers. This is no exception.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at the sour tasting that I organized with friends. Split with many people. Thanks for the bottle, Josh. Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours (as expected) a reddish color with slight amber or brown undertones. There's a bit of carbonation, but nothing too excessive - same goes for the pinkish, 2 fingers worth of frothy head that leaves, as other NG beers, tons of foamy, beautiful lacing all around. I honestly don't know how Dan does it, but he fully understands the concept of producing a beautiful looking beer with various yeast strains and residual sugars, and this is no exception. Glimmers like many great Lambics I've had, although it still is distinct in its own right. Super appetizing looking.

Smells absolutely fabulous, with notes of cherries, red apple cider, and light cranberries, or raisins, wafting to the front of my nose immediately. While it does appear to be a bit medicinal at first (the cherries are to blame), they're immediately taken aback with the cider notes and earthy flavors, imparted from the apples, and also from the oak spices. Caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, licorice, baking spice, chocolate, and vanilla coat the fruits at hand, making this very complex and extremely aromatic. There's definitely notes of brown, toasted malts as well as a grassy, dry backbone to this, but this is ALL about the funky yeast strains, diverse fruity notes, and oaky flavors overall. Can't say I've ever had anything like it!

The flavor is also excellent, although it's far different from the aroma at had - a tad more fruity, caramel-y, floral, and medicinal. At first, you get an immediate explosion of ripe cherry skins with some light medicinal notes, often resembling cherry Twizzlers or something similar. But then, the apples provide a wonderfully robust, juicy, and slightly musty backbone often found in dry cider, with hints of cranberries, or raisins (maybe Craisins), providing a bit of tart flavors. Then, the fruits meld into a wonderful caramel aftertaste, resembling the kind of syrupy sensation that you drizzle on vanilla ice cream. And, yes, given the oak, there are great notes of nutmeg, baking soda, and vanilla beans than finish off everything when it's all said and done. Very creamy and well carbonated - maybe a little too sweet in some respects, but you can tell that everything was chosen very carefully and meticulously in the recipe. Moments like this make me truly happy.

God, I really loved this thing. I'm glad I still have another bottle, and I'm debating whether to open it or not any time soon. The fruits are wonderfully present and robust here, as they should be, and the funky yeast and flavorful oak notes really add extra complexity to something that's already wonderful in its own right. NG has got to be one of the best fruit-infusing breweries in the country - I can't wait to try more from them soon.

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Photo of TooGood
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a medium amber red, with minimal head and lacing. Smells of tart raspberries and cherries. Taste is like liquid berry sweet tarts, so smooth and refreshing. This is one of the finest fruit beers there is.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a very reddish amber hue. Fair sized, 2.5 finger head in the New Glarus flute glass. Retains well, laces very well. Clarity is high.

S- Very prominent apple notes up front, similar to NG Apple Ale. Underneath the apple is a tart cranberry flavor. There are still hints of the cherries, but intermingled with the cranberries. Overall, this one just smells delicious.

T- Same as the scent. Apple up front, then cranberry bite, moving right into a mix of cherry and cranberry. All three fruits work together very well, moving beautifully from one flavor to the next. Moderate sweetness is balanced by the cranberry tartness.

M- Light and highly carbonated. Easy to drink, incredibly refreshing, and not filling. Light without being watery. Feels like a champagne with slightly less carbonation.

Overall, I want more of this beer. I would drink this all the time in the summer. It's simple, yet complex, refreshing, and light. The perfect fruit beer.

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a wax sealed 750ml bottle into a champagne flute.

A - Pours a ruby red color with a small off white head that fades quickly.

S - The initial, tart smell really gets the saliva going. I could also pick up the smell of crisp apples and sour cherries.

T - Much like the nose, the initial sip is a bit tart, but balanced very nicely by the sweetness on the finish. Exactly as you would expect, the taste is of crisp apples, sour cranberries, and juicy cherries. Very tasty and refreshing!

M - The carbonation is fine and champagne-like, allowing the flavors to really burst in your mouth. Slightly dry and sweet all at the same time.

O - I enjoyed this just as much or more than the Belgian Red. This one is a little bit more sour and tart, but the flavors really blend together nicely. After drinking this, I only wish I had another bottle...

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Photo of KevChiTown
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I've only had this one with a year or so of age on it, so I can't comment on a fresh bottle. Pretty much my flavor fruit ale! Almost jam like in its intensity and depth of flavor. So damn delicious on a hot summer day.

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Photo of Myotus
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured at 43°F from a 750ml bottle into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 17Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of light pink foam that dissipates into a white line of foam within 1 minute and 20 seconds. Dark red in color. Once the foam head settles, rising bubbles cease to exist. Lacing is thin and very subtle.
SMELL: Very strong aromas of apple juice entangle with strong aromas of cranberry juice and mild sweet/tart cherry aromas. Hints of earthy and spicy hops can also be detected.
TASTE: Very strong apple juice and cranberry juice flavors enter initally and are immediately followed by strong sweet/tart cherry flavors. The cherry flavors are more sweet than tart, unlike their balanced aromas. Subtle earthy hops and hints of spicy hops are the last to enter onto the palate as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. Ends with a thirst-quenching finish.
NOTE: This was simply incredible. Extremely unbalanced between the fruit flavors and the hops and yeast, but that's just what I expected from this brew.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Champagne like, easy drinking. Would be very easy for a non-beer drinker to enjoy. Very tart cranberry deliciousness. Reddish hue, with a nice, tart aftertaste.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a very deep garnet color, a couple shades darker than cranberry juice, with a fizzy brownish head that dissipates almost immediately. The smell is very strong Fuji apples, complimented by tart cranberry and just a touch of cherry. Taste is the same with some oak on the finish. The sweet and tart compliment each other wonderfully. Feel is light as well as the carbonation. I wish it was a bit more fizzy actually. Overall a very good beer. I wish it was a bit more tart, but it is still delicious.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon opening the bottle, there is a fruity aroma that fills the air. Pours with a small finger of head. Virtually no lacing left. It's a clear ruby red color that's very appealing.

Smells quite similar to Belgian Red. Cherries and cranberries are most prominent. I am not picking up too much of the apple. It smells just delicious. A mouth-watering fruitiness really jumps out.

Tastes of cherry leads the way followed by cranberries. The apple comes through on the end. A pleasant tartness keeps this from being too sweet. Light woody, earthy note is quite subtle.

Very light carbonation makes this very easy to drink.

I can't think of a tastier fruit beer. At least as good as Belgian Red, maybe even better.

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Photo of weonfire
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Light opaque burgundy, creme colored-pencil thin head. small bit of lacing.

S - Delightful! Wow it smells nice. Aged cherries, sour apple and cranberry- the bottle certainly does not lie. In combination: scents of peach and aged pear. Almost like opening a bottle of maraschino cherries.

T - initially: sour hits immediately. first cranberry followed by a mellow aged cherry and lastly sour apple. beautiful tart flavor bites the tongue. tart level 6/10

M - froth is excellent. immediately after- carbonation pops and tingles the tongue.

O - Wonderful sour. Nothing overwhelming in any flavor. blended excellently in the oak - perfect for an after dinner desert beer. My only downfall is I'd most likely only drink one of these.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby red color. Has a tart fruity aroma. Flavor is delicious. Tart fruit notes of cranberry with a light sweet background flavor. Has a slight fermented aftertaste with a fruity mouthfeel. Overall this is delicious!

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Photo of Strix
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear red with an orange-brown tinge, good initial head, gradually fades.

Smells of real cherries and cranberries.

Super complex. Cherry, cranberry, sweettart, cherry pie, real raspberry aftertaste. A bit of apple and blackberry as well? Not at all cloying, as refreshing as if this were solid real fruit juice.

Quite bubbly when cold, mellowed a bit when warm.

This is definitely my favorite of the 3 fruit beers. They are all a treat, but this is the one of the three I think I could drink a whole bottle of due to the others being quite sweet. Hope this becomes a permanent addition.

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Photo of stealth
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a few of these for $8.99 off the shelf - what a deal.

Ruby red pour with a head that vanishes quickly. Steady carbonation bubbles, and pretty much crystal clear.

The aroma is delicious. Apples and sweet fruit. No sour notes, or hints of sourness.

This beer is absolutely wonderful. First notes I get with each drink are from the apples, then it fades into the cranberries and cherries. Some tartness, not sour. Very, very drinkable. It tastes very much like Belgian Red with some Apple Ale (like others have said as well). I love the apple notes in this.

Very light on the palate, prickly carbonation, super drinkable.

I could drink this all day, and would have no problem slamming a bottle like it was water. Awesome.

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Photo of yamar68
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

But looking forward to this one for some time now. Love the concept.

Beautiful looking beer - cranberry reds and darker pinks, stuffed with slow and steady beading and capped with a frothy pinkish white head that laces consistently from start to finish.

The lush tart red fruit notes are showcased in the nose, not as aggressively sweet as the others. Just piles and piles of fresh fruit juice aromas, berries and sweet apple, pear.

Fresh, crisp cranberry plays the lead role, blueberry and apple type flavors beneath that. It's fruit and it's beer. It's delectable.

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Photo of Benish
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter. Came with a quarter inch head which dissipated quickly. Little lacings around the glass. Beer had a strong fruity aroma, I smelled both cranberries and apples. Very tart. It appeared dark red, kind of like cranberry juice with the exception that it had moderate froth and lacings.

The taste was very tart - like cranberry cocktail juice and yet very sweet. I noted highlights of different fruits as I tasted it - for certain there were cranberries and apples. While it was fruity, it had a nice malty background which is a reminder to me that it's a beer, not juice nor fruity wine. It's a 1 pint and 9 fluid oz. bottle, yet very drinkable and I did not share this (there wasn't anyone to share with anyway). A relaxing beer to enjoy both during the day (it's only 4% ABV) and in the evening hours. Enjoy!

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.02/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This spin-off of the famed Wisconsin Belgian Red is an apple, cranberry and cherry concoction from New Glarus. The beer pores a nut brown with red highlights and sports very little foam. The cherries pull through the aroma along with a heavy dose apples. The yeast also contributes. The flavor highlights the fruit: in many ways it reminds me of carbonated fruit juice with an emphasis on apples and a twist of beery goodness. The cherries nicely compliment the apples. The cranberries contribute tartness. The palate is left dry. This beer is complex with unique character.

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Photo of Jonada
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with no freshness date. Obtained in a recent trade. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours red/brown in color with 2 fingers of a light tan head that dissipates to thin foam coating and thick collar. Leaves a good amount of spotty lacing. Body is lightly hazy but still relatively clear.

Smell: Tons of fruit aromas. Apple, sweet cherries, honey, hint of mellon and a light tartness, which I'm guessing is the cranberries.

Taste: Same as the aroma. Huge fruit character, apple juice, maraschino cherries, red apple skin. There's a slight cranberry character in the aftertaste, but you have to reach to find it. The beer is mostly sweet on the palate, but is balanced just enough with a slight tartness and very light sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp with medium lively carbonation. No alcohol whatsoever.

Overall: Easily the best straight up fruit beer I've ever had. Not super complex, but it's not supposed to be. The beer is a canvas with which to showcase the fruit and it does it almost perfectly. This is definitely worth seeking out. If it was available in my area, it would be the perfect beer to stock up on and drink during the summer.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smells of raw, fresh, unpasteurized apple juice mixed with a tinge of tart berry puree. Fermented fruit juice is evident right off the bat in the tongue and is crisp and tangy...then the beer does a full 180 and tasty sweet and creamy, like a tart topped with whipped cream. Extremely unique and tasty beer.

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Photo of NODAK
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma here is quite fruity as you'd expect, and mostly tart. Notes of tart black cherries are there....I percept the cranberries as well. There's also a strong dark fruit component, perhaps plum??

Pours bloody red in my glass....head is fair, though fleeting.

And the taste. Ah....a good one. Sweet cherries are upfront, quite delicious...the apple component is slightly noted as well, though minor and fleeting. It seems to be overshadowed. There's also a certain note of caramel present that peeks through. The cranberries and their tart offering to this beer come after that, with a bit of a tannic note....wrapping it up on a somewhat sour note.

Tasty and a lot more complex than their other awesome fruit beers. That's for sure.

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Photo of kkleu357
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is actually my least favorite of the New Glarus fruit beers. I actually get a beer flavor from it. Little less sweet that other ones. Mildly tart cranberry taste. Some hints of apple and cherry.

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Photo of DemoniChris
4.96/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A - My, oh my. This is one of the best looking beers ever. Pours a clear reddish purple with a slightly tinted red head.

S - Pure bliss. Cherries, apples, cranberries are all apparent (and in large doses!). Tartness hits the nose mildly. Probably the best smell from any liquid I've ever had.

T - This is truly perfection. All of the nose comes through in the taste, only amplified. It is such an easy drink while still being incredibly complex. The cranberries are dominating while sour apples and cherries come through near the finish. Tartness comes through making you want to keep drinking it until it's gone.

M - The mouthfeel is pretty light on this one, and the carbonation is a little on the higher side, but it's not imbalanced in any way. The tartness really helps the beer out though, masking the alcohol and providing a more subtlety to the carbonation.

O - I knew this was going to be good; but not THIS good! I never knew a fruit beer could taste so damn complex, delicious and refreshing. Kudos to New Glarus for making the worlds finest fruit ales!

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Photo of davey101
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml waxed bottle into a HF wine glass. Thanks Yamar68!

A - Pours a clear dark red body with a fingers worth of purple stained foam. Leaves behind a patchy cap and some solid lacing with a swirl. Looks very juice like but with an excellent head.

S - Tart cranberries, ripe apples, some cinnamon spice from the cherries, and that's it. Ripe, fresh, and juicy are all terms that come to mind. This might blur the line between beer and fruit juice, but who cares when it smells this great.

T - Pleasantly tart cranberries, ripe apples, and some cherries and spice on the finish. Just a touch of malts can be found here but otherwise this is like drinking a sparkling cran-apple juice. Mouth feel is medium bodies with low carbonation. I'm not sure if its detrimental or not but it does feel somewhat syrupy. That does make it a bit of a chore to drink solo but the flavor is so amazing that slowly sipping on it is somewhat welcomed.

O - New Glarus simply kills it with their fruit "beers". This happy accident ale certainly is a happy accident. Belgian Red really impressed me and making up for the lack of cherries with cranberries and apples is just genius. Just the right amounts of sweetness and tartness .

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Serendipity from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 2,758 ratings.
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