New Glarus Brewing Company

BEER AVG
4.01/5
New Glarus Brewing CompanyNew Glarus Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar

2400 Hwy 69
New Glarus, Wisconsin, 53574
United States

(608) 527-5850 | map
newglarusbrewing.com

Notes:
Gift Shop/Tasting Room
Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Free Self Guided Tours
Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Hard Hat Tour - Fridays at 1:00 p.m.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
35
Ratings:
38,899
Reviews:
9,877
PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Ratings:
429
Reviews:
88
Avg:
4.45
pDev:
4.04%
 
 
Taps:
0
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 429 |  Reviews: 88
Photo of MarkDeming
3.9/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.9/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I visited the New Glarus Brewery on 9/28/12 and the brewery is on a hillside outside of the small town of New Glarus WI. It was a sunny 80 degree day and the place was packed with visitors. This was likely because of the unseasonably good weather and the Octoberfest celebration going on in town.

The selection of beers on this day was somewhat limited, the Staghorn Octoberfest, Fat Squirel, Rasberry Tart, Spotted Cow and Two Women.

There is an indoor tasting room but it was mainly empty. A wood stove pizza maker, La Fortuna was on site and was cooking pies. We tried one and it was enjoyed by all.

They have a decent size gift shop and the Brewery was built with an enclosed hallway so you could tour the brewery by your self, though one employee was around to answer any questions you may have. They have a seperate area to buy beer to go but I did not vehture in that shop.

A great experience and we will defintely return.

 937 characters

Photo of southsidejoe8089
3.91/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.25

Honestly I am not a huge fan of New Glarus beers. Not that they are bad. I just see people in Illinois clamoring over Spotted Cow and I just don't get it. Moon Man is a solid IPA. That being said, the brewery is very nice. Worth a visit just to sit in the beer garden, which is on a hill and kind of overlooks the town. Very enjoyable. However, not a huge selection of beers to choose from.

 397 characters

Photo of Suds_Suds
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

 284 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

 2,637 characters

Photo of pkeating59
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Photo of Matt815king
3.96/5  rDev -11%

Photo of eifster82
3.96/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25

This has to be one of the coolest looking breweries I've ever been to. I wasn't sure if I was visiting a medieval castle sitting on top of a hill overlooking the valley, or if I was at the brewery. The actual building structure and lay out is just breathtaking and I would recommend this to anyone to check out that's in the area. The vibe was very touristy. Lots of visitors that I got the sense were more interested in the place itself as opposed to beer that it had to offer, which unfortunately wasn't as large as I had hoped. Only 5-6 beers were being offered. The service was nice and quick which made up for some of the shortcomings regarding beer selection. I'm also a bit surprised that such a nice place wouldn't serve food. But again, as a structure itself and the setting ... just beautiful.

 810 characters

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of EmptyPockets
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of HeavyDandtheGirls
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of MrsBeerGut
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of arnold931
4/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

They have a beautiful new hill top brewery. The tours are self-guided, so you can get a pint at the sampling room and then wonder around the brewery at your own pace. They have an awesome selection of glassware and tee shirts available. Also a beautiful new outdoor garden when can sit and drink beer and look over the Wisconsin country side.

 342 characters

Photo of Charley_Wilson
4/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

I was visiting some friends in Madison, WI, and we made a day trip out of this place. It is just outside the town of New Glarus, WI, which is a Swiss-styled town. Therefore, the brewery is also styled in the same way, which makes it very impressive to the eye. They also have a ton of different classic Bavarian style beer steins in their merchandise shop, which makes for a great keepsake.

Their beer is fantastic, and well balanced. When I visited, they had a Sour Cherry ale as their seasonal, that was all around a great beer. I also tried a session ale that was refreshing, as a session should be, and a Brown Ale. The only beer I had that I wasn't a fan of was the Two Women Ale. It was a bit skunky, a la Heineken, Kokanee, and others of the same ilk. I know others love this style though, which really helps to make New Glarus a very well balanced brewery. We also had a 3 year old girl with us, and she loved the decor of the place, which was a bonus!

 962 characters

Photo of amano_h
4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 3,966 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5

Photo of Penguins66
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

It's remote. The brewery sits on a hill overlooking the tiny town of the same name. It has a large outdoor seating area with views that rival most wineries we've visited. On the downside, there isn't much shade so bring your sunscreen. Most if not all of the tables can accommodate umbrellas, not sure why they don't have them.

It's touristy but not cheesy. If you visit on a Saturday during the summer like we did, come soon after they open to beat the crowds. The self-guided tour isn't much of a tour. You basically make a big loop down one hallway and up another. Equipment is labeled--sort of--but it would be nice to have some plaques or signs describing what you're seeing. The gift shop has some interesting swag but nothing you haven't seen a dozen times before.

On the day we visited, they were not serving any food. All beers were being dispensed from a small counter out on the patio. (They do have an indoor tasting room but it was closed.) A line quickly formed by the counter but thankfully they opened another counter on the opposite side of the patio. You have to purchase drink tickets and I have to say, $8/pint seemed a little steep given that all they had on tap were staples that, as others have indicated, you can purchase at pretty much any liquor/grocery/convenience store in Wisconsin. Sure, you get to keep your glass, and refills are $5.50 (except for the fruit beers) but still.

That being said, we mainly came for the scenery and the ambiance, and on that New Glarus excels. Their beer is pretty good too.

 1,538 characters

Photo of DOCRW
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of JonathanC
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Florida9
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I've got to admit, New Glarus's brewery is an impressive operation. It's been several years since I've visited the brewery and the new location is absolutely amazing. The building sits upon a hill and has been designed to look as if might be in the Swiss Alps. Rocks, stone, and natural colors make the brewery look like it belongs exactly where it is.
The inside is no less impressive. Wide open with lots of glass and more glimmering stainless steel pipes than it's possible to count. It is impeccably clean. The new self guided brewery tour doesn't have a whole lot of information on it, but if you know the brewing process, it really doesn't matter much. Gawking at the facility is all that matters.
There are two shops on the site. One, near the parking lot, sells beer to go, while the other is a gift shop that sells beer for consumption on the premises. For $3.50 you get three tastes and get to keep the tasting glass. For $6 you get a full beer and still get to keep the glass. Either way is a deal. The beer shop down below sells all of the regular offerings plus the latest Thumbprint and the R&D (currently the golden ale). The gift shop sells absolutely everything you could possibly imagine, tastefully branded with the NG logo of course, at less than reasonable prices. (My 4 year old daughter was able to walk out with a plush "spotted cow." "Fat Squirrels" also available!)
And while I'll admit I'm not NG biggest fan, I was still impressed by the brewery, the operation, and the genuine friendliness of the people working there.

 1,548 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of CKlinchock
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This new location that New Glarus has, is one of the best out there that I've had the pleasure of visiting thus far. My Girlfriend and I were spoiled and got a beautiful sunny day of the day of the Kentucky Derby. The vibe was awesome, the beer garden was busy to say the least. Derby fans all dressed in their finest, cyclists rode up on their bikes and were roaming around. Young, Old, Far and wide, this place attracts unlike any other.

Quality of the beer was very good and fresh as well as the location, brand new as good as it gets.

Service and Selection is where I ding this brewery a bit. The front desk and shop employees were fantastic, but each of the beer station employees were very cold, brash and downright unfriendly. Maybe they were busy or unprepared for how hot it was out, but that was the only diminishing part of our experience with the staff at New Glarus otherwise the rest of the staff were great. Down in the beer cellar after our tastings the young men down there were fantastically knowledgeable of their beer and very pleasant and helpful.

The selection of the beers on tap for tastings were as most have pointed out their mainline beers and not their signature or "thumb prints" as New Glarus calls them. If they added a few more on their tasting rotation that I think that would help them immensely. Their beer in the cellar is pricey especially as their Thumb Prints, it would have been helpful to have tried them upstairs.

Regardless, this new New Glarus Brewery is remarkable, it is hands down top 3 favorite breweries that I've had the pleasure of visiting and I will be going back.

 1,632 characters

Photo of krome
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Beautiful facility. Lots of outdoor seating with amazing views

63 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.14/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Managed to take the self guided tour of this brewery a few weeks ago. This place is huge! I never expected it to be nearly as big as it was. The building is beautiful inside and out. The gift shop was really nice lots of very nice stuff to purchase ranging from Glassware to Clothing. The tour was self guided but there was at least one employee there who was mingling with people and answering questions for the guests. The brewery is spotless clean.. I feel like I could eat off the floor in this place. The visuals in this place were great too, pipes and and tanks and a furnace are just a few things that stick in my mind just from walking around. The bottle shop they have is loaded with many of the beers they make there. I left with 7 New Glarus beers I had never tried before in addition to a bottle of Moon Man and Raspberry Tart. Overall it was a great place to check out. Very good all around, I would go back here in a heart beat.

 942 characters

Photo of tgates
4.16/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5

Really a beautiful space up on the hillside with great views and lots of room to meander. $8 gets you a beer and nice NG glass to take home. Service is fine and its fun to roam on the (limited access) self-guided tour. My main complaint is that there is never anything unique on draft. Just standard fare that for the most part you can grab in bottles at any grocery store in WI. Would be fun if they did some one offs or variations of the regular lineup... Still worth the visit of you've never been.

 501 characters

New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, WI
4.01 out of 5 based on 38,899 ratings.
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