Brian was familiar with New Glarus’ flagship beer, Spotted Cow, and when he discovered we were only about 40 minutes from the brewery, he suggested we go. It was a nice ride from Brodhead to New Glarus, all on back roads, through farms and hillsides and lots of colorful foliage.
Reading up on the brewery and the town of New Glarus in the car on the way there, I discovered New Glarus was named after Glarus, the town in Switzerland, and as such, the town is very Swiss inspired. The Swiss-ness is also apparent at the brewery.
It was located on top of a hill and the view from the beer garden was very, very pretty. I thought I took a picture of the view but it turns out, I just captured the brewery and beer garden!
Tours of the brewery are self-guided, and free, unless you want to taste the beer. For $3.50 you get three 3-ounce tastings and you get to take the tasting glass with you. I guess it’s cool that you can walk at your own pace and look only at what you want to see. But unless you are unlike me and actually know something about brewing beer, you have no idea what you are looking at, especially if the brewery isn’t in operation – like on a Saturday, when we were there!
After our tour and tastings we browsed around the gift shop and bought a souvenir and some take-home beer. When we were checking out, the cashier gave us a certificate that listed about a dozen local restaurants where we could exchange the piece of paper for a free beer. What a great cross-marketing plan!
We took the cashier’s recommendation and headed to Glarner Stube, a cute little place that serves both Swiss and American entrees. We shared the Swiss cheese fondu and bread and the Swiss meatball platter. I have never had Swiss meatballs that tasted like this before. They were delicious!! The sauce was the most perfect sweet and tangy combo.
I think we’ll definitely return to New Glarus, both the town and brewery, at some point. We didn’t have a lot of time to walk around and explore downtown New Glarus, but I would love to. Since it’s a Swiss-inspired town, they’ve got to have a good chocolate joint somewhere, right?!