Over the last 20 years New Glarus has gained its cult-favorite status by doing two things: producing delicious and inventive beers inspired by old-world recipes, and playing hard to get. Currently the beer is only available in Wisconsin, and they plan on keeping it that way.
'New Glarus' on Serious Eats
Barleywines, even in a field of brews with ever-increasing ABVs, are among the biggest of the bunch. They're characterized by their strength, depth, and complexity. Barleywines fall into two categories: English and American. The original English interpretations place a greater emphasis on rich malt and can be darker and fruitier. American barleywines dial up the hop intensity but the best still maintain balance. The significant malt character in a proper American barleywine, often equal to or greater than the hop presence, is what distinguishes it from an imperial IPA.
Almost every time I decide to try another Black IPA, I end up wanting to brush my tongue. The two-pronged aggressive bitterness of hops and roast often clashes like a couple of guitarists trying to play over one another. New Glarus Brewing Co.'s Black Top Black IPA, which won gold at GABF this year, takes a more measured approach.
The first sip of Cran-bic sets it apart from New Glarus' other terrific fruit beers. While the brewery's Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart are object lessons in how much fresh fruit flavor a brewer can pack into one bottle, Cran-bic does that and takes a sour step further.
When I think of Dan Carey at New Glarus Brewing Company, I picture him working on his lovely, juicy Raspberry Tart and his pretty-darn-perfect Staghorn Oktoberfest. Double IPA just doesn't come to mind. But Dan Carey's latest small-batch Thumbprint series beer isn't kidding around; it's a seriously hoppy double IPA with an ABV of 9%.
In 1993, Dan Carey left a job with Anheuser-Busch to start his own brewing company, New Glarus Brewing Company, with his wife, Deb. Since then, Carey's beers (including some unusual spontaneously-fermented fruit beers) have won countless awards and garnered attention from beer lovers around the globe. We're so glad that Dan had a minute to chat with Serious Eats.