Posts from the ‘brewery’ Category

Brewery Spotlight: New Glarus Brewing Company

The New Glarus Brewing Company is another one of my favorite breweries. Not only are they the epitome of a craft brewery: family run, local distribution only, constantly trying new things, but they also make some damn good beer.

If you’ve never experienced the wonder that is New Glarus beer, head on over to Wisconsin next chance you get. The brewery is located in New Glarus, WI, a small town near the Illinois border, about 45 minutes southwest of the capital of Madison.

Family-run and woman-founded (girl power!), this brewery packs a big punch in the craft beer market. With six year-round brews and six to eight seasonal brews, there’s bound to be something for everyone. I’ve already reviewed Spotted Cow, which is by far their best known beer, and is liked by just about everyone. For the more adventurous, they’ve got Belgian Red, made with real Door County cherries. For the organic-food-eating hipster in you, they’ve got Totally Naked, an all-natural beer that is quite tasty.

New Glarus is a great little brewery which makes some excellent beer. Should you ever find yourself in southern Wisconsin, do yourself a favor and get a Spotted Cow on tap. Or take some home to share with your friends.

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Heartland Brewery Part 4

The last post in the Heartland Brewery series will be about one of their seasonal brews: Not Tonight Honey Porter. Apologies for the picture quality–I lost my original picture.

Admittedly I ordered this beer for the name, but that hasn’t led me astray before, and it didn’t this time either. This was a rich, smooth, malty beer with a light honey/chocolate aroma. It was dark ebony, but don’t let that fool you: this is a porter, so it is quite a bit lighter than a stout of the same flavor profile. When tasting it I got hints of molasses, honey, and chocolate. This beer is a seasonal, so it’s only available January-April.

Try this if you like: Sierra Nevada Porter, Boulder Old Chicago Black Diamond Chocolate Porter

4 stars

Heartland Brewery Part 3

Today’s selections from the Heartland Brewery are their Indiana Pale Ale and Farmer Jon’s Oatmeal Stout. This will be the second-to-last post in the Heartland Brewery series.


The Indiana Pale Ale was a very typical IPA. It was clear, crisp, dry, and hoppy. It’s everything you would want from an IPA. That said, it doesn’t have any “extras” to it that would make it more than just an IPA. You can get the same taste from just about any brewery that makes good IPAs. Goose Island’s and Sierra Nevada’s come to mind.

Try this if you like: IPAs in general

Next up is the Farmer Jon’s Oatmeal Stout. Sadly, the Heartland Brewery claims that it is similar to Guinness. Now, there’s nothing wrong with American Guinness but there are MANY better oatmeal stouts out there. New Glarus makes an excellent one. This beer was far too flavorful for it to be like American Guinness. (Why do I keep saying “American?” Because Guinness is MUCH better in Ireland.)

from http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/5119302288_31f0dc0193.jpg
This was a dark, almost black, opaque stout. It had an oatmeal/malty aroma, and a smooth, malty taste with hints of espresso. If you like coffee stouts but find them a bit too strong for you, this is the beer for you. The espresso was just enough to balance out the oatmeal. No one flavor was overpowering.

Try this if you like: New Glarus Road Slush, New Glarus Coffee Stout, or other oatmeal/coffee stouts.

4 stars

Heartland Brewery Part 2

The next edition of the Heartland Brewery macro-review will cover the Harvest Wheat and Red Rooster Ale.


So this is the Harvest Wheat. It had a citrusy aroma and an overly wheaty taste. Once I squeezed the lemon in, the wheat taste became overpowered by lemon. As you can see, it’s cloudy, so it is an unfiltered wheat beer. You don’t taste much for hops…mostly wheat. Did I mention wheat? All in all, this was not my favorite, but it wasn’t too bad.

Try this if you like: Hefeweizens

 

 

Next up is the Red Rooster Ale. Now…I’m a little biased because I absolutely love reds, and this was no exception.


I haven’t had a really good red ale in awhile. The Red Rooster cured that. It had a malty, caramely aroma and the same sort of taste. It was smoother than any other red I’ve had (probably because it was an ale and not a lager) and it was refreshingly hoppy. While I couldn’t drink this for hours, it’s definitely a beer to sip and enjoy.

Try this if you like: Sam Adam’s Irish Red, Leinenkugel’s Red, Sierra Nevada

5 Stars

Heartland Brewery Part 1

While in NYC over the past two days I went to an awesome brewpub called Heartland Brewery. The worst part about this place is that you can only get its beer here. I had a 7-beer sampler, which offers their 6 regular brews plus one of their seasonals. Not bad for $15. I’ll review the seven beers over the next couple of posts, and we’ll start with a 2-for-1!

First up, Indian River Light.

This was an excellent summer beer, reminiscent of Blue Moon, but MUCH better. It’s also not cloudy like Blue Moon. The aroma is nearly all orange with hints of coriander. The taste is the same: LOTS of orange, bits of spice, and a clean, finish. This is a great summer beer–I could drink this for hours.

Try this if you like: Blue Moon

5 Stars

Next up, Cornhusker Lager. This was a very generic lager, made with corn hops like many of the American macrobrews. The website even claims that it’s similar to Bud. No wonder I didn’t like it.

There was really no aroma to speak of. On first taste I thought “yup, this is an American lager.” It was quite bubbly (a very tingly mouthfeel,) with a mild malty taste. This definitely had more taste than your typical Bud or Miller (a plus for it), but other than that it wasn’t anything special. I’m glad I only had to drink 5 ounces of it.

Try this if you like: Bud, Miller, Heineken, Amstel

Pour Decisions Brewery

Isn’t that a great name for a brewery? And it’s a brand-new one too. Pour Decisions in Minneapolis, MN was started as a reverse April Fool’s joke by two active members of the local homebrewing community, B.J. Haun and Kristen England. Check out the link, it’s to a great article on the brewery and an interview with the founders.

I can’t wait to get back to Minneapolis to try some beer from this brewery. Perhaps we’ll get a guest review after my boyfriend gets back from his visit in three weeks.

Brewery Spotlight: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Every once in a while I’d like to take a break from reviewing beers and spotlight some breweries. And we’ll start with my absolute favorite, Leinenkugel’s, even though it’s only really a semi-craft brewery. Any place owned by Miller just can’t be completely craft in my mind.

The Leinie Lodge

Located in Chippewa Falls, WI, Leinie’s, as it is affectionately known, has never made anything I wouldn’t at least try. There is only one that I’ve tried that I can say I will not willingly drink ever again: Berry Weiss. I just am not big on overly fruity beer. Give me Ithaca’s Apricot Wheat any day, please and thank you.

That said, Leinie’s makes beer for everyone. And they rotate most of their beers. Get ’em while they’re cold, people! There’s a delivery of Leinie’s Limited coming to my apartment in two weeks. Can’t wait!

They’ve got Original and Original Light (which are really not that good, those are more for the “I usually drink MGD but want something with flavor today” crowd.) Also in the run-of-the-mill category are Honey Weiss, Red, and currently Classic Amber. For spring/summer beers, you’ve got your choice of Summer Shandy, Sunset Wheat, and currently 1888 Bock. For those of you who like dark beers, you can hope you can find a Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout around, or go with the classic Creamy Dark. Leinie’s Oktoberfest is a great fall beer, and so is Fireside Nut Brown. And of course for those of you who like your beer to taste like a cocktail, there’s Berry Weiss.

As I mentioned, Leinie’s rotates their beers. Limited was out a few years ago as Northwoods Lager. They change the name but not the recipe. Classic Amber was out a long time ago as Amber Ale, I believe. So if you didn’t get to try Big Butt (a doppelbock) a few years back, just wait a few more years and it’ll come out again!

One of the best things about Leinie’s is that it’s available in a lot of places. It doesn’t have the national distribution of Sam Adams but it’s getting there. I can find Honey Weiss and whichever seasonal is currently out at my local Wegman’s. In Wisconsin you can find it all in your local grocery store or gas station, and you can find all the flavors. You can even get Original, Light, and Honey Weiss in cans for your tailgating needs.

The other best thing about Leinie’s is that it’s cheap. If you think good beer has to be expensive, think again. Now, Leinie’s doesn’t have to-die-for beer, but for $6 for a six pack you really can’t go wrong. Sure, you can get a 30-pack of Miller Lite for $12 in Wisconsin, but wouldn’t you rather have a 12 pack of Summer Shandy? I certainly would.