The Spotted Cow, a Wisconsin Tradition.

16 Apr

If you are at all into craft beer, then I assume you know about New Glarus. I’ve done a couple reviews of their beer before, a couple of my favorites, Moon Man, and Black Top. An interesting thing you may or may not know about New Glarus is that there beer is only available in Wisconsin. I often see tweets and facebook updates from friends who’ve moved out of state, wishing they could get their hands on it. Even with this limited distribution, they still managed to rank pretty high in a recent poll by the Brewers Association, which is just freaking awesome! I feel for the friends who can’t get it readily, but it’s pretty cool to have such a dedicated brewery right here in the heart of the dairyland.

Spotted Cow is not in my opinion the greatest beer New Glarus makes, but it’s definitely the most well known, and has some wonderful endearing qualities.

Wisconsin is a bit of a confused state in the beer world. There is a whole lot of great beer brewed right here in the state, some really amazing local microbrews are available just in the Green Bay and Appleton areas. Milwaukee is also home to Miller (okay I know that’s not technically true but we have Miller Park anyways) and there is a heavy network of domestic beer distribution. I get that domestics have their place, and I realize why people indulge in such beers like Miller Lite and Bud Light, among others, but it always boggles my mind to see people drinking swill when better wonderful options are available. Weddings are a great example, and a great example of how Spotted Cow is saving beer lovers lives.

If you haven’t been to a Wisconsin wedding, it’s pretty much the law that there’s an open bar sometime around the dinner. Either up to the dance or during the dance, whatever. A lot of weddings there will be two beers available during this time. It’s either Bud Light and Spotted Cow, or Miller Lite and Spotted Cow, and I’ll let you guess which I choose. There’s always that moment of relief when I see the cow on the tap, and to know I’m not alone. While many wallow in a shallow pool of mediocre beverages, I take comfort in the fact that our whole state is putting some really great beer on the map.

Well, on to the beer.

I would be remiss to mention this beer without talking about the label. It even worked it’s way pretty far into the beer label bracket competition on CBS sports! It’s just a classy label, paying homage to the dairy that our state is famous for. I love the simplicity of it, the straight green field, star at the location of New Glarus and even the name. It’s wonderful simplistic design, my favorite kind.

Spotted Cow is said to pour cloudy as they leave bits of yeast in the bottle. It pours a little cloudy, but mostly clear golden, it’s not like a hefeweizen. It shows a decent amount of carbonation, but doesn’t have a real thick head. It stays around for a little while and reduces to a thin film throughout most of the beer.

The smell is definitely citrusy and fruity with maybe just a hint of nutinesst. It’s not an amazing aroma, but it’s quite honest and gives a good idea of what is to come.

The taste is similar to the other pale american lagers that I mentioned, but it has a refreshing slightly fruity quality that sets it apart. It has a lemon-like fruity flair, with the just a tiny hint of the corn they add. It’s a nice easy going flavor, perfect for warm summer evenings and chilling outside in nature.

The mouthfeel is really what I think sets this beer apart from others in its class. It is nice and creamy smooth, not watery like it’s mass marketed opponents. It fills your mouth and goes down easy, almost buttery.

Overall, like I said, it’s not my favorite New Glarus beer, but it is quite good, and gives a good representation of New Glarus’s ability to craft great beer. You can find it on tap at most bars all over the state, and it’s always cool to see the cow hanging out on the tap. So go pick up a pack (if you’re in state, if not, come visit!) and relax, it’s going to be a wonderful evening.

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