Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brewery Trip 2010, Day 2 (or, It's Hard to be Dairy Free in Wisconsin)

Day2 started off, as it should, at New Glarus Brewing Company, in New Glarus.  This beer is incredible.  If you haven't had it (and you may not have since they don't distribute to Illinois) you need to get in your car and go to them.  The brewery is on a gorgeous site at the top of a hill just outside downtown New Glarus (a town famous as being a Swiss town, flags, chalets all over).  They have a gorgeous patio for the summer time.  The facility is sparkling clean and you are welcome to drink and take yourself on a self guided tour.  We did the 3 sample tasting.  I started, of course, with the Spotted Cow, followed by their Snowshoe Red Ale (a special release) and finished up, uncharacteristically for me, with a Raspberry Tart

These beers were once again the highlight of the trip.  We walked away with 2 mixed 6 packs including several Spotted Cow, Organic Revolution, Snowshoe Ale, a Stone Soup and a Cabin Fever Honey Bock along with a 22oz. special Golden Ale. 

We made friends (this group definitely made an impression everywhere we went!) with the woman, Danny, who was running the tasting table.  She gave us all vouchers for a free small New Glarus draft beer at the local restaurant Glarner Stube.  It is a very quaint Swiss and American restaurant where Jason and I actually had lunch last summer! 
We enjoyed our free beers and both tables (we had to split into 2 tables of 5) each enjoyed the most amazing fondu and split an order of deep fried cheese curds that were literally to die for.  I ate a brat (without the bun, as if that made any difference), my stomach gurgled strangely the rest of the day, and I wouldn't have changed a thing!  We entertained ourselves throughout the meal trying to envision how the varied and strange antique weapons and other implements were used while making fjord jokes. 

Next stop, The Grumpy Troll in Mount Horeb.  Jason and I split a pint of the bizarre, but delicious Slow Eddie jalapeno beer described as:  A low gravity beer made with jalapeno peppers. Light and refreshing with a slight bite of fresh jalapeno pepper. Perfect for a hot summer day.  The beer is amazingly well done and the jalapeno really well incorporated into the overall taste of the beer!  We also tried samplers of the Maggie, an Imperial IPA brewed with British Malt and Hops
and my favorite, the Grumpy Creekan Uber hoppy, light pale ale! American hops, Amarillo, Simco, Cascade and Centennial come out in the aroma through the finish. This hop profile was created by mash hopping, boil hopping and dry hopping.  I had to buy a growler of the Grumpy Creek.

Beer tasting was followed by a stop at the new National Mustard Museum which relocated to Middleton.  I bought at least 3 mustards when I was there this fall, and limited myself to one purchase this weekend, a Green Olive & Lemon Mustard with Roasted Garlic

After mustard we stopped at a Carr Valley Cheese shop which was less than a mile away.  The guy in the store is part of the family who owns the company and he gave us a great overview of the history and tastes of several different cheeses.  I came home with a Monastery Cow's Milk cheese which promises to be a stinkier cheese (just how I like it)

We also bought the Bessie's Blend, which is a blend of Cow and Goat milk which took 2nd place at  the 2006 American Cheese Society Competition.  Jason and I both loved this one, although I think I'll end up having the Monastery all to myself!  I highly recommend exploring their cheeses.  Everything we tried was well crafted and at about $11.00/pound an incredible deal.  You'lll pay more than that for crappy, plastic tasting cheeses at the Jewel. 

That night Jason cooked up a delicious pork tenderloin with sides of roasted cauliflower and carrots.  We enjoyed the novelty of eating vegetables again, enjoyed a few last beers and played Taboo and Catch-Phrase for the rest of the night.


Rosemarie said...

I am so sad Matt and I didn't make it! I had a bad night and then slept most of the morning. My only consolation was that I was going to be in a bad mood while everyone drank beer. I really like New Glarus (Spotted Cow and then they have this squirrel one that's good too).

Rosemarie said...

Me again. Don't forget us next year! I'll be ready!