What do you get when you match up a guy who started working in the brewery industry at 20-years-old and a woman who majored in marketing, graphics, studied business and has a strong entrepreneurial spirit? A brewery of course! The husband and wife team Daniel and Deborah Carey are the owners of New Glarus Brewing Co., which was founded in 1993 when Deborah Carey raised the capital to start it as a gift to her husband. Coincidentally, as founder of the brewery, she became the first woman to found and operate a brewery in the United States. As staunch supporters of not only local business,1 but Wisconsin business in general, the Careys have made the unusual decision to limit the brewery’s business to only the state of Wisconsin. It’s unusual and odd since most microbreweries strive to achieve multi-state and national distribution deals, but New Glarus Brewing actually went the opposite direction early on in the company’s history. Having started distributing to Illinois, when faced with the option of expanding the brewery to meet demand or pulling back to only distributing in Wisconsin, the decision was made to stay only in Wisconsin territory. One of the early beers that was brewed up was the Spotted Cow. It is a farmhouse cream ale that Daniel brewed up and Deborah named and drew the label for.2 So today I’ll be taking a look at it, and lucky me since I’m in Texas and can’t easily get this. Prying off the cap3 it pours out a light golden color, and is quite clear despite the description on the bottle saying it’s “naturally cloudy.” A quarter inch of head settles quite quickly to just a minor film on the surface. Taking a deep breath in, citrus, tropical fruits, malts and a slight bit of yeast make up a pleasant aroma. Taking my first sip the taste is a continuation of the aroma, with more tropical fruits – specifically banana and pineapple—along with some bright citrus, a touch of yeast, a touch of malts, and a little bit of bitterness in the background. The mouthfeel is a medium with just the right touch of carbonation. On the finish there is a sweetness with rich fruits, ending with a crisp red delicious apple note.
New Glarus Brewing Spotted Cow Ale
Spotted Cow is a good, easy drinking beer. It has nice flavors, but isn’t very intense, with a lighter, crisp profile that’s pretty refreshing. With it not being overly complex or intriguing I don’t find myself lamenting the fact that I can’t get it easily, but on the other hand if it was available at the grocery store around the corner I’m sure I would find myself buying a six-pack of it now and then. It seems New Glarus Brewing has a good thing going for them, and if distribution in a single state works for them, more power to them for sticking to their ideals. So if you come across this in your travels or a friend happens to have some for you to try, don’t hesitate, I’m sure you’ll find it enjoyable enough.