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Road Trippin': New Glarus Brewing

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 2, 2009 4:50PM

It's simply a shame that New Glarus Brewing doesn't distribute their product to Illinois. The official line from New Glarus is that they had a hard enough time keeping up with demand in their home state of Wisconsin; the Carey's decision to leave Illinois was made easier when their former local distributor was merged into Southern Wine and Spirits seven years ago and SWS asked for $20,000 from the Careys to opt out of their distribution agreement (source). 'Course, that hasn't stopped some local establishments from bringing in New Glarus' offerings. We've had our share of Raspberry Tart at Delilah's, and one of the early selling points of the Burlington — besides Tankboy's incessant pimping of the place (kidding, Jim) was the poorly kept secret that their "house beer" was Spotted Cow on draft.

Owners Dan and Deb Carey have since expanded their brewing operations, with a state-of-the-art brewhouse scheduled to open in summer. They can now meet the demand for Wisconsinites, but as of yet they still have no plans to resume distribution to Illinois. Lucky for us that, whenever we drive to Wisconsin to visit Mom in unincorporated South Wayne, New Glarus is on the way. On the way back, we stop by the brewery and load the trunk of our rental car with enough beer to make a bootlegger nod his head in approval.

With a lead foot and a good playlist on your MP3 player, a trip to New Glarus is a little more than a two-hour drive. Tours of the brewery are self-guided and available from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., seven days a week. A tasting room is also on the premises, allowing you to sample three of the brewery's offerings in a souvenir tasting glass for $3.50. While you're in New Glarus, you can also spend time diving in to the town that calls itself "America's 'Little Switzerland.'"

New Glarus Brewing is located at County Track W and Highway 69, New Glarus, Wisconsin.