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The Beer Circle » Beer, Fruit, New Glarus Brewing Co. » New Glarus Apple Ale

New Glarus Apple Ale

Though I grew up in Illinois, I have an extensive amount of family that lives in Wisconsin.  Lucky for me, Wisconsin really produces some fantastic beer, and my family enables me drinking it by stocking the fridge every time I visit.  I picked up the New Glarus Apple Ale over Christmas, out of a combination of curiosity and habit.  Habit is a function of always wanting to try the offerings of their Unplugged series, and curiosity because it is such a unique fruit beer; New Glarus describes this line of beers with the following:

A few times a year, we cut Dan loose to brew whatever he chooses. Always handcrafted, the bottle you hold is brewed for the adventurous soul. This is a very limited edition and we make no promises to ever brew this style again.

Though the Apple Ale seems to have been brewed multiple times, the Unplugged series has changed to the Thumbprint series in 2012, with offerings of a Barleywine and a Cherry stout (which I have for future review).  With it not being on the brew schedule for 2012, I’d recommend trying to either pick it up or trade for it; it’s a really unique approach to what is typically considered a fruit for cider, as opposed to ale.


New Glarus Apple Ale
A nice copper color, with about half an inch of white fluffy head when poured into a New Belgium goblet; dissipates pretty quickly. Leaves a lot of bubbles on the bottom and inside of the glass.
I could smell the apples when I was pouring the beer into the glass, and it reminds me of the Musselman’s non-alcoholic apple cider that my parents used to give to my brother and I on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Rather sweet in the nose, almost white wine or champagne-like (As someone who typically drinks neither, I can’t differentiate well). Reminds me of an Apple Jolly Rancher in the smell, which though I love, isn’t particularly appealing in a beer. There also seems to be a touch of caramel.
It tastes inherently fresh, like the apples were pressed only a few days previously, and not nearly as sweet in the taste as it was in the nose. It is balanced quite well and thus not as overwhelmingly sweet as a lot of fruit beers; probably because the base is a brown ale. The flavor dissipates quickly (a little too quickly for me), leaving behind a hint of apple. This quick dissipation serves to undermine my impression of the taste, because though I want to savor it to figure out more of the nuanced flavor, I can’t. No indication of hops or any other bitterness. I would have enjoyed it more if it were a touch more tart.
Very light in body without being overly carbonated, which I think is something that separates it from the prototypical alcoholic ciders/apple beers. I could easily put down a few of these, especially on a hot day. Probably helps that it’s only 4% ABV!
8.99 for a 4 pack of tasty, limited release beer is something I'm willing to spend, even in my poor graduate school state.
Another solid one from New Glarus. They really seem to be one of the top breweries in the country when it comes to fruit beers. I've enjoyed all of the beers I've had from their unplugged/thumbprint series, and I look forward to drinking the others that I have!

Beer Stats
Style: Fruit Beer
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 4.00%
BA Score: 92
RB Score: 98

Apple Ale Description

From the New Glarus that I already had and the wonderful @PJOChicago on the Twitters, I am overflowing with delicious Wisconsin beer, and there will be quite a few posts on it in the future!

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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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