Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nothing Sacred About That Cow

Tobin from Illinois e-mails on the new Coors:

I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my opinion of New Glarus Brewing's Spotted Cow. Ever since a Madison-dwelling relative of mine introduced me to it a few years ago, I wondered what the hype was all about. It's certainly not a bad beer, but not my favorite by a long shot either.

Whenever I'm in Wisconsin I do make sure to grab some of their Moon Man brew, but it's more to keep some variety in my stash, not because it's necessarily better than anything I can get locally.

I was just in the land of cheese last week and while I had plenty of opportunities to partake of Spotted Cow, I drank nary a drop. I did have the Moon Man Pale Ale that Tobin mentioned as well as a Blacktop IPA, both offerings from New Glarus that are superior to Spotted Cow.

I did enjoy a number of local brews not readily available here while in Wisconsin and brought a fair number home as well. These included, but were not limited to:

- Wild Ride IPA, Woody’s Wheat, and One Planet Ale from Sand Creek Brewing Co. in Black River Falls.

- DTB Brown Ale and El Hefe Hefeweizen from Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse.

- Apricot Naughty Wheat from Kinky Kabin Brewing in Bangor (Bangor? I don’t even know her!).

The last beer was discovered at the TeePee Supper Club in Tomah and was a delicious find. When it comes to an easy drinking yet tasty summer beer, it kicks nine kinds of crap out of Spotted Cow. The apricot flavor is readily apparent yet not overdone and it brought to mind #9 from Magic Hat Brewing in Vermont.

In addition to the praise, I also have to add one pan. Mosquito Coast from Lake Louie Brewing in Arena was a big disappointment. It’s billed as a “deep gold ‘California Common’” that’s “Hoppy, refreshing and perfect for summer,” but the bottle I had did not fit that profile. The nose was pungent and there was astringency to the flavor that caused it to be almost undrinkable (almost). Lest you not solely trust my opinion on this, JB Doubtless also sampled said beer and was of the same view of its less than pleasing impact on the palate.

UPDATE: Somehow I neglected to mention two other quality Wisconsin brews that I came across last week.

- Bedlam IPA from the Ale Asylum in Madison is a big Belgian IPA with crazy flavor.

- Ride Again Pale Ale from Lucette Brewing Company in Menomonie is a solid American Pale Ale that comes in six-packs of 16oz cans. I'm a convert to craft beer in cans and six-packs of pints is a great way to package it.