Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb Wisconsin Wild Fruit Ale

This past week, the family and I took a quick drive up I-94 across the Wisconsin border to do a little apple picking at Apple Holler. If you have young kids, take them here. There is a big slide, things to climb on and around, a petting zoo with goats, and a hay-bale ride out into the orchard.

While all that's good fun for the family, I had ulterior plans for this outing. Anytime I'm in Wisconsin, it's time to look for New Glarus fruit beers. Fortunately, Apple Holler has a restaurant and gift shop that happens to carry Wisconsin beers, including Tyranena and New Glarus, of course. While Spotted Cow and a few others were available, I had my heart set on the 750ml bottles. My vigilance was rewarded when I spied two bottles of Strawberry Rhubarb, which I quickly snatched up.

I had never tried Strawberry Rhubarb, but heard or read that it was probably one of New Glarus' least drinkable fruit beers. I think that's probably more a matter of personal taste, but I have to agree with the detractors. Strawberry Rhubarb is too candy sweet for my palate, although I'm sure lots of fruit beer drinkers would really like that.

But let's take a moment to smell the roses before jumping into the beer review. We went to Apple Holler on Thursday, and couldn't have asked for a nicer day to be outside. Apple Holler is definitely kid-centric, but it is also really nice to walk among the trees under a warm sun. A pleasant time was had by all.

Wasn't that delightful! To the beer. Strawberry Rhubarb has a deep earthy red and hazy color. The head is thick; the aroma is pure strawberry, which is evident right upon opening the bottle. It is very sweet tasting as well, almost entirely strawberry. This beer has a very nice, soft mouthfeel and light body. There's lots of flavor for such a light, low ABV beer (4%). It's very tart, but not very sour. New Glarus is great at isolating and accentuating the specific flavors of the fruits in their beers. And this is certainly the case with Strawberry Rhubarb. Nonetheless, Strawberry Rhubarb is not as drinkable as other New Glarus fruit beers, in my opinion. It's much more cloyingly sweet than other New Glarus fruit beers. A small amount of Strawberry Rhubarb was enough to satisfy my curiosity. Not to worry, the rest was consumed by someone who appreciated the beer far more than I.


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