if you take one detour

30 Oct

I’m only halfway kidding when I say that this summer was the Summer of Wisconsin.

There was more than one trip to Door County, checking on boats, checking out wineries, checking to make sure we ate as much cheese and sausage as our bodies would allow. Toward the end, we even had the experience of being Bears Fans in Packer Land. Which is a scary thought, but in reality was just delightful (helped greatly by the Jell-O shots that were handed out every time the Pack scored. Which was often. It was not our best game.)

We even got down to Madison one night, and instead of heading straight back to Illinois afterward, we took a detour.

Raise your hand if you’re surprised when I tell you this detour involved a brewery.

Annnd…I count…not a one.

Ok! Good! You’re all catching on to how travel operates in the McPolish-Swede relationship. Well done, all.

Because of course the detour did. Of course.

And what a lovely brewery it was. If you’ve never had one of the many New Glarus offerings (Spotted Cow, Moon Man, Two Women, etc), well, that’s not all that uncommon. It’s my understanding hat while wildly popular, the company doesn’t distribute outside of Wisconsin. (Which may be WHY they are so wildly popular?) So you pretty much have to cross over into America’s Dairy Land if you want to stock up on the brew. And while you’re doing that, since you’ll already be IN Wisconsin, I highly recommend hitting up the brewery while you’re at it.

(Even if it is two hours out of your way.)


What’s nice is that it’s a self-guided brewery tour. And by self-guided I mean you can just skip the looking at the tanks and pipes nonsense and get down to drinking. The tastings will cost you but it’s worth the cost, I thought. The Wisconsin Belgian Red alone is worth it, a dance of flavor on your tongue that you’ll want to tango with over and over.

Tasting Tickets at the New Glarus brewery

The brewery sits high on a hill overlooking the Swiss-influenced town, like the beer castle it is. Benches and tables dot the courtyard, and on the bright and hot Saturday that we visited, there was more than one family—kids in tow—camped out with food and blankets, settling in for a summery good time. And everyone? Everyone just seems happy to be there, happy to taste, happy to take some time to be with their brew and crew.

Beer castles are great like that.





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