This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.
Sidestepping the matter of the official definition of craft breweries, I have to credit the namesake brewery of New Glarus, Wisconsin with introducing me to the concepts and philosophies that drive the significant, growing movement now. Founded in 1993, the brewery was already starting to make a name for itself when I lived in nearby Madison in the mid to late nineties. Six packs of their offerings regularly found their way into our fridge, but the real eye-opener occurred when we impetuously drove to the area and took a tour of the then-modest facility (it’s since grown enough to garner attention from surprising quarters). Besides hearing a few dirty secrets about the major American brewery that the New Glarus brewmaster used to work for, we were treated to a wide array of sample beers, demonstrated a greater variety than I could wrap my heard around at the time. We also came home with a hefty bottle of Wisconsin Belgian Red, which was then the priciest, most impressive single bottle of beer I’d ever purchased. But the allure of it was too strong, both given the sheer novelty of it and the promise that it was packed with Door County Cherries know statewide (at least) as an ingredient to be cherished. I remember it being tart and potent. I’d never drank anything quite like it. I certainly didn’t know it at the time, but the beer was also a harbinger of many unique brewed adventures to come.
—21st Amendment Bitter American
—Abita Restoration Pale Ale
—Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter
—Samuel Adams Boston Lager