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Monday, January 21, 2013

New Galrus Brewing Co.'s Apple Ale

  • Style: Fruit/ Vegetable Ale
  • AVB: 4.0 %
  • Season: Fall
  • Ease to locate: New Glarus only sells in Wisconsin.  They do have a great beer finder if you happen to be in the great cheese state
  • Color: Amber gold.  Looks a lot like a quality cider
  • Head: One finger with minimal lacing
  • Aroma: Fresh apple cider, sweet and crisp
  • Mouthfeel: Thin, but crisp with carbonation
  • Finish: Short
  • Food friendly: Not a lot.  It should work with simple, straight forward food like a green salad or grilled pork tenderloin.  I would stick to cheddar only for a cheese plate. 
    In my family, we all get to choose our dessert when our turn at the great birthday wheel comes around.  I say birthday dessert and not cake because for years now, not one of us has chosen a cake for our big day.  More often than not, we have cupcakes or possibly brownies.  My mother, for reasons only known to herself, pulls out a butterscotch pudding request every few years.  When the end of August rears it's head, I always make it known that I want a candle or two in a fresh baked apple pie.   Because there is nothing in this world that I love as much as a slice of cold, cinnamon flavored baked apples encased in a flaky pastry crust. When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to actually bake me apple pies.  She was an amazing cook and to this day, I have never had a pie that equaled even the worst of one of her kitchen creations.  I doubt if I ever will.  But that certainly won't stop me from trying.  It's with this thought in mind that I picked up some New Glarus Brewing Co.'s Apple Ale during a quick trip to Wisconsin.
    New Glarus Brewing Co. is located in the town of New Glarus, Wisconsin (listen, all brewery names  can't be gems and anyway, Hoppn' Frog and Horny Goat  were already taken..)  The town is known as America's Little Switzerland.  I had thought that distinction would have gone to the entire state of Arkansas (known to some as the Les Arses of the West) but apparently not.   Anyway, I like most New Glarus beers.  I think it's partially from the fact that I have to drive over an hour to buy one and partly that they are just damn tasty.  So when I was putting together a make your own six pack at the Mars Cheese Castle one day, I slipped a couple of Apple Ales into the case.  
This is what Autumn would look like in a glass 

    Apple Ale poured a slightly hazy golden amber color.  I could see heavy carbonation immediately as the tiny bubbles raced skyward through the glass.  It was surprising that there was only a one finger at best head with next to no lace retention.  The foam quickly reseeded and left the barest ring around the outer ring of the pint.  The aroma of freshly pressed  apple cider assertively wafted up from the glass, tinged with a bit of bready yeast and sweet malts.  It tasted like the distant cousin of cider.  You know, the relative who came from the "other" side of the family,  the one with the eccentric  uncle who likes to build dioramas out of dental floss and post-it-notes in the basement.  It had a fresh apple pie flavor on the front, juicy tartness balanced with the bite of cinnamon and nutmeg.  What put this ale in the "taste's like beer" category was the fresh baked bread note of the yeast.  The carbonation lasted through the whole pint and only contributed to the clean crispness of the drink.  The body was light, but more crisp than watery.  The finish was short to medium, which seem right on par with the type of fruit beer.   
I'll admit it.  I sort of wanted this bottle because of the fancy red foil top
    I'm not a big fruit beer type of girl.  If I want any fruit in my beer, I'll add my own lime wedge to the reluctant glass of Corona, thank you.  I probably would never order this ale in a bar or drink more than one glass in the span of an afternoon. If I had to pair Apple Ale with food, I'd want a simple salad of mixed greens or a protein that pairs well with apples, such as a minimally prepared pork tenderloin. If you are the type who loves fruit beers, this a definite contender for your attention.  Me?  I'd rather have the pie.  Because it's really difficult to get a candle to stand up straight in a pint glass.