Thursday, December 2, 2010
New Glarus Apple Ale
New Glarus has shuffled Apple Ale through their line-up a few times, now. Its first outing was in a fancy 750 ml bottle packaged like Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red, but that soon passed and the last couple times through it’s appeared as part of the Unplugged series. Regardless of dress, this a simple and beautiful beer.
Made with Wisconsin barley and a mix of apples grown in Gays Mills, the beer pours out like a clean, brown ale with a head that slips away extra quick, leaving you with a cup full of something that could easily be passed off as sparkling apple cider. It’s got that smell, it’s got that look and it’s got that flavor. The aroma is a waft of candied apples with a bump of cinnamon and is a dead-on forecast of the flavor to come. It starts with apple and gains a lactic creaminess as you drink it before finishing off with a nice, tart nip that keeps things from getting too sugary sweet. Hops? Malt? Forget it. Apple Ale is all about apples and that single note simplicity is really what’s most appealing about the beer. It all seems so effortless and straightforward and makes for a very refreshing change of pace from the big, sometimes unrelentingly complex beers that are typical of the seasonal brews this time of year.
A few weeks ago when Stone Brewing announced it was pulling out of Wisconsin, one distributor speculated that the reason Stone couldn’t make headway here was due to Wisconsinites being too “caught-up” in the local beers made by New Glarus, Central Waters, O'so, et al. With beers like this, how can you blame us?