Wisconsin! I guess you should expect no different from a state that crowns its baseball team with the name the Brewers, but somehow I had never considered Wisconsin as being among the uber cool brewing states. There is California (1), obviously, Oregon (2), yeah, New York (3), sure, Michigan (4), no doubt, Pennsylvania (5), a surprising yeah, but Wisconsin?
I have had some Wisconsin beers before, especially the awesome brews by New Glarus, thanks to trading beer online. In fact, I liked them so much that when my buddy and coauthor Jim McDevitt went on a cross-country trip, I asked him to grab me some beer from this great state.
And yeah, even though he spent all of five minutes in this state, there was loads to bring home. In addition to a few beers I may post about later, Jim grabbed me a mixed pack of beers by New Glarus. This was the highlight of the BIG RIDICULOUS BOX OF BEER he brought home for me. (You write a book or two with someone, you're kind of tight, you know?) The pack had four beers, and they tasted a little something like this:
Overall – I have had a few of the fruit beers by New Glarus, and they were some of the best I have ever had. Seriously. BEST. So when I had this mix pack I had high hopes. Well, these beers are all GREAT for their given style, perfect examples of simple, drinkable brews. Which is to say, this is a BOOoooOOring mix pack for big beer geeks, but an AMAZING mix pack for people who either love awesome easy drinking beers or for beer geeks who appreciate the subtlety in making a good drinkable beer.
Verdict: If you are in Wisconsin or know someone who will be, get this mix pack. You'll be glad you did.
(1) - Stone, Russian River, Sierra Nevada, North Coast, The Bruery, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Lost Abbey, Firestone Walker, and a TON more. And when I say a ton, I mean a ton. Look at that long list, and realize I still left out 21st Amendment, Anchor, Lagunitas, and others.
(2) Deschutes, Full Sail, Ninkasi, Widmer, and the most overpriced beers in America, Rogue.
(3) Southern Tier, Brooklyn, Ithaca, Sixpoint, Ommegang, and more. (I did not forget you, South Hampton.)
(4) Founders, Bell's, Atwater, Jolly Pumpkin, New Holland, and more.
(5) Weyerbacher, Troegs, Victory, Yards, Lancaster, and the ever popular Yuengling, among others.