Review: New Glarus Spotted Cow

In Beer Reviews by Ryan

New Glarus says:

“Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you’re in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow.”

New Glarus Spotted Cow
Cream Ale, 5.1% ABV

Sayeth the Guys:

Karl: Taking from the Spotted Cow description, you do know you’re in Wisconsin when you see Spotted Cow – but you also know that from the excess of Leinenkugels and the relative low profile of Budweiser in bars across the state.  What Spotted Cow’s presence in the beer coolers and taplines of Wisconsin’s package stores and bars represents is an appeal to a higher beer power.  That Milwaukee may be a beer capital of the Midwest, but not all Wisconsin beer is Miller quality.

Rather than rehash Spotted Cow, a short tale of Spotted Cow epiphany:  Have you ever been to Fred’s in Burlington?  If you go north of Kenosha on I-90 and don’t detour yourself for a burger and a beer from Fred’s, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  They are, without exaggeration, some of the best burgers you will encounter on your ever-shrinking days on this planet.  Take this as a mild endorsement.

It was at my first Fred’s experience that my brain redefined Spotted Cow.  It was March, snow was just beginning to melt and it was the first day in a long time where you could just start to drive with the window down as long as you didn’t go too fast.  One of those days.  That was when we showed up at Fred’s to worship at the altar of hamburgers.  Being a “when in Rome” kind of guy, I ordered a Spotted Cow.

Up until now, I never really noticed Spotted Cow too much.  Oh, sure, I knew it was better than other ales, and since we can’t get it in Illinois there’s always the lure of the regionally unaccessible.  It wasn’t until pairing it with a great burger on a great day that my brain was able to rewire itself and notice the superiority of the beer.  You can make a beer that in every respect should remind you of macrobrew offerings  -but when you make it with care and superior ingredients, the quality shines through.  It just took me a while to notice it.

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About the Author



Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.

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