5/1/16: New Glarus Brewing Company's Spotted Cow

4:09 PM

It's (finally) May. I have one week left of classes before a month-long break and, man, am I looking forward that that break. I'm also all caught up on my coursework for the time being, which meant I was able to spend today not even thinking about school. I woke up, went for a run, had a beer, and went out on the town with Michelle.

It was a good day. And sunny. But now it's not. Right as I sat down to begin this post, a storm broke out. That means instead of writing this outside like I'd planned, I'm writing it on my futon. But that's okay. After my last New Glarus experience, I'm sure that, with the great day I had, Spotted Cow will be the perfect thing as I transition into the evening, indoors or out.

In case you missed my write up of New Glarus two posts ago, I'll do two things for you. The first is that I'll link to that post here. The second is that I'll give you a quick and dirty run-through of their history. The Wisconsin-based brewery is headed by husband and wife Dan and Deborah Carey. Dan is somewhat of a brewing virtuoso, who cut his chops in Germany. Deborah is a finance wiz who gathered the funds to start New Glarus Brewing Company by herself. Check out the brewery's Brew Crew page in order to read more about the duo and what they do.

Now, with that out of the way, let's get to the beer at hand: Spotted Cow. The official page for this farmhouse ale mirrors the information listed on the brew's label: it's a cask-conditioned farmhouse ale that is "...fun, fruity, and satisfying." What isn't mentioned is the 5.1% ABV, which I had to take to Untappd to find out about.

True to the official word, Spotted Cow has a nice fruity bouquet. The fruitiness is accompanied by an almost funky dryness that you'd find in a Belgian blonde. That's absolutely fine, because I am a big fan of Belgian-style brews, blondes especially. Purrl must not be, because she only gave the ale a meager four whiffs. Do cats like fruit? I don't know.

The flavor follows the nose. It's fruity with just a teeny bit of funk. The funk isn't enough to make the brew sour. It's not really even noticeable. It just serves to balance out the fruitiness. Oh, and contrary to what I guessed from the aroma, there's not dryness here. It's a hell of a brew.

Satisfying is a good way to describe Spotted Cow's mouthfeel. It's immensely crisp and quaffable, with only a slight amount of carbonation to give it a bit of body.

The ale reminds me of running through the rural area where my parents live. I have a lot of established routes on those backwoods roads and throughout high school and when I was home from college I'd take to them on a (fairly) regular basis. However, once, and only once, I went way off course from one. It was a situation where, instead of turning left I went straight. It was an early Sunday morning and I had nothing else to do.

What started as a simple, twenty-minute run turned into an affair that continued for hours. I wound up on roads and in areas I had never seen before. At one point I ran by a bookstore. A bookstore! In the middle of nowhere! There was a field of cows on one side of it and rows of corn on the other. If I hadn't been so grotesquely sweat-soaked (I should mention that this run was in mid-June), I probably would have tried to drop in.

That was the only time I've ever taken that route. I never again that the kind of limitless time required to venture off in that area. But, the unbridled feeling of freeness and adventure is what New Glarus' Spotted Cow farmhouse ale calls to my mind. The ale, by the way, is a damn good lawnmower beer. It gets a solid 8.5/10 from me. Check it out if you're able.

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