Looking at the drawing of the New Glarus Brewing Company's expansion
, I had a flashback to my childhood as I spent much of it in a German drinking hall or Trinkhalle
. Well, a replica of one, anyway. You see, the house I grew up in was built in the 1920s by a German immigrant who did well for himself. He built a nice home on Chicago's north side and made the basement into a 19th century drinking hall. There was cobblestone painted onto the walls and the wood of the bar was stained a deep brown. Tables were scattered about and the doors, painted to look like they were made of sturdy oak planks, had rings dangling from them instead of doorknobs. On one wall was a cubbyhole enclosed by windows behind which stood a painted triptych of an old German village. The basement made for a suitably eerie place in which to play hide-and-go-seek and probably influenced me in ways the builder could have scarcely guessed at. Modeled after an old European village, the New Glarus expansion will no doubt make for a wonderful spot for me to emulate my German ancestors.
In addition to making a great environment for drinking, the facility will also allow the brewery to increase production. It should be noted that this increase does not mean that New Glarus will once again distribute their beer to our southerly neighbors in Illinois. For a look at why this is, check out "Bye-Bye Bell's"
from the Chicago Reader. While the focus is on Bell's Brewery ceasing distribution in Illinois, New Glarus is also mentioned. The state's beer distribution laws are forcing the hand of some microbreweries who are choosing to stop distributing there. This leaves our beer drinking brethren with less tasty choices. But it also means that we Wisconssonians will get to enjoy the fruits of Dan Carey's labors all the more. And more there shall be.
The Careys have given us a tantalizing look ahead into the beer future of this still nascent year by posting a schedule
of the brewery's releases for 2007.
Notice several new seasonal brews on tap as well as the reintroduction of an old flame. Things get going next month with the introduction of a new seasonal, Abbey Ale, and is followed by the return of Hometown Blonde, a pilsner. Bavarian Weiss is due in July to help cool down during the dog days of summer. And, to round out the year, Carey will release an organic pale ale.
But wait – there's more!
Notice the little brown bars at the bottom. That means there will be three new entries in the limited Unplugged series. And we won't have to wait long for the first one. Next month those bottles with the red foil wrapper will start appearing in coolers and be filled with Belgian Quad
, a heavyweight Trappist-style ale. Get your snifters ready for this one. Sing praises to the distant sister Sun on the summer solstice with Bourbon Barrel Bock and enjoy Thanksgiving with Carey's Rauch Beer.
Until the expansion is complete and the new brews hit a shelf or tap near you, enjoy the current seasonal, Coffee Stout
. It's made with organic coffee from the Just Coffee Cooperative
right here in Madison. Ah, the Coffee Stout brings back memories of spending Easter 10 or 11 years ago at The Paradise Lounge…