New Glarus Serendipity lives up to its name

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

This weather earlier this year was tough on some Wisconsin crops. As Robin Shepard detailed in his Beer Here column last week for Isthmus (which I was delighted to stumble across since it alerted me to the availability of Serendipity, a new beer from New Glarus Brewing Company),

Rapid temperature swings and the prolonged drought made for tough growing conditions in Door County this past spring and summer, resulting in a poor cherry harvest around the region. This left New Glarus short of the locally grown Montmorency Cherries that are an essential part of its Wisconsin Belgian Red, a year-round release for the brewery and one of its most widely celebrated creations.

Given this shortage, brewmaster Dan Carey improvised by combining what cherries he could acquire with apples and cranberries to create a beer he calls Serendipity, a “Happy Accident Fruit Ale.”

But not only was this a bleak year for Door County cherries, it was also a poor year for Wisconsin apples, so Carey turned to Gala apples from Washington state for his new recipe. Meanwhile, the cranberries are a blend of Wisconsin-grown and western U.S. harvests.

So, how’s Serendipity taste? In a word, fantastic. Shepard gives it the highest rating (four bottle openers, out of four), and I agree. For Shepard’s spot-on tasting notes, check out his full review, and for more high praise, check out Andy’s take at BeerFM.

I picked up several bottles at Woodman’s where the beer is competitively priced (as usual) at $8.99 for a 750 mL bottle. I only wish it were sold in 12 oz. 4-packs like Wisconsin Cran-bic was and other specialty brews from New Glarus are. Oh well, I guess I can drink an entire big bottle by myself if I have to! That said, I do plan to take a bottle or two to Thanksgiving dinner to share; as Shepard suggests, “Serendipity is a beer you could put out on the Thanksgiving holiday table. It will make for a very inviting drink to toast making the most of a harvest and set up the big meal ahead.”

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