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Spotted Cow Beer Review

Updated on November 30, 2012

"You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow."
- New Glarus Brewing Company

Spotted Cow in a 12 oz bottle
Spotted Cow in a 12 oz bottle | Source

Brief Overview of a Wisconsin Classic
One of the most popular craft beers in Wisconsin, Spotted Cow, is brewed by New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus. The brewery is located about 25 miles north of the Wisconsin/Illinois border. Spotted Cow is a cask-conditioned, farmhouse ale brewed using a traditional method dating back to pre-prohibition. The finest Wisconsin malts, slight fruitiness and hint of corn distinguish it as a true Wisconsin brew.

Roll Before Enjoying
Spotted Cow retains a small amount of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Keeping the yeast in the bottle enhances the fullness of flavors. The yeast also adds a bit of protein, which is good for the body! Many Spotted Cow enthusiasts gently roll the bottle on a smooth surface to stir up the yeast to form a suspension before popping the cap. Although not necessary, it is merely a matter of opinion among Wisconsinites.

A Black Cow
Many people enjoy Black & Tan's, which usually consists of Bass Pale Ale and Guinness. The pale ale is poured first and the Guinness is poured after. This creates a distinct visual division between the two brews. Many Wisconsinites have swapped Bass and other pale ales for Spotted Cow instead. Pubs and bartenders around Wisconsin have dubbed the drink a "black cow", not to be confused with a root beer float. Spotted Cow has been used in tandem with other brews as well.

Pairing Spotted Cow with Food

Spotted Cow is great for tailgating foods such as brats, burgers, chicken wings, BBQ, spicy foods, and cheese (a true Wisconsin staple!). It also pairs great with more complex meals that feature steak, Tilapia fillets, fish fry and stir fry.

Availability of Spotted Cow

Spotted Cow is available across the state in 6-packs, cases and half & quarter barrels. The packaging of the 6-packs come in a brown package with a green graphic of a horse drawn carriage hauling several wooden barrels. The Spotted Cow bottle label features a cow leaping over a silhouette of the state of Wisconsin. Appealing, classic design.


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    • seh1101 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Hemmer 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I've had a few Capitols in the past. Definitely on the list to visit.

      I heard that Ale Asylum based their name on the mental institution by Lake Mendota...if so, that's pretty witty! The only Ale Asylum brew I've tried is Hopalicious.

    • amberld profile image

      Amber Dahnke 

      6 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      I have a hard time choosing from their beer if I don't pick Spotted Cow, but I usually like all their other stuff, too. There is another brewery in Monroe called Minhas Brewing (closer to IL) that does tours. Capital Brewery is great in Madison and has a great Amber. I have friends that own the Ale Asylum in Madison, which also makes some great micro-brews. Have fun on your tour!

    • seh1101 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Hemmer 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I have yet to take a brewery tour, but I have a few friends who said it was really cool. I plan on visiting a few breweries this spring, New Glarus being one of the stops.

      My other New Glarus favorite is "Moon Man." Delicious! "Totally Naked" is great too!

    • amberld profile image

      Amber Dahnke 

      6 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      I live in New Glarus and there are very few days that there is not a Spotted Cow in my house! Must always have on hand for guests. They also make several other great brews "Two Women" and "Fat Squirrel" are our other favorites. They always come up with something tasty. Have you seen the brewery? The new one is beautiful. Thanks for a great Hub! And we're really about 25 miles north of the Illinois border. :)

    • SantaCruz profile image


      6 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA

      Nicely written, SEH! And I didn't know there was corn in this tasty brew... Extra-Wisconsiny.


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