New Glarus Trek

Recently, the Otto’s team went on an adventure to The New Glarus Brewing Company with Beechwood Sales and Service, who is the local distributor for this Wisconsin-only beer.

We all met at our Menomonee Falls location to board the bus which was stocked with breakfast sandwiches, doughnuts, water, and soda and more importantly, ice cold Spotted Cow, Moon Man and Staghorn!


When we arrived in New Glarus, 10 of us went to play 9 holes of golf at Edelweiss Chalet Country Club and the rest of the team went straight to the brewery.  As 1 of the 10 golfers, I can honestly say there are some good golfers that work at your local Otto’s stores BUT I am not one of them.  I only lost 2 balls so I considered the outing a success and we all had fun on the links.


After golfing we headed back to the brewery to meet up with the rest of the team for a quick lunch of pizza and New Glarus beer.  Deb Carey, who is Founder and President of the New Glarus Brewing Company, joined us and gave us a little history of the brewery along with how her and husband Dan started the company.  A great story of sacrifice and hard work leading to a successful business.  


After lunch, we all grabbed a beer and went on a tour of the brewery.  We were able to see the bottling lines running at full force along with several huge tanks that are inside this beautiful brewery.  We were lucky enough to enjoy a glass of Staghorn straight from one of those tanks.  That was a delicious glass of beer!  


We also were able to see the beer scientists in action making sure the highest quality and standards are being met for every ounce of beer that goes in a bottle, can or keg.  Also, many of us noticed how clean the facilities are at the brewery.  Being employee-owned, they definitely take pride in ownership to a high level.


After the tour, we all hit the gift shop which had a variety of choices from clothing to beer mustard and barbecue sauce.  Everyone came away with a bagful of “swag”!  A couple of the Otto’s team bought a few of the brewery only sour beer releases that are for sale.  You can also buy their other beers but they definitely stress they want the brewery’s visitors to shop for their beers at the local retail establishments instead of buying it at the brewery.  A local business helping other local businesses is a great partnership to have in this small, beautiful town.


As we all boarded the bus, we had one more stop before our adventure was over and that was at the original brewery.  They are still making beer at this location, specifically sour beers.  We were able to taste a few of the brewery only sour releases that they have offered in the past.  After a quick walk through, we ventured over to the building they affectionately call “the wild fruit cave”.  It consists of huge wooden barrels of new sour beers and their regular year round Belgian Red, Serendipity, and Raspberry Tart.  If you like sour beers or just getting into them, get ready, because New Glarus will be expanding that part of their portfolio in the next few years.  Also, there is still grass growing on the roof but we are not sure who has to do the mowing!


Unfortunately, it was time to get back on the bus and go home.  What a fun and informative day we had at Wisconsin’s hometown brewery!  The Otto’s team would like to thank our gracious hosts, the New Glarus Brewing Company for their hospitality and award winning beer!  Also, a big thanks go to our partners, Beechwood Sales and Service, for the invitation and organizing this great outing!  There is nothing like a work field trip especially when it involves great beer! 


Ken Christian