On a recent trip to Wisconsin one of the beers that I wanted to get ahold of was the New Glarus – one of the top rated beers on Ratebeer; the site suffering all the woes with hackers – I bought this in Tenutas Deli in Kenosha, Wisconsi – an amazing Italian deli, in lakeland/rural Wisconsin. A gem of a place should you ever go there.
A recent tidyup in the garage and a bout of homebrewing reminded me that I had these beers in store. Brewing is thirsty work, so I decided to open a New Glarus, after a Port Brewing Hop 15. When I first opened the New Glarus I was stunned how similar this was to the Liefmans. So much so, that I went and grabbed a bottle of the pre-Moortgat owned brew. Somehow the Liefmans is listed as a sour ale on ratebeer.com?
The Differences: They were both fairly sweet to my taste, yet – the NG (New Glarus) had this lovely choclate note, close to Nutella – and was ever so slightly sweeter than the Liefmans. But the similarities were amazing.
How NG Belgian Red is rated as one of the top beers in the World, compared to Liefmans which maintains a far lower rating – I can only assume that the rariety factor kicks in. NG only distribute in Wisconsin, so if I were a beer lover in San Diego, Seattle, or Philadelphia – let alone the UK, I would like I have to go to Wisconsin and enjoy it there. Where as, until the recent financial and take over issues with Liefmans, it was a widely distributed beer, pretty accessible and ultimately a damn good beer.
(As a small asside, the Liefmans Kriek Op Vat – their unsweetened/sour ale version of the Kriek is an amazing beer! I hope to bump into that one again.)
I have always believed that there is a factor with in the beer rating world, that of should a beer be hard to find, it will garner extra points driven by the effort to obtain or rarity that the beer has, and this is one obvious statement to say that this is true.
Is this good or bad… I think it has good aspects and bad aspects, that a rareity value can effect it’s standing… but, whether the NG was better than the Liefmans – I will leave you with that it was too close to call…