Wisconsin is famous for a lot of things, brats and cheese to name a couple, but perhaps its greatest export is beer. We’re talking about a state that named its baseball team the Brewers after all. The ironic thing is that the best Wisconsin beer isn’t even exported at all, as New Glarus sells its beer exclusively in the state despite being the seventeenth largest craft brewer in the country last year. That puts it ahead of breweries like Founders, Great Lakes and Summit that have the benefit of selling in several states. This exclusivity means that any time I’m in Wisconsin, which is far less often than I’d like, I’m picking up some New Glarus beer. That was the case as I returned from Minneapolis and picked up several different the styles, the first of which to be highlighted is Black Top, a black IPA.
Like the name it pours the jet black of freshly paved asphalt but with a slight reddish tint and a big tan head. There’s some citrus in the aroma blended with a lot of malt, caramel and chocolate and that largely carries over to the taste. It finishes with a hop bitterness on the back end that stays on your tongue long after you’ve finished enjoying your beer. It’s one of the best examples of the style and is an exceptional choice for anyone who likes IPAs and porters.