NEW GLARUS, Wis. (WXOW) – We recently took you inside New Glarus Brewing Co. and explained La Crosse’s connection to the Wisconsin craft beer that’s become known nationwide.
But there’s something else you may not know about the beer-making process. There’s a science that goes into making the tasty beverages you know and love.
The magic of making beer began early for Dan Carey. “I’ve always liked the taste of beer ever since I was a little kid my dad would let me taste his beer. I just thought it was a magical beverage.”
Growing up in California, Carey got a Food Services degree with an emphasis on Malting and Brewing Science.
“Brewing is very much about cause and effect, you act and then you look at a result and see what the outcome is and you make a small change that’s the definition of science,” explained Carey who said the most studied organism in the world is brewers yeast.
As an apprentice in a small brewery in Germany, this master brewer learned that the art of making good craft beer doesn’t end when the brew is bottled.
“Germans have a word for that, gemutlich, meaning to be comfortable together not for the sake of over consumption but have a glass or two and relax. To be able to produce that gift and see people enjoy it is also gratifying,” said Dan.
And produce, they do. Dan Carey and his staff at New Glarus Brewing Co. have made more than 200 different beers through the years and they have more scientists than salespeople. The team creates the new flavors and beers right inside of the brewery.
“We are focused on making a great beer and everything else is focused on by Deb and Dan,” said Dan Jelle who started at New Glarus Brewing Co. back in 2009 working on the packaging line. “New Glarus Brewing Co. was always big business, within two weeks of working here I knew it was a career,” he said. Jelle quickly was promoted to the lab, taking samples and testing pH and fermentation.
Lab Tech and UW-La Crosse alum Claire Bruns is just finding her passion for the pint. “I heard this company is great to work for, it’s amazing to get in finally,” said Bruns. Recently hired after applying three times, she’s eager to get her foot in the door in this employee-owned company.
“To me, beer is about flavor and not about alcohol, we should drink beer because it tastes good,” said Carey, who won the Association of Brewers 2003 “Small Brewer of the Year” Award, the 2005 and 2006 “Mid Size Brewer of the Year” Awards, as well as the 2006 “Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing.”
The brewery was named one of 2018’s Top 50 U.S. craft breweries by the Brewers Association. It ranked 25th among breweries overall, a list that includes such larger breweries like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors.