New Glarus is known for being an original Swiss settlement. In the 1840’s, the village of Glarus, Switzerland found itself in dire straits after years of failed crops that forced many into poverty. A group decided to see about going to the U.S., so two men set out to find a suitable spot and bought 1,280 acres for $1.25 an acre in Southwest Wisconsin. On August 15, 1845, 108 settlers from Switzerland arrived in their new home.
Today it is known for tourism, its Swiss chalet-style architecture, its Swiss food and beer and its many festivals.
New Glarus Brewing Company: Just south of downtown is the newly expanded brewery, high on a hill, overlooking the New Glarus Woods State Park. Here you will find multiple tasting rooms, a huge outdoor beer garden, a gift shop and a retail store where you can buy their many products. Self-guided and guided tours are also available.
Their best known ale is Spotted Cow, but they produce a large number of year-round brews, seasonal offerings and Thumbprint series. There are malts, blondes, ales, ales with fruit and wheat beers. I focused on the seasonal and loved the Pumpkin Pie Lust and the Staghorn Octoberfest! Their old Riverside Brewery is open as part of the longer guided Hard Hat tours. 2400 State Highway 69.
When downtown, stop in for a meal or coffee at Fat Cat Coffee Works at 606 Railroad St. The coffee shop, featuring Ancora Coffee and pastries and cookies, was recently expanded to include a really attractive cafe serving breakfast and lunch items.
Friends recently loved Cow & Quince, a farm-to-table restaurant, featuring local, organic and sustainable ingredients. They also have a market where you can buy local cheeses, ice cream, locally milled flower and other products. 407 Second St.
Keep your eyes open for the Green County Barn Quilts sites as you drive in the area. There are 136 barns, corn cribs and other farm buildings, each featuring a unique 8’ by 8’ colored quilt painted on wood and hung on the side.