The class of 2022 graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Saturday, causing an influx of out-of-state parents on campus.
As anyone who’s spent any decent amount of time in Wisconsin knows, there are two kinds of alcohol that our state particularly treasures — brandy and New Glarus Brewing Co. beer. However, brandy can be bought just about anywhere. In contrast, despite its overwhelming popularity, New Glarus Brewing Co. opted to only sell their beer in the badger state.
Therefore, it’s effectively illegal to come across someone from out-of-state and not inquire as to whether or not they’ve had the privilege of consuming the eighth wonder of the world — New Glarus’ most popular beer, Spotted Cow.
UW-Madison students followed this custom, ensuring that even if they graduated with a 2.7 GPA, their parents would return home proud of them — not for their academic prowess, but for their taste in beer.
“I really didn’t think it would be that good. My daughter has been talking about it for four years, but I assumed her love for it was more tied to her college experience and being relatively new to beer,” said Nebraska father Kent Sherman. “I went along with it and finally got one, and man, was I wrong. I certainly ended up getting more than one, I’ll tell you that much.”
Sherman’s experience was far from unique. In fact, in the last two days, Zillow searches for homes in the New Glarus area skyrocketed over 2,000%.
“We drove to every grocery and liquor store in the area to buy New Glarus beer — particularly Spotted Cow and Moon Man. Two Women was great too, but if I brought that back with me, I’d have to hide it whenever my mother comes over,” laughed South Carolina mom Shailene Raisman.
“Three shopping carts in, my husband and I realized that there’s no way we can ship all of this beer back to Sumter. Then, we thought, ‘Well, do we really love South Carolina that much? Maybe our future is here in Wisconsin.’ Next thing I know, we’re driving to New Glarus to look at houses. We put our offer in that same day,” beamed the University of South Carolina class of 1986 graduate.
There’s no telling how this incredible increase in demand will work itself out, as the number of out-of-staters looking to move to New Glarus far outweighs the number of homes on the market. In the meantime, it’s expected that all hotels and campgrounds in the region will be booked solid for the foreseeable future.
When asked how she feels about the new source of demand, New Glarus Brewing Co. founder and president Deborah Carey said she welcomes all new customers “with open arms,” but that the brewing company may have to start selling their beverages in empty jelly jars, Ziploc bags and milk cartons until there are enough glass bottles and aluminum cans to keep up with the demand.