Friday, May 8, 2015

Craft Beer Happenings

     With a new brewmaster, a new line up of brews, and a new look, Otter Creek has truly reinvented itself and is quickly becoming a well respected brewery in the Vermont craft beer scene.  Mike Gerhart became the brewmaster in 2009 and his since given the brewery a completely new vibe.  With big names like Dogfish Head and Magic Hat on his resume, he clearly knows what he is doing. This knowledge is reflected in the almost completely new line up of brews offered by Otter Creek.  The packaging features cartoon drawings of either Mike, his dog, and or his VW bus; and are very eye-catching and inviting.  As we know, packaging is certainly not everything and the real question is do the beers measure up?
     The answer is most definitely yes.  Mike knows what he is doing and this shows in his final products.  He has a small line up compared to many other craft brewers but he uses it well.  His flagship beer, Backseat Burner, is of course an IPA.  With vibrant grapefruit flavors and a pleasant, hoppy bitterness that doesn't overwhelm, this has quickly become one of my go-to IPA's.  Over Easy, which is his take on a session ale, is flavorful and easy to drink.  It's for the most part a toned down version of Backseat Burner yet retains the qualities that many session ales tend to lose.  The current seasonal is Fresh Slice, which is a White IPA brewed with Belgian yeast, clementine, and coriander.  With tons of funky fruit flavor and a refreshing finish, it's a great summer beer and a great alternative to those lemon flavored beers that dominate the market.

     The other Otter Creek seasonals worth checking out include Kind Ryed, a Rye IPA; Citra Mantra, an India Pale Lager; and Over Grown, a Pale Ale.  All are generously hopped and have tons of flavor. Also, keep an eye out for collaborations with other highly notable brewers which appear from time to time.  Mike has pretty much resurrected a dead brand and made Otter Creek new and exciting again as it was when the brewery first hit the growing craft scene back in the 80's.  All of these beers are definitely worth a try! 

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