Located in Middlebury, Vermont, Otter Creek Brewery Company is one of seven producers within a few mile radius part of the “Middlebury Tasting Trail”- featuring local spirits, wine, cider, and beer. As their website describes their story eloquently, “Vermont’s Otter Creek Brewing Company has been hitting, hopping, and dosing brews with creativity since acid-wash jeans were hip (1991 to be exact) . Following the addition of a state-of-the-art brew house and more canning capacity, the OCB crew is continuing down the path of innovation, throwing a bit of kind into the kettle whenever possible. OCB’s hop-soaked ales and lagers are available throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.” Otter Creek Brewing Company’s All Souls Lager is one to add to your Wish List.
With a focus on sustainability, the team is always looking for new ways to reduce waste. True to this, they donate their used hops and yeast to local farms to use as a fertilizer alternative. Their grain by-product gets turned into food for dairy cows in the area. Currently, they’re in the process of having their ingredients certified by the Non-GMO Project. In addition to environmental passions, Otter Creek Brewing is very active in the community and vocal about supporting local businesses and farms. Needless to say, the new release “All Souls Lager”, a collaboration with Burlington, Vermont’s All Souls Tortilleria, is not a big surprise.
As a company that also supports local, All Souls uses corn and other ingredients in their products from nearby farms in Vermont and New York. Here, the North End bakery simmers corn with lime before soaking overnight and then rinsing to remove the rough outer shell. This process is called nixtamalization, the end product being hominy that you can purchase as-is or further ground down using volcanic stones to produce masa, which is commonly used to make tortillas and chips. Their website boasts the statement, “There’s always room for one more at the table,” making their goal clear- to bring people and traditions together, welcoming diversity along the way.
“All Souls Lager” is described by OCB as a “crisp, refreshing amber-hued lager”. The recipe includes Wapsie Valley heirloom corn, grown by Lake View Organic Grains in Penn Yan, New York. This new release uses a combination of hops with hominy and other ingredients . With a 4.75% ABV, one could definitely describe this Vermont collaboration as crisp and refreshing. Through a deep, unique flavor, the hominy shines and the hops take the backseat. The bittersweet aroma and taste mellow to a rustic, almost molasses-y flavor that is very drinkable and worth the try.
Besides this new favorite, Otter Creek Brewing Company is home to classics like the “Free Flow IPA” (year round), “Drip Drop Coffee Stout” (seasonal), and the limited time flavor “Raspberry Sour” if you’re feeling adventurous. Recently, they have opened a small dining facility attached to their 120 barrel brew-house in Middlebury. Here, visitors can sample new products while enjoying pub favorites like their nachos- highlighting other All Souls’ products. In addition, their Hophead IPA Chili and house-smoked meats are sure to keep you coming back. They open daily from 11am to 6pm, Fridays until 7pm.
Can’t make the journey to Middlebury to enjoy a pint of Otter Creek Brewing Company’s All Souls Lager? Catch them at ottercreekbrewing.com to keep up with their blog featuring videos, recipes, releases, and more!