Otter Creek Brewing scores big at international beer festival

MIDDLEBURY — Otter Creek Brewing Co. of Middlebury hit for the cycle, taking home gold, silver and two bronze medals at the 16th annual Great International Beer Festival earlier this month in Providence, R.I. A panel of 83 judges selected winners in 44 categories after blind tasting 470 beers and ciders from around the globe.
Included in the medal count were Otter Creek’s flagship Copper Ale, which took silver in the German Altbier category; the newly released Hop Session Ale, scoring a bronze in the American Pale Ale category; and Stovepipe Porter, which also scored a bronze in the Brown Porter category. Wolaver’s Fine Organic Ales, a member of Otter Creek Brewing Co., won gold with its Wolaver’s Unfiltered Brown Ale.
“Everyone here at the brewery was extremely pleased to hear that we brought four medals back to Vermont,” said Brewmaster Mike Gerhart. “We spend a huge deal of time refining recipes, and tweaking materials and processes to produce better beer every day. It comes back full circle when a blind tasting in a competition of this size and caliber reinforces that you are indeed making the right decisions.”
Copper Ale has been a perennial favorite since it was initially brewed in 1991 and helped establish Otter Creek Brewing Co. as one Vermont’s first and finest breweries. Stovepipe Porter has been regarded as one of the best porters available in the states since its release in 1997. Hop Session, a hybrid IPA/Pale Ale, is a brand-new offering, having just been released earlier this fall. Wolaver’s Unfiltered Brown Ale has been a favorite of organic beer drinkers for many years and is now helping put to bed the myth that organic brews don’t taste as good as conventional.
Otter Creek Brewing & Wolaver’s Fine Organic Ales distribute their year-round and seasonal beers to 15 states in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. In 1997, Wolaver’s became the first USDA-certified organic brewer. The Otter Creek Visitor Center in Middlebury is open daily from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

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