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Otter Creek brew pub closing after this weekend

The Pub at the former Otter Creek Brewery on Exchange Street in Middlebury will close after this weekend.

MIDDLEBURY — After several months this late summer and fall trying to revitalize Otter Creek’s Pub and Beer Garden on Middlebury’s Exchange Street, Long Trail President Charlie Storey announced Friday that this weekend, Oct. 29-30, would be the pub’s final two days.

“This marks the end of an era for serving excellent, innovative craft beers, wonderful food, some really special moments and dedication and hard work by innumerable people,” said Storey in a message that’s also reflected on the company’s website, which cites Oct. 31 as the pub’s closing day.

“A number of factors led to this decision, including the pub’s business trends and the challenging labor market,” Storey said, adding it was difficult to reinvent a new story for the pub following its closure for 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, Long Trail Brewing Company, which produces Long Trail, Otter Creek and Shed brands, was purchased by Mass. Bay Brewing Company (parent company of Harpoon Brewery) in June.

Storey said the “Otter Creek craft beers will continue to be brewed and distributed out of their brewery in Windsor, Vt.,” and the Long Trail craft beers will continue to be crafted at its facility in Bridgewater Corners, emphasizing that the craft beers will continue to have a strong presence in the marketplace.

“We are very grateful to all of the Middlebury and Addison County community for its support and friendship,” Storey said, adding that they had hoped to be able to recreate a vibrant scene at the pub but weren’t able to draw the needed patronage.

As noted in previous stories, WhistlePig Whiskey, based in Shoreham, now owns the Otter Creek and Shed brewing facility in Middlebury and has converted production capabilities to bottling and distilling for its rye whiskey. Founded in 2007, WhistlePig promotes itself as the No. 1 whiskey in the ultra-premium and luxury Rye category in North America.

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