THE BREWSKI REPORT Tommy Brewski: My Beer. My Life.

September 26, 2011

Tommy Brewski’s First Oatmeal Stout 9.26.2011

The Dark Goodness of Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout

The Dark Goodness of Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout

Tommy Brewski Knocks Back An Oatmeal Stout
File Date: 9.26.2011

File Name: Tommy’s First Oatmeal Stout.
The Beer: Oatmeal Stout
Type: Oatmeal Stout
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.9% ABV
Brewer: Otter Creek Brewing/Wolaver’s
Web Site: www.wolavers.com
State/Country of Origin: VT, USA
Brewer Info: Located in beautiful Middlebury, Vermont, we shipped our first keg of Copper Ale in March of 1991. Four years later, after quickly outgrowing our original site, we moved into a new state-of-the-art brewery just down the street. In 1998, we began producing Wolaver’s Certified Organic Ales in partnership with Panorama Brewing Company. Both brands have flourished as beer drinkers throughout the northeast have enjoyed craft ales, and as the focus on sustainable farming and living has blossomed. In May of 2002, the Wolaver family purchased Otter Creek Brewing. Otter Creek remains a family owned Vermont company and produces all Otter Creek and Wolaver’s brands for distribution throughout the country. We brew and bottle all of our beers in small batches to ensure freshness and consistent quality. We use natural Vermont water, the best domestic malt and hops available, and our own top-fermenting yeast. All Wolaver’s beers are made with no less than 98% certified organic ingredients. Our brewery and our Wolaver’s brands are certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Otter Creek ales enjoy a complexity of flavor, natural carbonation, and a creamy texture that is favored by beer enthusiasts at pubs and restaurants throughout the United States.

tbr-otter-crk-insertBrewer Brand Hype:  Minimal brand marketing on the web.
Label: Certified Organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Since 1997 Robert and Morgan Wolaver have combined their passion for exceptional ales with their belief in the benefits of organic farming to create Wolaver’s supurb handcrafted ales brewed with only the finest organic barley and hops grown by small independent farms.

The Brewski Review: Very tasty and mild. I was expecting something a little more bitter but was pleasantly surprised. It looked like molasses on the pour and finished with very little mud colored head. It was a little on the creamy side but not too much. By the looks I would have expected more. This happened to be my first Oatmeal Stout so I rank it high on my list of types. I’m definitely gravitating toward the more malty beverages than the hoppy variety.

Drinkability: Definitely.
Appearance: One word: Molasses.
The Buds: Nice and malty. Very mild.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5 caps.

May 7, 2011

TBR Reviews Wolaver’s Pale Ale 5.7.2011

Otter Creek, er, Wolaver's Pale Ale? Will the real brewer stand up?

Otter Creek, er, Wolaver's Pale Ale? Will the real brewer stand up?

The Brewski Report Reviews Otter Creek’s Wolaver’s Pale Ale
File Date: 5.7.2011

File Name: Just a little past it’s prime.
The Beer: Wolaver’s Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale (APA)
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Otter Creek Brewing
Web Site: www.wolavers.com (under construction); www.ottercreekbrewing.com
State/Country of Origin: VT, USA
Brewer Info: Located in beautiful Middlebury, Vermont, we shipped our first keg of Copper Ale in March of 1991. Four years later, after quickly outgrowing our original site, we moved into a new state-of-the-art brewery just down the street. In 1998, we began producing Wolaver’s Certified Organic Ales in partnership with Panorama Brewing Company. Both brands have flourished as beer drinkers throughout the northeast have enjoyed craft ales, and as the focus on sustainable farming and living has blossomed. In May of 2002, the Wolaver family purchased Otter Creek Brewing. Otter Creek remains a family owned Vermont company and produces all Otter Creek and Wolaver’s brands for distribution throughout the country. We brew and bottle all of our beers in small batches to ensure freshness and consistent quality. We use natural Vermont water, the best domestic malt and hops available, and our own top-fermenting yeast. All Wolaver’s beers are made with no less than 98% certified organic ingredients. Our brewery and our Wolaver’s brands are certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Otter Creek ales enjoy a complexity of flavor, natural carbonation, and a creamy texture that is favored by beer enthusiasts at pubs and restaurants throughout the United States.

tbr-wol-banner1Brewer Brand Hype: N/A.
Label: Since 1997, Robert and Morgan Wolaver have combined their passion for exceptional beers with their belief in the benefits of organic farming to create Wolaver’s: supurb handcrafted ales brewed with only the finest organic barley and hops grown by small independent farms. His perfectly balanced pale ale has a malty taste with a crisp, hoppy finish; blending Cascade, Cluster, and Hallertauer hops with Harrington specialty malt. For those who simply love great beer, Wolaver’s is a delicious choice – and know that every purchase supports a healthier environment for us all. Our products contain no perservatives, are not pasteurized and, like all fresh foods, will change over time. We print the date we bottled on for your information. Certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers.

The Brewski Review: I believe I purchased an old bottle APA. I checked Wolaver’s website (sorry, they don’t have one yet….just a facebook page which, to me, says their seriously weak on marketing their brand or image.) and the ‘American’ pale ale wasn’t noted – only India pale ale. Maybe the store had this in stock from a season or so ago? It’s hard to tell by the lot code – 2719. My guess is that it’s from the 271st day of 2009. If this is the case, my green beer was really green if you know what I mean. Taste was okay. Nothing to write home about. Hoppy bitter taste much like any other pale ale. But still not as good as many Austrian beers I’ve had that were brewed under the 1516 ‘Purity Law’ where only natural ingredients were used. I’ll still hold out hope that Wolaver’s (or Otter Creek – still can’t figure this arrangement out) have better tasting beers more to my liking (and, not as old).

Drinkability: Nah. Wouldn’t buy again.
Appearance: Light amber color.
The Buds: Hoppy, bitter, ho hum.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.50 caps out of 5.

I like the retro looking Wolaver Farmer logo.

I like the retro looking Wolaver Farmer logo.

November 27, 2009

TBR Reviews Otter Creek’s Oktoberfest Autumn Ale Beer 11.27.09

TBR Takes On Another Seasonal Beer With Otter Creek's Oktoberfest Autumn Ale.

TBR Takes On Another Seasonal Beer With Otter Creek's Oktoberfest Autumn Ale.

The Brewski Report Reviews Otter Creek’s Oktoberfest Autumn Ale.
File Date: 11.27.09

 File Name:  When a Creek Really Isn’t a Creak.
The Beer: Oktoberfest Autumn Ale
Type:  American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats:  4.80% ABV
Brewer:  Otter Creek Brewing
Country of Origin: VT, USA
Brewer Info: Located in beautiful Middlebury, Vermont, we shipped our first keg of Copper Ale in March of 1991. Four years later, after quickly outgrowing our original site, we moved into a new state-of-the-art brewery just down the street. In 1998, we began producing Wolaver’s Certified Organic Ales in partnership with Panorama Brewing Company. Both brands have flourished as beer drinkers throughout the northeast have enjoyed craft ales, and as the focus on sustainable farming and living has blossomed. In May of 2002, the Wolaver family purchased Otter Creek Brewing. Otter Creek remains a family owned Vermont company and produces all Otter Creek and Wolaver’s brands for distribution throughout the country. We brew and bottle all of our beers in small batches to ensure freshness and consistent quality. We use natural Vermont water, the best domestic malt and hops available, and our own top-fermenting yeast. All Wolaver’s beers are made with no less than 98% certified organic ingredients. Our brewery and our Wolaver’s brands are certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Otter Creek ales enjoy a complexity of flavor, natural carbonation, and a creamy texture that is favored by beer enthusiasts at pubs and restaurants throughout the United States.

untitledBrewer Brand Hype:  Oktoberfest is our version of the perennial favorite Bavarian Autumn beer. Oktoberfest’s deep golden hue helps bring to mind the old country and its time honored traditions. Brewed with Hallertau and Tettnang hops to balance its clean, malty sweetness, it’s the perfect brew for a crisp Autumn day. Available from August to November.

Label: Otter Creek Brewing has been brewing the finest quality, small batch, craft brewed ales at our brewery in Middlebury, Vermont since 1991.  Oktoberfest: Brewed with Hallertauer and Tettnang hops to balance it’s clean malty sweetness this is the perfect beer for a crisp autumn day.  The deep golden hue matches the fall foliage here in Vermont, in our version of this perennial favorite Bavarian Autumn Beer.  Our products contain no preservatives, are not pasteurized and, like all fresh foods, will chnage over time.  We print the date we bottled on for your information.

The Brewski Review:  It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I have so much to do.  The highest priority task is to bring the Christmas decorations down from the attic.  This year I’ve resolved myself to the idea that it’s a waste of my time to store holiday decorations in the attic.  Up two flights.  Down two flights.  This year will be different.  Everything is going down into the basement.  One flight seems a whole lot more appealing than two flights.  Anyway, I get about halfway completed and it’s time for my son to go down for a nap.  He’s a light sleeper so I have to halt my project.  Too much noise trudging up and down the old, creaky stairs.  (In a normal house it wouldn’t be such a big deal but on my sqeaky steps you could wake the dead.  Forgetabout an alarm system.  If an intruder enters our house I would have enough time from the first sqeak to: get dressed, shave, brush my teeth, pull out my Louisville Slugger and patiently wait at the top of the stairs.)  So, I sit down and take a break.  Otter Creak – oh, make that Creek, seemed to be the best way to settle back into the couch.  Since I didn’t really get a chance to break a sweat with the decorations it was nice to have this beverage warm me up.  Our drafty old house is rather chilly so this beer served two purposes: to warm me up inside while simultaneously enjoying a little libation.  I thought this beverage was okay.  It rather reminded me of an Oktoberfest beer – even though it’s an ale.    

Drinkability:  Nice Malty taste.   
Appearance:  Medium Amber in color.  Nice foamy head.
The Buds:  Decent.  More of an aftertaste than I’d prefer. 
TBR Cap Rating: 3.50 out of 5.

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