Many macro-lager drinkers are brand loyal – a Bud Light drinker only drinks Bud Light while craft beer drinkers tend to try anything and everything. This presents an issue for established craft breweries as they are constantly competing with new and exciting releases by up and coming breweries. Established breweries have to balance making innovative new beers with continued production of the old favorites that put them on the map. One brewery that has done an impressive job striking this balance is Otter Creek Brewing Company in Vermont. Otter Creek still brews their flagship beers like Copper Ale and Hop Session, but now brews a brand new series of seasonal ales. Their Summer seasonal is Fresh Slice, an unfiltered Belgian white IPA brewed with clementine juice and sweet orange peel. Fresh Slice is available on draft and in bottles and cans.
Otter Creek Fresh Cut White IPA pours a pale gold, very cloudy with a large white head. The smell is very hoppy, tons of citrus and resin. The taste is also very hop forward, notes of pine. lemon and orange. The Belgian yeast is also present, contributing some pepper and a touch of clove. There is some malt flavors as well, spicy wheat and a touch of grainy barley. The beer is very well balanced and drinkable, there is some hop bitterness but it isn’t overwhelming. The finish is complex, with some spice, fruit and a little hop bite. At 5.5% ABV it is not a session beer, but relatively light, perfect for the Summer. Overall this is a very nice example of a white IPA, skillfully melding the flavors of a Belgian witbier with flavorful American hops. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
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