If you didn’t know, my “real world” job is as a research chemist – blogging about beer doesn’t pay the bills unfortunately. My time as a scientist has taught me how important collaboration is. Every person I work with has different skills and experience. They bring ideas to the table that help the group innovate, learn and push a project forward. This is part of the reason I love the concept of collaboration beers. While the tangible result of the collaboration is a single batch of beer, the lessons the brewers learn and ideas they exchange during the process can improve every beer each of them brews going forward. I was very excited when I heard that Otter Creek and Jack’s Abby were working on a collaboration beer. Regular blog readers should know that I am a big fan of both breweries, the extensive “previous reviews” sections listed below supports that too. With Jack’s Abby involved I assumed the collaboration beer would be a lager, and Otter Creek has recently re-focused on hop-forward beers, so a hoppy lager seemed to be the inevitable product of this partnership. Sure enough their creation is Joint Custody, a Nouveau Pilsner that combines a traditional Bohemian pilsner build with heavy additions of newer German hop varieties Huell Melon and Mandarina Bavaria. Joint Custody is available for a limited time on draft and in 12 oz. cans.
Jack’s Abby/Otter Creek Joint Custody pours a hazy straw yellow with a solid white head. The scent is pleasantly hoppy, floral and citrusy. The hops lead the flavor, with notes of lemon, grass and pine along with a crisp bitterness. It isn’t IPA-level hoppiness (nor should it be), but this is more hop flavor and aroma than you typically find in a pilsner. The hops are balanced by a traditional pale malt backbone, subtle touches of bready grain. The beer is light bodied, very clean and super drinkable, but packs a little punch at 6.2% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. I could drink Joint Custody all day, this is a perfect beer for the summer. I had very high expectations for a collaboration between these two breweries, and Joint Custody met even my high expectations. I really hope this beer is an annual release instead of a one-off! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Jack’s Abby Reviews:
BREWERY OVERVIEW, Jack’s Abby Maibock Hurts Like Helles, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, Jack’s Abby Barrel-Aged Framinghammer, Jack’s Abby Bride Maker, Jack’s Abby Brewery/Hopstitution BAM, Jack’s Abby Copper Legend, Jack’s Abby Session Rye IPL, Jack’s Abby Mass Rising, Jack’s Abby/Evil Twin Jack’s Evil Brew, Jack’s Abby Wet Hop Lager, Jack’s Abby Pro-Am Pilsner
Previous Otter Creek Reviews:
Otter Creek Backseat Berner, Otter Creek/Lawson’s Finest Liquids Double Dose, Otter Creek Fresh Slice, Otter Creek Citra Mantra, Otter Creek Kind Ryed
I agree, I thought the beer was excellent. There are a lot of great traditional pilsners out there, I am glad they tried something a little different.
Sometimes drinkers are disappointed by collaberations. “Jack’s Abby AND Otter Creek? This beer should be twice as awesome!”