Originally founded as Otto Brothers Brewing Company in 1988 (the year after I graduated HS), this was the first “modern” micro-brewery in the state of Wyoming, is believed to have been the first brewery to re-introduce the growler to the industry AND started the states first Brew Pub in 1992. If these guys were not on the cutting edge, I don’t know who is. What I particularly like about t this brewery is – they keep giving back. Their Philanthropic page lists several charities that they donate too…and this is more commendable than any innovations that might have come prior. Great job guys.
The beer I am reviewing from them is Bitch Creek. Obviously, it’s the name that drew me in, and this seems to be a new trend amongst micro-brews…..ie, pushing the envelope on marketing/naming to get your attention and then hopefully sway you over with the beer. Sadly, this is the only way some of these great beers can get shelf space against the might InBEV Machine. This is why places like HyVee (with their broad selection and Mix/Match 6 packs) have done a great job in providing much needed display space in prime locations.
On with the beer-
Appearance/Color- The initial pour brought out a thick head (approx. 2 fingers worth) with inconsistent bubbling throughout. At first, I thought I had a bad pour, but my second bottle did the same thing, not that this is bad as I know some people like the aesthetic.
The beer itself was a dark cloudy brown, with considerable sediment in the bottle and an effervescence that clung to the side of the glass. This really did remind me of some of the dunkel beers I had in Germany.
Nose- The roasted malts prevail, but I was also reminded of dark rums, toffee and brown sugar. This smelled a lot sweeter than I anticipated.
Taste- The first taste was sticky, syrupy and sweet….not the malt blast I was expecting. The more I drank, the more the complexity of the flavors opened up – Light Malts, fruits and a floral hops (but not as overpowering as some hate, and I prefer) rounded out the glass. There was even a slight tartness that I found pleasant as well.
Overall- While not normally in my wheelhouse, I really did enjoy this beer. As I stated above, it brought me back to my days in Germany (and also some SCA events) – where a good dark beer was a great way to break up monotony. This beer strikes me as definitely having a German influence, as opposed to the Belgium styles that are currently in vogue.
Not as hearty as a stout, but very flavorful, I could see this beer pairing well during a cookout….especially with wet ribs.
Definitely something that I would pick up again……no regrets on this one….4 Stars.