(Middlebury, VT) – America’s oldest craft brewery, the FX Matt Brewery of Utica, NY, brewer of Saranac beer, and Otter Creek Brewing of Middlebury, Vermont, have teamed up to create H2 (pronounced: H-two), a full-bodied hefeweizen-style beer with a strong wheat character. H2 broadens the hefeweizen style by combining local ingredients from each brewery’s hometown with a unique addition of barrel-aged beer. This new beer is the first collaboration project for each brewery and is available for a limited time only. It will be brewed at Otter Creek with brewers from both breweries contributing to the final recipe.
“Throughout the collaboration process, our brewers have had the opportunity to explore new ingredients, equipment and styles, and ultimately bring the best of both breweries to our consumers,” said Fred Matt, president of F.X. Matt Brewing Co. and fourth-generation member of the Matt family. “Since 1888, we’ve been brewing distinctive and drinkable beers, and now, working with Otter Creek Brewing, we are able to introduce a new flavor that combines interpretations of styles and variations of ingredients from two different geographic regions. This is a delicious brew that consumers from all over the map will love.”
“Collaborations are often high in alcohol and flavor, but we wanted to create something that could be enjoyed on a warm summer day,” said Mike Gerhart, brewmaster at Otter Creek Brewing. “There aren’t many industries that collaborate to bring better product to their fans since they compete for a leading edge. In brewing, we always want to learn more and improve our beers for the good of our fans. The result of our collaboration with F.X. Matt Brewery is a clean, unique beer that we are sure beer drinkers will enjoy all summer.”
A recent article from Craftbeer.com notes that collaboration beers are “usually of the highest quality since both brewers aim to impress the other and deliver their best.” H2 is no exception. The F.X. Matt Brewery and Otter Creek Brewing use the best local ingredients to craft their beers, so not only is H2 a strong representation of New England but it also appeals to craft beer enthusiasts and casual beer drinkers looking for a refreshing summer beverage.
H2 comprises organic ingredients native to the breweries’ home states. The beer features organic raw wheat from Addison County, Vt. (approx. 10 miles from Otter Creek Brewing) and Wrobel Farms heirloom hops from Bridgewater, N.Y. (approx. 20 miles from F.X. Matt Brewing Co.). Though most of the ingredients are locally grown, the brewers incorporated a fresh culture of Bavarian hefeweizen yeast from Germany. To cap it off, the brewers incorporated Saranac Black Forest aged in a Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel for several months, resulting in woody and vanilla notes with a slight tartness that compliments the wheat, putting a spin on the traditional hefeweizen flavor.
Based on the light and fruity taste and strong yeast character, H2 may be used as an ingredient to steam weisswurst or to create vinaigrette. It is best paired with Thai foods, Tex-Mex, salads, seafood dishes, sushi, goat cheese or light, fruit desserts.
H2 will be released at the Vermont Brewers Festival, July 20-21, in Burlington, Vt., and will be available afterward in each brewery’s tour centers.
About Saranac Beer
Beer is Our Craft. More than a slogan, it’s the brewing philosophy that the Matt family has lived by for four generations. It’s an expression of the pride and passion that goes into each and every ounce of their distinctive and drinkable beers. Located in the foothills of the Adirondacks, F.X. Matt Brewing Company – America’s oldest craft brewery, New York’s oldest brewery and second oldest family-owned brewery in the United States – has a long tradition of taking pride in what it makes. That’s how this family-owned brewery has quietly earned its reputation as one of the country’s most respected makers of specialty beverages. To learn more about its award-winning Saranac family of beers and soft drinks, visit the brewery’s website at www.saranac.com.
About Otter Creek Brewing
At Otter Creek Brewing, the taste and quality of their beer is the most important aspect of who they are. Founded in Middlebury, Vt., in March 1991, Otter Creek Brewing has more than 20 years of brewing experience. It brews all of its beers in small batches to ensure freshness using all natural Vermont water, the best domestic malts and hops, and its own top fermenting yeast.
One of the best ways to appreciate Otter Creek beer is to visit the place where it’s made. Come to Middlebury to see what Otter Creek, Wolaver’s and The Shed are all about. The Visitor Center is open daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and offers self-guided tours, light pub fare, a gift shop and beer-to-go. To learn more about Otter Creek, visit www.ottercreekbrewing.com. Handcrafted in Middlebury, Vt.