Otter Creek Brewing Company - Hickory Switch Amber

Otter Creek Brewing Company - Hickory Switch Amber

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Otter Creek Brewing Company - Hickory Switch Amber

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    40-45° F
Another unusual beast this month. This unique, medium-bodied beer is brewed with malt that is carefully and traditionally smoked at the brewery. Look for a hint of hickory smoke and a mostly malt-dominated nose in this filtered, brown-to-ruby-red ale. Note a sweet malty body with a hint of hops in the background. The dry smokiness comes back and lingers in the finish. The ale’s vinous notes and dry smoky flavor complement the underlying caramel and malt flavors very well. Overall, another non-traditional smoked ale as the smoke character doesn’t dominate all other characteristics. We really liked it.
New World Scandinavian Beef Stew

When you think Porter, you think about the big burley guys that the style was named after. And what do you imagine those guys put down after a long day of lugging stuff here and there, to and fro? Ya think they sashayed into the nearest salad bar or maybe skipped into Beni Hanas for a sip of Saki and some sushi? I don’t think so. Those boys were woofing down some stew. Thick, chunky, better-make-it-a-big-bowl, stew. And beef. And beer. Most likely the style named after their profession. So, in the spirit of the Porter, roll up your sleeves, get a big pot, enough beer to convince yourself that you can cook, and give this manly-man dish a shot.

4 lb. chuck roast, cut into 2" cubes
2 TBS vegetable oil 1
½ tsp corn starch
1 TBS water
¼ cup cream


1 cup Avery New World Porter
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp ground allspice
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground thyme
2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced

Combine marinade ingredients in a large glass bowl. Add meat and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 3 days. When ready to cook, remove meat from marinade and pat dry on paper towels. Reserve marinade. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown meat on all sides. Add 1 cup of marinade. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook about 2 hours, until meat is very tender. Add reserved marinade, if necessary, to keep meat moist. Mix corn starch and water together to make a smooth paste. Remove meat to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Stir corn starch mixture into pan gravy. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until gravy is thickened. Add cream and blend well. Pour over meat. The traditional garnish for this stew is sour gherkins. Serve with boiled potatoes and consider an Ale, Bock, Porter, or a Stout for your beverage of choice.

Source: Great Cooking with Beer; Jack Erickson; Red Brick Press, Reston, VA, 1989.
JOURNAL OF AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOC. - It has been established that 100,000 premature deaths occur each yr. as a direct result of alcohol abuse, but a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that 80,000 people would die annually if all Americans gave up drinking. This is because alcohol consumption increases the levels of an enzyme t-PA which breaks down blood clots, a major cause of heart attacks.

ALL ABOUT BEER - The Yebisu Beer Memorial Hall in Tokyo, Japan, now offers an adventure which allows users to take a virtual reality tour you won’t want to miss! Wearing a new kind of "Beer Goggles", the user appears to actually flow with the beer as it passes through different stages of the brewing process.

JUiCE MAGAZINE - After consuming stale bread and dough, 3 Vermont cows died of alcohol poisoning. Investigators believe unbaked dough yeasts reacted with the partially digested material in the cow’s stomachs to produce alcohol. Rumor has it that the Pabst Brewing Co. is investigating the viability of this previously uncharted brewing technique with plans to market it as "Pabst Blue Bovine: The Brew that makes you Moo.

SECRET LIFE OF BEER - Among the forest tribes of Latin America the practice of exocannibalism, or the eating of one’s enemies, was commonly combined with brewing and drinking beer. Legend has it that you couldn’t beat the taste of human fingers with a cool skull cup of chicha beer. The Putumayo River tribes ate captives only after an eight-day beer festival where the prisoners, soon to be consumed, were kept drunk until meal time. These guys take the phrase, "marinating your liver" to an entirely new level.

BEER TRIVIA - The concept of the 6-pack was developed over the 4, 8 or 10-pack in the 1930’s when major brewing companies determined that six bottles of beer was the maximum number that a woman could carry home from the market at one time. Not my Molly. She’ll throw a pony keg up on her shoulder if need be.

KLOS RADIO - Certain remote Malaysian villages wash their infants in beer to discourage against disease. So, in theory, Body on Tap wasn’t such a new concept after all.

AMERICAN BREWER - Reuters reports that the Australian sex industry is cleaning up its act and seeks a ban on the export of bulls’ penises to Asia, where they are prized as an aphrodisiac. One Australian meat company alone, Tenor PTA, has flown 8,000 frozen bull pee pees to China. Typically, the penises are boiled for soup or ground into a fine penis erectus powder. So now you’re wondering, "just what the "H" "E" double hockey sticks all this has to do with beer. make full use of the Torro’s manlihood, the industry has been converting the scrotum sac into insulators for slipping over the base of cold beer cans. "We’ve dried about 1000 scrotums for beer cans," said Tenarra’s Fred MacDonald, "and they make great Christmas presents. They’re quite nice to touch." Do you suppose Fred knew the tape recorder was on when he said that?
Dear Murl,

I was kickin’ back in my favorite blues bar, the New Dolphin Inn, last weekend and decided to venture out and try one of several malt liquors that were on hand behind the bar. Several things followed my consumption of a couple of tall boys: I found rhythm and became a dancing machine, my dance partners looked considerably better than they had only hours before, and I woke the next morning (or perhaps early afternoon) feeling as though I’d been beaten up side the head repeatedly with a large, blunt instrument. My question is a simple one. What the hell is a "malt liquor"? Is it different from beer and why don’t I ever want to have one again?

Brock Knockle

San Diego, CA

Yo Brock!

Good question. There seems to be much confusion with respect to the difference between a malt liquors and malt beverages. To answer your question, I’ve got to first let you know that the phrase, "malt liquor" is really just another marketing tool used to describe a category of beers that could be described as "fortified Bud". All malt liquors are also malt beverages. In many states, any malted beverage above 4% alcohol by volume cannot be labeled as "Beer". As what has become to be known as "malt liquor" is not really a stout, porter, ale, or any of the other style descriptors that could be used instead of the word "beer", the phrase malt liquor was developed. Your basic King Cobras and Old English 800s of the world are brewed with more fermentable ingredients such as sugars and adjunct grains like rice and corn. Bottom line? Cheaply produced, high octane rocket fuel that would serve you equally as effective and perhaps more kindly the next morning as a rust remover rather than a social lubricant. Bit of trivia on the two above mentioned products: Old English originally got its name as it used to contain 8 % alcohol by volume. Cobra got its name after product research uncovered excessive consumption of the product to serve as an effective repellent towards the obviously highly intelligent reptile.


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