The Cask Project

Otter Brewery launches ‘new category’ beer

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Otter Brewery launches 'new category' beer Fresh Ale

Related tags Cask ale Craft beer Technology Cellar management

Family-run Devon business Otter Brewery claims to have launched a new category of beer that “bridges the gap between craft, cask and lager”.

The Blackdown Hills company said Fresh Ale is a “new form” of ale that is brewed in exactly the same way as Otter’s other cask beers but, rather than being filled into a cask, the beer is gently carbonated before being racked into a keg. 

Otter Brewery’s Fresh Ale 4% ABV is dispensed at a slightly cooler temperature than traditional cask ale but not as cold as a kegged beer.

The brewer said the beer is also given a light carbonation “that allows the beer to remain true to its cask ale equivalent in taste and body” and added because the beer has been filtered, the ale remains in “perfect condition” for weeks rather than days – which it cited as an important factor in the current economic environment.

Otter Brewery managing director Patrick McCaig is confident the cask ale sector has legs but it needs to modernise as well.

Amber Fresh Otter

Slightly cooler

He said: “Our Fresh Ale concept arrives at a time when customers are searching out drinks that are flavoursome, gently carbonated and slightly cooler than traditional cask ale.

“Our first beer in this category, Amber Fresh, has been developed to help both revive and energise the ale sector (including cask) giving drinkers of all ages the confidence of quality when making their bar call. 

“All too often a pint of cask ale can be disappointing and often this is largely due to the lack of throughput resulting from too many beers on the bar. Fresh Ale comes with a guarantee of flavour and condition.”  

McCaig also stated what he believes what else makes Fresh Ale different.

No disguise

He said: “Amber Fresh can be found at the ‘cask ale end of the bar’ – we’re not trying to disguise a cask ale as ‘craft’, we’re presenting a beer that will stand the test of time with a modernist approach to the branding. 

“We have created a contemporary new font that gives Amber Fresh its own identity, along with specially designed glasses that clearly identify the fresh nature of the drink.”

One pub that has been trialling Amber Fresh ahead of launch, is the Volunteer in Otter St Mary. Licensee Mike Down said: “Amber Fresh is a breath of fresh air in the category. Since we have introduced it, we have had significant interest from both ale and lager drinkers and initial reaction from both camps has been extremely positive.

“From a publican’s perspective, the additional ‘shelf life’ of the product is exactly what is needed, especially in the run-up to the traditionally quieter months at the beginning of the year.”

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