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The Beer Circle » Beer, Breweries, Otium Brewery » Otium Brewery Pre-Launch Sampling

Otium Brewery Pre-Launch Sampling

The Otium Beer List

I was invited by my friend to attend one of the more exciting events in my beer drinking career: a new brewery’s beer tasting. His brother, Casey, and sister, Stephanie, were starting a new brewery venture called Otium Brewery (Facebook), and they thought it would be a great idea to invite over friends and family to try eight different seasonal and year-round beers. Casey is an experienced homebrewer and has taken such an interest in it that he would like to start his own venture. The only catch to receiving free beer was that all guests were asked to fill out comment cards regarding the beer so that the owners could make improvements or scratch recipes all together if they were not public-worthy.

Introducing Otium Brewery

The event was well planned and everything was thoroughly thought through. A large white tent with seven cocktail tables were laid out for guests and etched brewery tasting glasses were handed out to each attendee. My friend took to the grill and provided everyone with plenty of cheeseburger sliders with chipotle ketchup and grilled chicken sliders with balsamic mayo. As a snacking item, my friends and I prepared hand-cut potato chips that were a major hit. The food was plentiful and the drinks did not stop pouring all day.

Now, we move on to my thoughts about their beer.

Laurel Blonde

Laurel Blonde pours a golden color with a bubbly white colored head. The aroma consists of cascade hops, lemon, grass, and some butterscotch. It has a bubbly mouth feel and that brings out a butterscotch and caramel sweetness. Lemon, grass, and strong pepper come out on the finish, and the alcohol content is 4.7% ABV. This was a very good introductory beer and would be welcomed by those not into craft beer yet. I would drink this beer again as it was a flavorful blonde that was refreshing and easy to drink.

Raspberry Wheat

Raspberry Wheat pours a pink-tinted amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of raspberry, wheat, lemon, and grass. On first sip, the taste is tart and is very light-bodied. It is refreshing with raspberry, hint of lemon, and wheat. The alcohol content is 4.5% ABV. Overall it had a great overall flavor but could use a little more backing. I found that the raspberry flavor fell off too quickly.

Pineapple Wheat

Pineapple Wheat pours a golden color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of strong pineapple, wheat, and lemon. I was pleasantly surprised as to how strong the taste is with pineapple, and it has a light wheat flavor backing. Hints of lemon surface and the beer ends with peppery finish that is quite refreshing. It also has a very bubbly mouth feel. The alcohol content is 4.4% ABV. This was one of my favorite beers of the day. I was rather surprised because I didn’t expect much from a pineapple beer, but the flavor was solid the entire way through and I found myself returning to this beer several times throughout the day.

Porch Swing IPA

Porch Swing IPA pours an amber color with a thin frothy white colored head. The aroma consists of tangerine, grapefruit, bold passion fruit, and orange. This IPA starts with a strong taste of passion fruit, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit, while the finish is peppery with pine. The alcohol content is 4.9% ABV. I really enjoyed this IPA offering and it focused a lot on the passion fruit rather than some of the other citrus flavors. I could see myself drinking several of these at the brewery.


Chai-P-A pours a brown color with a thin filmy white colored head. The aroma consists of strong chai, cinnamon, tea, caramel, and nutmeg. A bold taste starts off the experience with cinnamon and has a good balancing chai presence. There is a nutmeg finish with some pepper and a good caramel backbone. The alcohol content is 4.3% ABV. This was unlike any other beer that I have had and it had a great overall flavor. I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as an IPA as it wasn’t very hoppy, but it was delicious, so I’ll just call it that.

Chaz Brown

Chaz Brown pours a brown color with a thin filmy white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, hints of coffee, and plenty of toasted malts. For a brown ale, it’s taste is dry with toasted malts on the front end and coffee accents. The finish has some pepper to spice it up a little bit. The alcohol content is 4.4% ABV. This was a decent brown, but I wouldn’t say it was overly memorable either. I would drink it again, but I wouldn’t seek it out.

Stout Clam

Stout Clam, a beer made with clams and not the typical oysters, pours a dark brown color with a thin filmy white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, chocolate, and toasted malts. As expected, the taste is dry with faint dark chocolate accents. The base provides plenty of toasted malts and a hint of milk chocolate, and the beer finishes really dry, and the alcohol content is 4.4% ABV. Different from most stouts, the Stout Clam was quite memorable and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Otium 150

Otium 150 is a hybrid IPA and Double IPA, as it is a “one and one-half” IPA. The beer pours an amber color with a thin filmy white colored head, and the aroma consists of tangerine, passion fruit, orange, and caramel. While not overly hoppy, the taste is strong with caramel, toffee, passion fruit, orange, and lemon. There is also a pepper and pine finish. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. The 150 was mostly a balanced beer that fell on the slightly sweeter side, but it was a great departure from hop bombs, and that was the brewer’s intent.

The Tent Setup

Of all the beers, my favorites were the Pineapple Wheat, Stout Clam, and Chai-P-A. Considering most of the beers were sessionable, drinking all day was not much of a challenge. One of more enjoyable moments was when the two brewers walked around the party and I sat behind the bottle table giving everyone samples. I started to mix some beers and the Black and Tan (150 + Stout Clam) and Raspberry Blonde were great hits among everyone who sampled them. I think this brewery has a bright future and if you see them popping up, feel free to check them out and tell them I sent you. Their intent is to open either in New York or New Jersey at this point, so keep your eyes open. While an exact timeline has not been establish, the optimistic goal would be an opening in late 2013.

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Written by Jeff Kupko

Jeff is a traffic engineer that loves his beer, and especially loves trying new beer. As a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Yuengling was a staple and the beginnings of liking something better than fizzy yellow water. This has evolved into an entire hobby, with Jeff keeping a blog of all of the beers he tries. Vacations most certainly involve at least one brewery or bottle shop visit to gather a region’s coveted fruits. Now, Jeff has ventured into homebrewing, and there is probably no saving him from being engulfed entirely by beer. While Imperial Stouts and IPAs rank highest in Jeff’s eyes, sours are sneaking up on those styles, and Jeff loves to try all different styles. Find Jeff Kupko on Google Plus

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