1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Not Rated.
Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style KölschOtter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

93 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 11.26%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.85% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 01-20-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch Alström Bros
Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bum732


3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw yellow, decent head that dissipates. Smells of light breadiness, touch of grassiness, very light fruitiness. Tastes of sweet malt with a nice earthy and herbal aspect. Moderate bitterness with a fairly clean finish.

A decent beer, great on a warm day. Not exactly traditional, the light fruitiness i was expecting was maked by the sweetness of the malt and the herbalness of the hops. Still, not bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 04:25:04 | More by bum732
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of several Otter Creek/Wolaver's brews my sister brought home from a recent trip to Vermont.

12 ounce bottle. 20 ounce "becker" style glass (tall straight walled pub glass).

A - Slight chill hazed golden/yellow. Small white head forms then fades to a thin cap.

S - Subdued grainy smell.

T - Nice laid back flavor. The graininess is there but subdued and a tiny hop kick balances it out. Smooth flavor with some quenching tart fruit flavor and a subtle bready aftertaste (great use of wheat malt in here for sure).

M - Light bodied, lively carbonation.

D - I consider drinkability the name of the game for a Kolsch.Goes down easy. Flavors aren't too complex, which is not what the style calls for, but it's a straightforward, thirst-quenching session brew with enough flavor to be tasty and interesting.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 07:10:52 | More by EStreet20
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear golden with a 1 finger white foamy head and some decent lacing. Good bubbles in the glass.

Grassy aromas and some floral hops. Nice scent, but where is that grapey element you get in Kolsch?

Some light malt, grassy sweetness, light grain, some dry bread sweetness, and some hop bitterness. Clean and drinkable, with enough carbonation and body to make this well rounded. Goes down very easy. I wonder how long into the grilling season this will be available... A great beer to drink on a warm day while flipping burgers. Not exceptional, but very very decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 22:29:38 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of donkeyrunner


4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Possibly my favorite post-run beer.

Clear gold with a white head that leaves good retention and splashy lacing. Nose is light grai, and mild hops-- a little grassy, a little herbal.

Not as crisp as I would anticipate from a kolsch but pleasantly smooth, light and biscuity. Light herbal/floral (jasmine-esque?) hop peeps up in back.

Perhaps the perfect post-run beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 20:19:44 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of matth33

New Jersey

2.58/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Otter Creek Spring Ale poured to a pale golden yellow color with little if any head. Average taste that did not "wow" but was mild and pleasant. No distinct aroma but was light and finished that way. Don't know if it was me or mother nature, but just not ready for spring on a chilly March evening. Good/average and have had other Otter Creek products that have made more of an impression.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 00:18:52 | More by matth33
Photo of JohnPan


4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised at the amount of poor reviews of this beer. Discovered in February 2010 and, since I love the Kolsch style, I grabbed a 6-pack to try. My overall impression is that this is a very good beer, one that I look forward to having again. My only complaint is I think it misses the Kolsch flavor (a little too strong) and body (a little too heavy) profile. I'll put it in a horizontal of mixed Kolsch this spring and see what my friends think.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 05:20:25 | More by JohnPan
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.68/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On cask at Rattle 'N' Hum. Good grapefruit colour. Sour bitter(that was the lemony part) though creamy mouthfeel. Not hitting the spot.
Should have worked as a cask if it was good. May be better enjoyed in the summer in lieu of lemonade. Just lacking in taste.

Serving type: cask

02-21-2010 05:20:14 | More by Sammy
Photo of hreb


2.88/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cold 12oz screw-cap bottle poured into pint glass. Beer pours pale Mountain Dew yellow with a trace of a white head. Very faint aroma is vaguely floral/grassy.

Taste is like a light lager. Actually, it's not that offensive. But it is mostly bland, not too bitter, not too sweet. Not skunky, stale or dry. Refreshing, but not crisp. Might make a better summer lawnmower beer than a "first day of spring" beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 01:38:25 | More by hreb
Photo of BeerAdvocate


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

It's nice to see any early spring release--this one came out in January. Makes the winter seem less wintry. It's also nice to see a spring seasonal offering that's not another Belgian Wit or other wheat beer.

Clear and bright golden-colored brew, white head that drops to a translucent lace. Fresh grain and a touch of green grass in the nose. Very smooth on the palate with a near medium body. Crisp snap up front, with a moderate carbonation level. Hint of mineral opens up to a biscuity malt profile, followed by a hint of honey and bread. Dry overall, mildly sweet. Soft herbal hop character, more grass. Dry and biscuity in the finish, with some lingering grain.

A well-built Kölsch. Balanced. Very refreshing beer. Quite the session beer. The world needs more.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 19:09:45 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Otter Creek- Spring Fling

A- Light clear orange with a small filmy head.
S- Light dry bread crust grain and caramel malt.
T- Dry toasty bready malts, caramel malt, and grassy hops.
M- Very light and watery with a dry woody tannin hop finish.

Overall- Starts off with a nice malty graininess but fizzles.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 17:48:23 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of generallee

New York

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has a born on date of 2-5-09 and it was sampled on 6-3-09.

Appearance: The body has a light golden color with good clarity and some visible carbonation. On top sits a small bright white head that fades quickly, down to just a thin ring of slick lace.

Smell: Its aroma is clean and light. There are some light pale malt notes with some modest clean hope notes.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor starts with a light to medium body, crisp pale malts with maybe just a hint of fruit notes and mellow hops in prefect balance. The carbonation is soft yet active giving it a fun lively texture with a quick, crisp and dry finish.

Notes: The light crisp and fairly clean character makes this a nice average tasting summer drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 01:49:27 | More by generallee
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Off the tap at the brewery this beer was a pale gold color with an off-white head two-fingers thick. The retention was good and the lacing was very good in thin sheets. The aroma was 'bright', floral hops, pale malt and citrus. The flavors were crisp and refreshing. Summery notes of citrus hops, pale malt and floral hops, especially on the finish. Semi-acidic and clean. A good example of the style. The mouthfeel was soft but a touch watery, the body medium/light and the carbonation appropriate.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2009 17:06:06 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a very light yellow crystal clear with a small white head that faded to a very thin film ( it looks like a macro lager )
Smells pretty much the exact same way a macro does just a bit more grassy than those
taste starts out tasting like a macro but then suddenly is very watery with a hint of white wine and grass
mouthfeel is slighlty short of medium bodied but is very clean and crisp on the palate
drinks like a tasty glass of water, would be excellent after mowing the lawn

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 05:51:38 | More by sliverX
Photo of Sycodrummer


4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a stange the beer was a translucent medium gold color with one finger of pure white fluffy head. Steady carbonation streaming up the glass and the had retained very well with thick dense rings of lace all the way down the glass.

Malty nose with a slight grainy (cereal) aroma. Very soft fruit.

Taste stars out malty with a bready and slightly buttery backbone. This gives way to a very slight mild hoppiness with just a sublt bitterness in the background. Hop presence is mild, very mild, and more noble hoppish, nothing brash here, just enough to balance the malty sweetness the beer begins with. Finishes slight grains, clean, and dry with a sublte buttery sweetness.

Medium body and about average carbonation.

This is a very drinkable seasonal. It's tough to find a quality domestic Kolsch and this is certainly that. Nicely balanced, clean, not overly carbonated, and very refreshing. I'll be back to this each year.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 17:24:22 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Pours a pale golden straw color with a fluffy, two finger bone white head. The cap dissipated quickly and left little behind.

Aroma is of toasted cereal grain and a faint floral hop aroma.

The taste mimics the nose. Toasted ceraeal with a faint floral hop flavor. Very dry, not as bitter as I would like. Very subtle.

Light bodied with a little too much carbonation for my taste.

After doing some yardwork, this was a perfect quencher.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 14:06:51 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw with a not-too-bad white foam. Nose is a bit raw with grassy hops and a touch of lemon. Maybe some vegetal notes. Sweet, light and herbal with a mild hop bitterness. Impression of citrus is very faint and a hint of alcohol sneaks through. Fairly fizzy with a bit of slickness to the body. Drinkability isn't a problem with this one, and it has some nice hoppiness for such a light beer. Refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 15:44:17 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of sulldaddy


4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a clear gold from the bottle but appears slightly orange in the glass. Bleached white fizzy head of 1 cm foams up and rests lightly on the surface of the beer.
Aroma is clean and crisp with some spicy and earth hops and general grainy malt. Not overly complex but it doesnt have to be for the style.
First sip is a light to average body with fine fizzy carbonation.
Flavor is straight forward and refreshing. Grainy malt with a little husk to it, followed by some grassy hops that are just slightly bitter on the finish. A bit dry on the palate after each swallow as well.
The beer is well made and would taste great cold on a hot day. Put a 6er in the cooler and sit poolside for a hot sunny day!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 01:50:32 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Thorpe429


3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 02.10.2009

A: Pours a ver light golden color with a large, two-finger bone-white head. Plenty of carbonation bubbles visible throughout. Okay lacing.

S: Mild grains along with some very mild, tart fruit sensations.

T: Soft malt and the tiniest bit of sweetness. Mild bitterness. Very few hop.

M: Light and refreshing, though a tad bit over-carbonated.

D: Pretty good--I wouldn't mind knocking back a couple of these once the weather's nicer. At the same time, I don't think it stacks up with the Goose Island Summertime.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 02:34:31 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with good carbonation. Head isn't that impressive, leaves a slight amount of foam. Otherwise looks fine

Aroma: Its mild. I can detect grains, and minimal hops, but it still is a pleasant aroma

Taste: Nice grainy flavor..mild on the hops, some malt coming through as well. I can get some wheat notes from it as well (bottle indicates there is some wheat malt..so there we go)

Mouthfeel: Crisp, and good carbonation. Goes down well

Drinkability: Light and crisp, refreshing. Tastes good.

Give it a try

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 03:27:48 | More by kshankar
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Body is light golden with a small white head. Bubbles rising result in a nice presentation.

S: Not terribly strong -- some cereal and basic grain with a hint of florally or fruity hops.

T: First impressions: light, slightly fruity and cereal grains. A lingering fruitiness reminds me of ripe apples, though it finishes somewhat dry and lemony.

M: Somewhat slick, surprising me for the style.

D: Good. A little too fruity or else this would've been a 4.5.

Notes: IIRC, I haven't been that impressed with Otter Creek's offerings. This, however, was solid. I think it would make a decent summer release, actually, as it's light and fairly refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 21:20:39 | More by Kendo
Photo of DrJay


3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yellow/gold with a light chill haze and a sticky white cap. Solid sheets of lace clung to the glass and it had good head retention. Aromas of floral hops, cereal, and crackers. Moderate bitterness with floral and crackery malt flavours, plus a hint of fruitiness. Light bodied with carbonation a little more than average. A bit dry, nice texture overall. Refreshing and tasty, a decent kolsch.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2009 00:45:27 | More by DrJay
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottled on 1/28/09. Served in a traditional German stange at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Wow... I know Kolsches are pale in color but this really takes the cake! A suggestion of light yellow/gold is all we've got here... the white crown fizzles quickly to just a thin, transparent mat.

Smell- Zippy and bready, the malts outweigh the hops on the nose... it's like walking past a bakery at 5 in the morning. There's really nothing much of anything else going on.

Taste- This one doesn't hit the mark. It's real lemony and hoppy, drying for sure... but it's also astringent to a fault. It's not balanced at all regarding the hops and malt, but the aroma had me fooled. I'm going to have to pass on this one.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- This beer blooms nicely in the mouth right from the outset, becoming full and frothy without going overboard or being *too* gassy. It's light enough to session, but I just wouldn't go here again with the flavor profile not being so great.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 02:04:45 | More by yelterdow
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very pale transparent golden yellow with crazy high white foam. The head stays around and recedes very slowly. Lacing everywhere.

Smell is a grassy/pine-y/hoppy aroma.

Clean taste - a tad watery with a mild hop finish. No buzz from carbonation in the mouth, Finishes dry.

Good representation of the style. Not earth shattering, but definitely a beer you could have a few of.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 11:18:39 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear, rather bright gold color. The head is slightly smallish, frothy, and off-white. Retention is good, as is lacing.

S: A base graininess, along with some fruity/champagne aromas. A bit of floral/herbal hops.

T: Crisp, grainy malt up front. Again, some dry white grape/champagne flavors. Hop flavor is fairly nice, again herbal and floral, and bitterness is moderate. A bit yeasty as well.

M: Medium-light body. Rather crisp and refreshing, with a dry finish and somewhat tingly carbonation.

D: Quite refreshing and nice. This is a nice spring seasonal, and I have a feeling it would be even better on a hot summer night. It won't knock your socks off, but it's very well-executed and pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 03:24:03 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of blackie


3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: tyranena pint, fizzy white head on a golden colored beer, very poor retention

s: grainy pale and lightly nutty wheat malts, underripe peach or green grape, very mild hop presence, seems a bit on the sweet side

m: carbonation prickly but seems to be underdone, light-medium body, lingering presence in the finish, comes across as dull for the style and a bit heavy-footed

t: brief glimpses of a wheat malt crispness with a heavier, more sugary pale malt flavor making up the bulk of the body, white grape juice, mild aged hop flavors come out after swallowing, the malts would be enjoyable were they countered with an adequate hop presence

d: not up to par for a kolsch, too much body and unchecked malt flavor

single from Trader Joe's, Reston, VA

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2009 03:49:54 | More by blackie
Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
83 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.