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Backseat Berner | Otter Creek Brewing

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Backseat BernerBackseat Berner
848 Ratings
Backseat BernerBackseat Berner

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The first year-round IPA in Otter Creek history, Backseat Berner is an American beauty that's loaded with juicy hops.

Like Oslo, Brewmaster Mike's 150 pound Bernese mountain dog that adorns the label, Backseat Berner is your everyday companion for life's adventures.

This brew clocks in at 7% ABV with 68 IBUs, so load up your buds and partake in this juicy exploration of American hops.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 848 |  Reviews: 149
Reviews by Norica:
Photo of Norica
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of FFreak
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into teku glass. Pours a clear golden color, with an ample pure white head and beautiful lacing - in my case I ended up with yeasties from the bottom, but no big deal. Not a huge aroma, but some citrus and tropical fruit coming through. Taste is slightly malty, followed by fruit and just a bit of dank, and then a very slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to thin with nice carbonation. Overall, I'm glad we'll be seeing this around for a while, as the great taste, low price and wide distribution make this an excellent offering.

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Photo of Stignacious
4.74/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy Crap. Whatever people are doing in Vermont, they need to keep doing it forever, because I think that I have found Heady Junior, and it's not even made by the Alchemist (Granted, I have yet to have Focal Banger). Pours a golden orange out of the bottle, the head disappears rather quickly, but leaves a nice lacing ring around the glass. No sedimentary issues as some have had. Big nose on this one with a taste to match; tropical fruit bomb. Mango, papaya, maybe some passion fruit in there as well with lemon and orange zing, and a slight sweetness from a caramel-like malt to balance everything out. Overall, this reminds me a great deal of Heady and Long Trail Limbo. It's not as dank as Limbo, but not as juicy as Heady; it's somewhere in the middle of the two, and for the price, is going to be the one I buy the most of. GET IT

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Otter Creek "Backseat Berner IPA"
12 oz. bottle, coded "040715 4396M"... I hope that's the bottled on date because I just bought it.

Appearance: "Chunky" protein suspended in an orange-gold body beneath an average head of creamy bright white foam that holds well and leaves some thin but once lacing about the glass. I can only assume that this is bottle conditioned and it didn't have time to settle out.

Aroma: Pungent, earthy, piney, resinous, and grainy-malty. It's not particularly bright, neither is it dull.

Flavor: Bold. Resinous, citrusy (grapefruit, tangerine), pithy, and piney hops rule the roost but the rich malt base holds it down - it's interesting, not quite caramelish, and not quite wheat, but certainly more than just straight forward. Those are the two components that lock together, one side hops and the other malt, and if there are secondary flavors of pineapple, apple, lemon, nuts, etc., that's great, but this is really just one big ball of flavor wrapped around a bitter core. Thankfully, that bitter core is not overdone. It's up there, solidly up there, but it's not maxed. It comes off almost as a double IPA in overall character, and yet it's not. And with that said, the alcohol is clear, but to a certain extent that's needed to bring it to fruition - it might seem lacking without it. The alcohol lends a thin slap that accentuates the bitterness a little, and helps to dry the finish. It lingers with piney and citrusy hops beneath a spritz of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full in body. Fine bubbled seemingly natural carbonation. Delicately bristling and then smooth.

Overall: Fairly impressive. Not just a standard IPA, and really almost a double. I have to knock it for appearance, but otherwise it's quite nice.

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Photo of porter_collie
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into brandy glass

A - For the first half of the pour, the body is a pleasant sunset gold color. But wait, what is this? In the bottom half of the bottle are little bits of coagulated who knows what. By the looks of it, it seems to be either yeast, hops particles (my best guess), or some combination of all the above. Give the bottle a vigorous shake, and said particulates turn into the "haze" so common in many quality IPAs.

S - The aroma is fresh, juicy, and intoxicating. Loads of fresh citrus, tropical fruit, fruity yeast esters, and honey sweetness. Lesser, but still noticeable, notes of pine, hemp, and apple.

T - Honey malt notes combine with the juicy ripe citrus to form a powerful one-two punch right off the bat. This bouquet quickly expands to include invigorating mango, peach, pine, and floral flavors. The middle of the tongue then gets a nice taste of yeasty esters, fairly dry cracker malts, and mildly-puckering bitterness - all the while, the citrus keeps on coming to the finish.

M - A medium dry mouthfeel with a certain amount of stickiness from the hops. Carbonation is spot on.

O - Despite the weird look of the beer (seriously what are those particulates?!), this was a revelatory brew- a juicy, widely-available Vermont-style IPA at a decent price! No, this is not Focal Banger, Susan, or maybe even Fiddlehead. But it's damn good and can be picked up without a road-trip. The tangerine, orange, and clementine notes from the hops are superb. Reminds me of Deschutes Fresh-Squeezed. With my first purchase, the $14 Mixed Bag variety 12-pack has assertively placed itself atop New England's best hop-to-dollar ratio. Seriously, the only real competition are Torpedo and Finest Kind. Hope Otter Creek keeps the goods comin'!

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a nonic pint glass. The appearance was a hazy burnt orange to yellow color with a thin white foamy head that dissipated within less than about forty seconds leaving a light lacing roaming all about. The smell had a sweet to tangy to bitter grapefruit gracefully touching my nose with some bitter lemon rind, fresh and full, bright and somewhat grassy. The taste was bittersweet thoroughly balancing the bitter citrus hops to the sweet grassy hops. A light sweet dry citrus aftertaste leads to a quick dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. Carbonation comes off semi-harsh and leaves a dry bitter texture rolling over my tongue. Overall, this was a pretty good AIPA.

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Photo of PianoManKD
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I wanted to give another OCB beer a try as I've had nothing but success with these guys. This one is no different. Firstly, the pour is a gorgeous golden orange color, with the perfect amount of foam at the top; probably one finger height. There is a beautiful aroma of gentle hops that fill the air right away. The feel of the beer has almost a creaminess to it. The hops aren't overpoweringly (is that a word?) bitter and makes this IPA an easy drink. Careful though, the 7% ABV will catch up with you! Great beer!

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

And for my 1000th review !!! Light hazy golden color with bright white heading and lacing. Nose is a little muted. But the taste it's alive and well.Grapefruit, lemon grass, toasted malt. Nice clean bitter finish. I've been waiting on this one and the over easy and I must say I am becoming an otter creek fan and look forward to whatever they come out with.

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Photo of delta490
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

So much sediment. Combined with the carbonation and it's like a yeast lava lamp. Which is a shame because it has a beautiful orangey-gold color and a thin but persistent cap of slightly creamy white head. The aroma is milder, but has nice tropical fruit notes. The taste is good, a little less defined than the aroma but there's an off-note on the finish I can't quite place. The body has a nice feel to it and there's a bit of tingle on the tongue.

I know they acknowledge the gunk on their website but it's still unattractive.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from Roguer. 16 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 2/9/2017. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy medium golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, peach, apricot, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, melon, papaya, guava, lemon/orange zest, light pepper/pine, light honey, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical/fruity hops and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, melon, papaya, guava, lemon/orange zest, light pepper/pine, light honey, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine/grassy/citrus peel/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, peach, apricot, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, melon, papaya, guava, lemon/orange peel, pepper, pine, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/fruity hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and minimal lingering hop astringency after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from lingering bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/sticky, and lightly resinous/rindy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this is an outstanding IPA! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/fruity hops and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink from the modest bitterness. Very bright, juicy, and dank on hops; nice malt backbone, without feeling sweet. Fairly tame feeling bitterness at first from the malt balance, but dries out really nicely without being astringent. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This poured so awfully. Big snow globe floaties in a yellow body and a slight haze too. Creamy head of white foam that left lace. Soft stone fruits, and citrusy. Touch of grass and a little kiss from the malt on the nose. Taste is really excellent. It has a permeating bitterness that is not too harsh. It's almost the crushed pill bitterness but not quite and I like that. Citrus and a tropical flavor too. More pine on the palate than on the nose and a crisp dry malt. Light body and a only a hint of slickness in the swallow. Lingering bitterness but the taste of fresh orange is right with it till the very end.

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Photo of Act25
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otter Creek may be Vermont's best brewer.

A: Bright peach cloudy body with yeast floating, a large thick white head, and a persistent lacing.
S: Abundant - notes of grapefruit, hop oil, fruit.
T: Follows nose, but w peppery, citrusy sweetness on the back.
M: Medium carbonation, good mouth feel, hoppy bitterness, prickly hops.

O: Best priced IPA ever?

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Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 4/21/15.Pours into a nonic a light orange tinged golden with a nice looking lacey white head atop,what I like best about the looks of this beer is the suspended chunkies and floaties,they don't all settles to the bottom giving a kind of cool look.A shot of bright citrus in the nose,not much malt presence.Citric and fresh tasting on the palate just a nice wake up the taste buds moment,light caramel/biscuit sweetness is there to give just enough malt presence,the hops give off a bit of pine resin in the finish.Wow what a nice east side IPA here.

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Photo of wertschy
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Shandycan
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kewharton
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rabiddawg
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of fscottkey
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.75] Slightly cloudy apricot colored beer. The head is a 1/4 finger of white and is not super impressive, even with a vigorous pour. The bottle lists the ABV (7.0%) it also has a born on code (08/07/15)

S: [3.75] Initially dank with some juicy fruit. Then it goes to a darker more earthy scent.

T: [3.75] Pine resin in a big way! Some juicy citrus fruit. Overall tight but not in your face bitter.

M: [3.75] The carbonation and body are both nice. There is a lingering dry finish on the beer.

O: [3.75] This beer has a nice hop forward flavor. There are pine and mild citrus notes that match it well to the style. I can't say this is my favorite IPA but it is quite nice. I would drink more of these. I would actually like to let one age a little longer and see how the hops turn down a bit and let some of the malt shine through.

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Photo of Drewali
3.03/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Usually like the brewer but this one didn't go down as smooth

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sdm9465
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Valentno7
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of luke12345
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bdel34
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Backseat Berner from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 848 ratings