Otter Creek Hop Session Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

58 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Otter Creek Hop Session AleOtter Creek Hop Session Ale

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed by the Otter Creek brewers who were looking for an easy sipper after a long shift, Hop Session lies somewhere between a Pale Ale and IPA. A bouquet of hop varieties complement a rich blend of malts, making this brew highly drinkable with a distinct, West Coast hop flavor and aroma.

35 IBU

Added by Brad007 on 10-06-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 379
Photo of Billolick
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle

Hazed lighter amber, off white looser head, leaving some light spotty lace.

Light fruity hop nose.

Pleasant enough brew, light and sessionable (duh) fresh and refreshing. Moderate hop package, fruity and flavorful

Worthy every day kinda beer.

 260 characters

Photo of predikit
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper gold, left almost no head, but might have been because of a gentle pour. Leaves faint amount of lacing on the glass.

Smells is rather muted, hops and malted barley.

Taste is very agreeable, minor fruity characteristic, with some floral hop notes, quickly gets folded into a bright and strong toasted malt character. No real outlying flavors or notes, bitterness picks up towards the end.

Medium-light bodied, medium carbonation, quite smooth, leaves mostly clean.

A pretty good brew, feels like hoppy done right.

 531 characters

Photo of porter_collie
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass

A - A pale golden body with a rather ephemeral white, fizzy head. Minimal lacing is present in the form of scattered rings of bubbles along the sides of the glass.

S - A floral, honey-like sweetness undercut by some notes of pine resin and citrus.

T - Light, pleasant pink grapefruit notes arrive on the heels of a touch of grassy, flowery hops. The malt body coats the tongue in a melliferous cracker sweetness. The medium-dry finish is more grapefruit, grass, and mild bitterness.

M - Thin, but that is to be expected given the sessionable quality of the ale.

O - This beer suffers from a bit of a misnomer. The session part is achieves in spades, as it is simultaneously flavorful (especially compared to similar ABV macro lagers) and refreshing. However, the hops billed on the label don't ever really show up in the levels that I had expected. Don't get me wrong, the grapefruit notes are nice; but in the increasingly-crowded session IPA/APA realm the humulus-to-sessionability ratio is on the low end. Still, I would be pleased to see these in a friend's fridge during a party or sporting event.

 1,150 characters

Photo of Lagerhouserules
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Better than most of the low abv session ipa's out there; i would buy this again if I were to decide to drink all day (camping, etc). What I like about it is that it has a decent balance in terms of malt backbone but still maintains the low abv. Good work here by Otter Creek

 276 characters

Photo of buzzarooski
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Hazy Golden Orange Color IPA with Fill 1/2 inch White Foamy Head that Dissipated Quickly, Plenty of Lacing

SMELL: Mild Hoppy Scents with Lemon Pine and Citrus Notes, Mild Malt and Grains also Evident

Taste: Refreshing Hoppy Flavor, Minimal Bitterness through-Out the Sip and after the Swallow.

FEEL: Very Refreshing Sip, Perfect Amount of Carbonation that works well with the Flavors

OVERALL: I Enjoyed and would Recommend this Refreshing Session Ale.....Well Done Otter Creek

 487 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

12oz bottle. Pours a semi hazy brownish straw color with almost no head. Some lacing. The aroma is biscuity malts and some light floral hops. The taste is much like the aroma. Mostly the malt flavor up front followed by some light floral hops. Bready with a floral, almost soapy, finish. Virtually no alcohol flavor, as expected, with a light mouthfeel. Tastes like an alright Pale Ale. Since this bills itself as a "Session" ale, I have to say this is nowhere near as good as some of the better ones out there. Overall, ok in a mix 12 pack but I'd never buy it on its own.

 573 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Hazy orange body, topped by two fingers of off-white foam.

Fruity citrus aroma. Fresh.

Slippery light sweetness, the malt does not make a strong impression. Very fruity. Bitter snap at the swallow.

Very prickly, excessively so, mouthfeel.

Another "session IPA" that amounts to sacrifices too much in the malt department. Billed as between a pale and an IPA, it's comes across as an over hopped blonde ale. Seriously needs more balance.

 440 characters

Photo of fscottkey
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: Transparent yellowish pour - with a tiny head. The bubbles, on the head, are large and disappear quickly.

S: I am getting some kind of fruit - but not anything tropical like I'd expect. It is more of a kiwi smell (fruit not the flightless bird). I also smell maple syrup.

T: Slightly fruity with a mildly bitter finish.

M: appropriate for this style. Good carbonation and body.

O: This is very middle of the road. Nothing noteworthy to make it stand out. Not one to seek out - but not bad.

 497 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a nonic. Pours a sunny, orange-gold with a slightly hazy clarity and a frothy, latte-like half inch bright white head. Nose expresses citrus rind, a noble hops presence and some earthiness. Taste is a bit on the dull side - grainy/husk-like with a hint of citrus fruit and earthiness at the back. Mouthfeel is light and lively with a hint of acidity. Overall, not a bad beer but there's not much flavor - nonetheless, a decent session beer that would probably standout on-cask.

 500 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle picked up as part of a Wegmans mix-six pack.

Pours a clear amber, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing near the top quarter of the glass.

Not a real strong smell on this one, some pine, with a bit of candied citrus.

There's basically no malt here, it only shows up in a sort of candied pineapple taste near the end. Pine and grass up front. Quite watery.

Light bodied, crisp mouthfeel, pretty drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Like most session IPAs, this falls short. Without the typical (silent) malt backbone, the body falls flat and becomes quite watery. Pass.

 587 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Alewife and I swung by the brewery on 24MAY14 for a quickie. She had the Mountain Ale; Hop Session for me....

It was a clear, medium golden, topped by a creamy white head. The foam was fine and tight and left OK lacing behind. Aroma was a mild citrus; pleasant but not too strong. The bier felt fairly smooth, and was almost medium in body.

Flavor had lighty sweetness, with a bit of bready/crackery malt. Hopping was citrussy, with pithy action hitting the palate.There was not a real lot of hoppiness, though, and it was mostly bitter. It was dry and lightly refreshing, though I didn't find a lot going on here.... Not bad....

3.76/5 rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


 721 characters

Photo of PDubs76
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured out of a growler into a pint glass. Spotty lacing and deep gold color. Nice floral aroma, but not quite as strong as I was expecting. Taste is slightly bitter and a smooth finish. Overall its not a bad beer, but not my favorite session ale. I was hoping for more of a bitter taste that never came, but don't get me wrong I wouldn't turn this beer down if given to me or if I saw it on tap.

 396 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Moderate head but the bubbles coat the surface throughout the tasting. Little (spotty) lace. The look is dirty cold with a definitive haze.

Fresh floral hop nose with a solid pale malt aroma. There's also an element of unmalted barley grain. Great combination to the nose.

A solid pale ale with a grainy pale malt start quickly succumbing to a white pepper-like hop bite. The body is thin for the style and the elevated carbonation enhances this effect. The aftertaste is strong and lasting with bitterness.

 509 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from The Lazy Dog
Crystal clear deep golden color and a fluffy frothy white head that slowly recedes before leaving stickies everywhere. Light bready malt with hints of soapy lemony hops make up most of the aroma. The flavor follows the aroma light malt, light earthy citrus hop and little else. Light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost watery mouthfeel. I don't understand this beer. Sessionable I can see, its a lower alcohol easy to drink beer. But you used the word hop in the name and I have trouble finding any. I was hoping for something like All Day IPA or Go To IPA, but instead I got this mediocre beer.

 646 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a finger thick head, white and big bubbled. Hazy, golden bronze body. Semi-sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Mellow hop aroma. Grapefruit peel. Some floral notes.
T) Hop bite from start to finish. A well balanced taste profile of nutty malts and citrus fruit. Subtle hops linger in the aftertaste.
M) Clean. Crisp, but smooth. Medium light body.
O) A nice session-able pale ale. I'll be drinking more.

 438 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Orange copper pale ale with a bright white head fine lively white bubbled head...Aroma has citrus lemon/lime malts with a fine biscuit note. The flavor is light hops and malts together a hint of citrus pith with lemony hops goes great with a light biscuit malt character. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied overall very dull and straight forward. Again the light bodied malt makes up for the hops being so easy going, it allows them to shine.

 443 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy and murky with plenty of floaties. When heald to the natural light it's a dirty orange. When held to the light in the room it's a softer and more attractive pastel orange. Fat ehad of off white foam that lasted. Nose is a hop bomb. Fruity, floral, grapefruit rind and the zest of other citrus fruits with tropical backnotes. A light sweetness form malt emerges as it warms. A bit of nuttiness or bread. Taste is wonderful. This beer has everything an IPA has except for the abv and the pine. The earthy grapefruit rind is the centerpiece with tropical fruit notes softly behind. The citrus is all over this beer but not obtrusively. It's juicy. The malt is a bit breaddy with a bit of nuttiness. This drinks well and offers a good mouthfeel for a low abv. The hop bitter is not too strong and this finishes dry, then not dry, then dry. I think it dries out mostly in the end to leave that earthy grapefruit rind behind.

The only thing is do not let this warm too much as it becomes sour and loses some body.

 1,022 characters

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

*12 Oz. Bottle* I am all about refreshing hoppy ales. This one is no exception. its a little rough around the edges but that's only because this is pretty old in the "Pale Ale" category. The beer looks chunky, you know sediment that is active all over my glass. I don't mind that at all. The body is golden straw/light amber, with a small white head. Lets smell this little guy. Main aroma is that of citrus mainly grapefruit peel. There is hints of cut grass with bread malts with mild earth. Smells hoppy lets see how this tastes. This is hoppy. Mainly citrus driven with hints of lavender and cut grass. The finish is pretty refreshing with a subtle amount of bitterness. The feel on this beer is very light on the palate with heavy carbonation.

Overall: I like session brews. This one is a very good example for what a Hoppy Session Ale can be. I believe there could be a little bit more body to the beer to be excellent. The flavors are on point. This is refreshing, hoppy, flavorful and below 5%! This is a good Baseball beer. I could drink this and not get tired out while watching a sporting event. This brew is worthy!

 1,128 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper/orange pour with a finger + of white fluffy head, nice lacing left behind. A grassy hop profile up front, pine, soapy, grapefruit citrus.
The flavor is bready up front, subtle caramel, lots of nice piney/grapefruit hops. Light medium body with high carbonation. A pretty delicious beer for being this light and from an overall "average brewery".

 354 characters

Photo of SSS
2.92/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

A - Yellow, not clear, hazy. Big white head...
S - Musty, metallic. I don't get a lot of hop aroma :(
T - Slight bitterness that is nice, there is a nutty, almost peanut taste on my palate
M - Carbonation is higher than I like. The bubbles overpower much of the potential taste.

O - I wanted to like this more than I do, I'm a big supporter of Vermont!

 358 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a very hazy darker-orange amber color with a one finger white head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving a tiny level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of some grainy smells as well as a little bit of some floral and earthy hops. Along with the grain and hop are some aromas of caramel and a little bit of bready smell. A little bit of a cracker smell as well as a very light citrus is there as well along with an odd somewhat coffee like smell that seems slightly out of place.

Taste –The taste begins with a drier biscuit flavor with some lighter hop tastes of a more earthy and hay like nature. Some grainy tastes quickly come to the tongue as well as a little bit of a lemon citrus flavor. Some grassy flavors later come to the tongue as well as more hay and a little bit of a more floral hop flavor. None of the hops in themselves is too potent, but the combination of flavors that has developed on the tongue, in combination with the drier and somewhat lighter malt flavors, ends up leaving a somewhat sharp, hoppy, and grainy flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with a carbonation level that is average as well. A bit of a lighter body and higher carbonation level may have been slightly better for the drier and hopped characteristics of the brew, but overall it was alright.

Overall –A decent sessionable IPA, but a little too dry and slightly unbalanced as the hops sort of outweighs the other characteristics of the brew.

 1,608 characters

Photo of 57md
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light copper color with two fingers of white head that lingers a bit before dissipating into nothingness. The nose has hops upfront, but there is also some malt present. The mouthfeel is light – too light, but the dry, hoppy finish makes for a pleasant end to the drinking experience.

This is a good session pale ale that I would like to sample in the summer. I am not quite sure how it ended up in a winter sampler.

 427 characters

Photo of KingdomBobcat
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

have had a couple bottles in the fridge for a while, so they may not be that good anymore.
poured into snifter

A-hazy yellow, some floaties, mild head, minimal lacing
S-kinda like skunky honey
T-sessionable malt, low alcohol, weak hops,
M-pretty thin, pretty malty, bitter aftertaste
O-just get the Kind Ryed IPA

 315 characters

Photo of Omnium
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Mildly hazy yellow gold with a finger of fizzy/foamy white head, medium on lacing.
S - Aroma is really nice here, lots of grassy and citrus peel scents, mild pine, a touch of pineapple, and some pale malt
T - Light and crisp flavor, citrus zest, cracker and bread malt, grassy and pine on the finish.
M - Light and refreshing, very good.
O - Sessionable for sure, good flavor, could drink this often.

 428 characters

Photo of Act25
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

i am fan of APAs. This one is worth a try, but light... taste off vs Left Hand Stranger.

A-Super clouded, hazy straw amber color with a energetic large white head and a lot of lacing.

S-citrus, malt, floral, yeast, grass, pine, autumn, wet grass.

T- Follows the smell w citrus, orange, bready malts, pine and very floral, mild bitter landing. Good finish.

F-Light medium body with moderate carbonation, apple cider like. Too light weight?

O-Always want to try the lower alcohol beers, esp APAs, and this one is satisfying, but lost in a taste off vs Left Hand Stranger.

 576 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Otter Creek Hop Session Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
3.68 out of 5 based on 379 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.