Famed beer blogger and author of The Good Beer Guide to New England, Andy Crouch, is reporting that Vermont mega (as craft breweries are concerned, anyway) brewer Long Trail Brewing Co. is in the process of purchasing neighboring Otter Creek/Wolver’s Brewing Co. According to Crouch,
Long Trail Brewing Company of Bridgewater Corners, Vermont, is in the process of purchasing the Otter Creek Brewing Company, of Middlebury, Vermont. The parties are in the process of perusing all the relevant financials [sic] and a deal would give Long Trail access to necessary additional capacity, while leaving Otter Creek and its brands in an unknown position. Details regarding the actual sale remain pretty closely held.
We’ll see what the eventual outcome of the deal is. If it means expansion for Otter Creek (my favorite of the two, certainly, and a brewery in general that has never let me down), than I’m happy for them. If it means trouble for the Otter Creek brand, than I am deeply saddened by the news. The Otter Creek brewery itself is one of my favorite breweries in New England to visit — great tasting taps flowing at all times, friendly staff, free pretzels and a disc golf hole on the premises — and many of their beers, especially the new imperial series, are outta this world. Their brewery is also used as part of the hands-on “campus” for the school at the American Brewers Guild (where friends of mine got into the business) and is where Allagash founder Rob Tod first learned to love beer (Otter Creek itself, not the ABG).
I have nothing against Long Trail — they make some fine brews and more power to ’em for being in a position of expansion. But nevertheless, this is a deal I’m going to try and keep a close eye on and I do hope they opt to keep the Otter Creek brand in place.