Set up by former Whitbread brewer David McCaig in 1990, high in the hills above the former lace-making town of Honiton, Otter has grown to be one of the most popular and familiar faces at the bar-top in the Southwest.
Its beers include Otter Ale, Bitter (which accounts for 40% of the brewery’s sales) and the recently introduced Otter Pale Ale (OPA), a modern, unfiltered American hopped craft keg beer; there is also its premier lager Tarka and the recently introduced Tarka Four, a lighter version of the beer.
"We aim to be a mixture of both traditional and progressive"
says the brewery’s Managing Director Patrick McCaig, ‘with our mission being to produce the finest range of cask, keg and bottled beers with quality and consistency. We also aim to provide great beer and service to the pubs and drinkers of the Southwest and beyond and to support our local community and maintain our sustainable ethos.’
As well as exemplary brewing, sustainability has always been at the heart of Otter’s operations: the beers are brewed with their own spring water from the head of the River Otter while casks are tucked up at night beneath the blanket of the grass roof of the eco-cellar; meanwhile there is also a willow and reed water filtration system in the valley below the brewery’s bucolic rural location. Tarka the otter would certainly approve.
Otter Bitter, 3.6%
Bittersweet session ale, whose nose pulsates with fruity esters and a hint of hop spiciness; despite its low abv it’s got a good body accompanied by malt sweetness and a dry finish.