Awww yes, the good things! Simple pleasures and tangibles…things that make us remember happy times. For me, right now, those consist of pleasant memories of tasty treats. Not really expensive luxuries, just homemade simplicities and discontinued craft beers.
In March of 2020, three very big things happened. The world shut down for a pandemic, I turned 40, and Sierra Nevada stop making my all-time favorite beer. Too many bummers all at once. So just as the taprooms were closing down, I was scrambling to build my own kegerator and buy up all of the Otra Vez I could get my hands on. Luckily for me, I am co-owner of a bottle shop and was able to wipe my distributor out of all the packaging and sixtels they had left!
Otra Vez was a Gose-style ale brewed with lime and agave. It was easy drinking and delicious. I may have even enjoyed it frozen a time or two, which my husband hated and reminded me that, “You’re getting rid of the malt profile when it’s that cold.” He’s not wrong, but in those warmer months it was like heaven with just a few flakes of ice forming.
Now when I say that Otra Vez was my favorite beer, let me be clear…it was my ABSOLUTE favorite beer of all-time and I’ve had a lot of beers. This is not an exaggeration and anyone who knows me will tell the same story. I was so distraught that I documented the last of it. The last keg, the last 6 pack, and even the last can, I recorded it all. So, I’ve decided to reminisce and share some of my happiest and saddest Otra Vez moments.
I’ll start with Aj’s homemade tacos. My husband is an amazing cook and Otra Vez was the perfect pairing for this meal. The crisp lime and slight salt of the Gose was perfect with the fresh ingredients and his hand-pressed corn tortillas. Nothing like a cold Otra Vez to knock back the heat from the chorizo and homemade salsa. A lot of my favorite memories of beer involve being in the kitchen and cooking.
As packaging starting getting scarce, the search was on for the last six packs. Having bought all I could from BCO, I started hitting gas stations, bottle shops, and grocery stores in search of strays. When I say everyone knew how much I loved the beer, that’s not an exaggeration either. Just when I thought I’d never see another can of Otra Vez, a friend sent this text, “I found one! Random Shell outside Waynesville still in date. It’ll be your late birthday present! I’ll try and drop it off next week for ya!” Now that’s a friend! I was super grateful and savored every sip. I even made a time lapse video of me enjoying the very last can. You can enjoy that video by clicking this link: THE LAST CAN
Once the cans were gone, we started working on the kegs. Aj had taken our small fridge and turned it into a single tap kegerator. Made mostly of parts from the shop and our bigger kegerators, this thing worked like a champ and kept us going on Otra Vez for a little while longer. As the kegs emptied and we moved closer to never tasting this delicious brew again, things got funny and sad. I made one last video after a long night of knocking back pints. You can giggle along with me and Aj by clicking this link: I’M DRINKING ALL THE OTRA VEZ
So, now its all gone. I sit on the east coast and wonder…could i still find it on tap somewhere on the west coast? Will Sierra Nevada ever make it again? Inquiring minds want to know. Until then, the hunt is on for my next favorite. Closest I have gotten was a seasonal, small batch from Brooklyn Brewing. The Key Lime Bel Air Sour was a near perfect replacement, but I never saw it again after the first few cases. And so, the search continues.
Here’s to finding more favorites. 🍻