Name: Odell Brewing Company

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market?: No (although it does show up extremely infrequently, most recently during last year’s DC Beer Week at the Brickskeller)

What you need to know: After starting up in 1989 in a former grain elevator, Odell has skyrocketed up the production charts to rest at the 33rd largest craft brewery in 2010. They have an incredibly diverse selection of beers, from the easy drinking Easy Street, to the 90 Shilling that has been their backbone, to the increasingly popular sours like Avant Peche, Saboteur, and Friek, to the amazing barrel-aging program, Odell is making waves in the craft beer scene. Like another innovative brewery (coughDogfishHeadcough), Odell makes use of a pilot system to push craft beer’s boundaries. Described as “Part kitchen, part lab, part playground, our Pilot System gives our brewers the freedom to create and experiment with new beer recipes. All our beers begin this way – poured into a pint glass and passed around the brewery for tasting and input. Week after week, we create new specialty beers to share in our Tap Room,” this is definitely the engine of creativity. Sadly, they’re not distributed to the east coast (or the west coast) and are only in 10 states. Take advantage of them being here for SAVOR; you will not be disappointed.


Beer #1: Woodcut No. 5

Notes: The fifth (you guessed it!) edition of the Woodcut series, which shows off wood barrel aging with a number of different beers. The Woodcut No. 5 is extremely new, and it’s entirely possible that it will make its debut at SAVOR. So new, in fact, that it isn’t even up on Odell’s website yet. The first four Woodcut beers have the following overall scores on Ratebeer: 98, 98, 98, 97. Think this is one you want to try? The fifth Woodcut, from what I’ve been able to gather is going to be an oak barrel-aged Belgian quad.
BeerAdvocate Grade: N/A
Ratebeer Grade: N/A

Beer #2: Friek

Notes: A cross between a Kriek and a Framboise, this beer incorporates multiple threads of Kriek (cherry lambic beer) in oak barrels. Just prior to the final blending, fresh raspberries are added. This should have a nice tartness from the cherries with a little bit of sweetness from the fresh raspberries. This will finish bone dry with a little bit of funkiness. Definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this beer.
BeerAdvocate Grade: B+ (3o reviews)
Ratebeer Grade: 99 overall, 89 style

Summary: I really love Odell. I’m basically shameless about it. From the moment I had their Saboteur at the Brickskeller (thanks @DCBeerGoddess), I was enamored with what they could do with sour bugs and a barrel. I am really excited to try both of these beers, and I think that the two beers that Odell is bringing represent one of the most formidable duos at SAVOR this year. Get there early and try to beat the line that will inevitably be there for most of the night.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.