Name: Odell Brewing Company
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market?: No (although it does show up extremely infrequently)
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 (and proud of it). Take advantage of them being here for SAVOR; you will not be disappointed.
Beer #1: Pond Hopper Double Extra Pale Ale
Notes: This beer is brand new. No, seriously – it’ll be debuted at SAVOR. A collaboration with the UK’s Thornbridge Brewery, this pale ale should exhibit all of the best qualities of a bright, hoppy brew. Look for flavors of citrus, melon and pine in this 8.9% ABV beer. Given Odell’s attention to detail in all of their beers, I’m betting this will be a great beer. Then again, I make no bones about my affection for Odell in general.
BeerAdvocate Grade: N/A
Ratebeer Grade: N/A
Beer #2: Double Pilsner
Notes: Pilsner is not a style you normally see “double” or “imperial” versions, as the style is normally more about restraint than it is about firepower. Still, there’s nothing wrong with a beefed up lager and this should be a fine example. Heavy on the hops, this dangerously smooth bright golden brew begins with aromas of hay from the clean malt profile and lager yeast before progressing on to the more familiar bright hop notes that normally reside in the background of “single” pilsners. If you’re looking for a break from the ales of the evening, drop by Odell’s table and sample this brew – be careful, though, as this unassuming lager packs in a whopping 8.1%ABV. At least one guy will be excited about it.
BeerAdvocate Grade: 86 (147 reviews)
Ratebeer Grade: 58 overall, 85 style
Summary: Odell really threw down the hammer last year by bringing a pair of rare, phenomenal barrel-aged beers (Freik and Woodcut #5), so I’m a bit surprised that they decided to tone it down this year. Though I’ll miss the opportunity to keep walking over to the Odell table and drinking glass after glass of Freik, I’m excited to see what such skilled brewers will do without sour bugs on their side. If nothing else, drop by the table and beg these guys to venture out East to our fair District.
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 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.