In 1989, the first brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado opened, Odell Brewing Company. The original brewery opened in an old converted grain elevator after Doug and Wynne Odell with their 18-month-old daughter moved to Fort Collins, CO. Doug had won two gold medals in a homebrew competition and saw that as blinking sign to do what he loved. With his 90 Shilling recipe perfected, the trio opened Odell’s Ales (later renamed Odell Brewing Company). Over the years, Odell has grown to employing over 100 people and several brewery expansions, including a new brewing system and fermenters allowing them to produce 100,000 barrels of beer a year.
It just so happens that another brewery opened a day earlier than Odell in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company. With both breweries hitting their silver anniversary so close to each other they decided to brew a collaboration beer aptly named Silver Anniversary Ale. This golden copper ale celebrates 25 years of brewing with an body full of caramel – toffee malt balanced by piney hop notes. It’s a toast to working hard and sticking with it.
Four times a year, then entire company gathers and does whatever a brewery does. But for this last gathering, they threw the largest tap take over in Colorado at Tap and Handle. If I were to throw a 25 year celebration of opening a brewery, this is the way I’d do it too. Odell brought 58 different beers to tap and serve in Fort Collins and held a private event for all employees. There’s the year round lineup, special releases, and some never before seen beers hiding away in their cellars that they graciously dug out. It would have been a truly terrible thing to miss, so of course, I stopped by the day after they were all tapped.
Russian Pirate was a beer I was not expecting in the least from odell, as a rum barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout clocking in at 10% abv. Barrel Thief was a truly tasty surprise as I hold a loose belief that barrel-aged IPA’s are wrong. Somehow Odell won me over with their oak aged double IPA, it helps that Mercenary IPA is a top beer of mine. Friek 2013 and 2014, duh. Sour beers are the largest part of my personal cellar and they only get better, don’t miss this year’s that was just released. The last one you should absolutely seek out, as the style it isn’t seen often by any brewery, is Amuste. An Imperial Porter aged in oak wine barrels accented with juice from Tempranillo grapes grown on the Western Slope of Colorado, the flavors are quaffable. You can check out the entire lineup here.