Thursday, November 09, 2006
Fort Collins' Other Wonderful Brewery
Sometimes O'Dell Brewing gets lost in the shadow of New Belgium when the subject of Fort Collins breweries is discussed. Those who get the chance to sample O'Dell's single-batch series beers will never make that mistake, however.
The series of bigger, bolder beers began last year with the Imperial Stout (which I missed) and continued this summer with a Double Pilsner that was maltier and more alcoholic that any pilsner I'd ever tried - and certainly one of the best pilsners as well.
The newest batch, which should be available for about another month, is the Extra Special Red, an 8.0 percent alcohol-by-volume brew that is hoppy and malty and much fuller than your normal red ale. It carries many characteristics, in fact, of a strong ale, with a tinge of molasses and old age on the backtaste that leave you swishing it around in your mouth, stopping to think and swishing some more.
O'Dell has always produced fine quallity beers, like their 5 Barrel Pale Ale, a perfect combination of smoothness and hops that makes it one of the few pales ideally suited to drinking in warmer weather. But this new, limited-edition series shows a burst of daring and originality that should make it even more of a force in the microbrew world.