This past weekend, my brother and I went on an adventure to Fort Collins. We hopped in the car and began the journey north. Why did we do this? The answer is because that is where one of our favorite breweries is: Odell Brewing Company. In fact, my brother flew all the way from DC to go to Odell. Now it may seem weird to take a vacation just to see a brewery, but it is actually an incredible experience. You may ask why not just drink their beer in the comfort of your own home? Same reason you go to the Colosseum to see the Raiders play: it is so much goddamn fun.
To be honest, everything about Odell was pretty cool from the beginning. You can see massive tanks on the side of the building. A little walkway funnels people through the doors. The path is flanked with hop plants winding around the railings and poles. It looked like what a brewmaster’s garden would look like. You walk in and are confronted with a difficult choice, however. Which beer should you get? You have to be strategic about these things. I decided to get a few that were limited to the taproom, and boy were they delicious. My brother and I grabbed our brews and headed towards their “backyard”. It was beautiful and inviting. Green foliage and trees planted all around with a wooden stage at the back. It was a shame no one was playing. A food truck lay just off to the side for when liquid calories just can’t cut it. I wanted to spend all day there and try all their beers. However, I had to focus on a select few.
- Style: Hoppy Saison
- ABV: 4.6%
The most important thing about visiting a taproom is to remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. I know those double IPAs and imperial stouts sound inviting, but those might do the trick a little too quickly. Thankfully, Odell had an abundance of session summer saisons. Camp Galzin had a deep straw color with a trickle of foam. It looks simple, plain, but upon further investigation, I found it to be delicious. I was surprised that the brew smelled almost like popcorn kernels. Hiding behind such is a pleasant orange and apricot. Thankfully, the popcorn odor didn’t carry over to the flavor. Instead, it was tangy, puckering the inside of my cheeks with a delightfully light tartness. Peach and orange rind swirl about until they dissipate into a wheat finish. This was a great summer beer, if I hadn’t been on a mission to try as many as possible, I would have certainly had more than a few.
- Style: Saison
- ABV: 6%
After draining my glass from the last, I continued forward into Odell’s Sunny Rain. This beer looked almost identical to the Camp Galzin. This made remembering which pictures were which pretty difficult, but I figured it out (after going back the next day). I know it may be pour 😉 form to write about two saisons, but it is the season. The Sunny Rain even smelled like a summer day. Fresh cut grass, bright bursts of citrus fruit and zest. A succulent juicy aroma combined with the bitterness of an orange peel all within in a glass that’s as golden as the fading sun. One thing I loved about this brew was the fact that it was hoppier than your average tart saison. It had a prickly punch that came in a single wave or citrus bitterness. Before that flavor overwhelmed the pallet, a nice tart punch blasts through to finish things off. Another damn good beer from these guys, just killin it on the saison front.
- Style: Dark Sour (with raspberry adjuncts)
- ABV: 4.5%
In my opinion, it is always critical to end with a bang. This was the best beer that I had from them. Everything about it was amazing. From its deep dark body, to its quenching and succulent flavor, this beer was delicious all the way through. It had a voluptuous smell to it. Bountiful bouquets of cherry, plum, and raisin. Upon tasting, I noticed the beer had a sharp sour flavor. It cut through my mouth like a bolt of lighting and dissipated almost as quickly as it came. Following up that cherry tartness was a delicate caramel and wheat taste. It balanced out the sour profile just enough. The first sip left me wanting more and more. This is the only beer that I delved into for seconds it was that delicious. I recommend shipping on up to Fort Collins to grab a pint before it disappears.
Odell Brewing Company is nestled just outside the main part of town. It is a landmark, towering over the other structures in the area. It is like a beacon in Fort Collins, a must visit for beer lovers making a pilgrimage. It may seem odd to plan a vacation around a brewery. I personally think it’s a marvelous idea. I love beer and I drink it while vacationing anyway, may as well go to the source. People go to Napa for wine or fly all over the country to see their favorite sports teams. Why can’t the same be for beer? All I ask is that next time you plan a trip, maybe consider Fort Collins and Odell Brewing. If it isn’t part of your plan, then check out the breweries in the area you are in. Visiting one as good as Odell is an experience that you will remember for years to come, I know my brother and I will.
- Address: 800 E Lincoln Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524
- Phone: (970) 498-9070