Our Dedication to Constant Quality Improvement

We took an innovative leap forward in amplifying the quality of our beers here at Odell by making the switch from filtration to centrifugation without the aid of filtration or clarification aids like diatomaceous earth (DE) for all of our previously filtered beers. For those unfamiliar with centrifugation and why we believe it to be a superior method to beer clarification, here is a little explanation for you: Unlike filtration which relies on DE to strip out yeast, hop and protein particulate from the beer, a centrifuge relies on centrifugal force for beer clarification. A centrifuge works by spinning the beer at very high speeds thereby creating high G forces which removes the heaviest particles (i.e. yeast and hops) from the beer. Since the beer is never passed through a filter media the essential hop oils and fine proteins that contribute to improved hop flavor and aroma, as well as improved body and mouthfeel, are not stripped from the beer. The centrifuge process is therefore much gentler on the beer and results in the following significant quality improvements.

Lower dissolved oxygen pickup in the finished beer and increased shelf stability. Dissolved oxygen is the number one staling component in craft beer and the primary cause of oxidized flavors in the beer you buy at your local on or off premise accounts. By significantly reducing, and nearly eliminating, our dissolved oxygen pickup, our beer will taste as fresh as possible throughout our ten markets.

Increased brightness in hop flavors and aromas in hop forward beers. We are no longer stripping the essential hop oils out of the beer, so you will find our 5 Barrel Pale Ale, IPA, Red Ale, and St. Lupulin to have a brighter hop flavor and aroma similar to we taste in the fermenters here at the brewery. We have only centrifuged Myrcenary from its inception and we can assure you that you will continue to experience Myrcenary’s beautiful hop character in the future.

Improved mouthfeel and body in our malt forward offerings. Similar to our hop forward beers and filtration stripping essential hop oils from the beer, the body of a malt forward beer is stripped of the rich malt characters during filtration. By centrifuging 90 Shilling you will notice that beautiful Caramel malt character across your tongue, and with Cutthroat Porter your palate will notice an improved richness to the roast, coffee and chocolate notes.

When you purchase your next Odell beer you may also notice a light layer of protein sedimentation in our bottles, that when agitated immediately dissolves back into solution. This protein haze is made up of the small fine proteins that help improve hop flavors and aromas, as well as mouthfeel and body. By keeping these proteins in our beers they may have a slightly hazier appearance then they have in the past, but as a craft brewer dedicated to keeping the craft in craft beer, we believe a dedication to constant quality improvement is always the most important part of being a craft brewer!


Odell Friek: A Brief History

Many of you have been enjoying our latest single serve offering Friek and we wanted to provide you with a little more history behind this special project that began over 3 years ago.

Doug Odell has always been committed to supporting homebrewers and has participated in the GABF Pro-Am competition since its inception in 2006. Working with the local Fort Collins homebrew club, The Liquid Poets, Doug worked with local homebrewer Eric Menchen who won the Best of Show in their clubs 2006 competition with his Kriek. Given the time constraints on producing this Kriek Ale for the GABF deadline, Doug and Eric instead brewed a batch of Eric’s Kriek here at the brewery with Colorado grown tart and sweet cherries so it had proper time to age and develop.

Still new to Sour Beers and without the proper facilities to house this beer at the brewery, the brew was relocated to Niwot where Eric kept a watchful eye on the fermentation over the following year. The beer was then brought back up to the brewery where it aged in an isolated part of the brewery in oak barrels for the next 5 months. After the aging time much of Eric’s Kriek was kegged for the taproom and Eric, with a small amount remaining in barrels to continue souring.

Inspired by the process of brewing Eric’s Kriek, Doug and Director of Productions Brendan McGivney, brewed their interpretation of a Kriek style Sour Ale in the summer of 2008. For this beer they brought together the knowledge of Brendan’s recent trip to Belgian and Doug’s inspiration from his project with Eric in writing their recipe for their Kriek. They began playing around with different cherry sources and varieties, and for the first time used Brettanomycees in the process. A small amount of Doug and Eric’s Kriek was added to inoculate the new barrels with the resident bacteria.

Later that year during the Raspberry harvest Doug and Brendan added freshly picked Fort Collins Raspberries, thereby creating the concept for Friek as it came to be. During this time Doug and Eric’s beer was souring nicely and Doug decided it was time to blend some of his recent batch he brewed with Brendan with the remaining beer from Doug and Eric’s brew. This beer was kegged for our tasting room and for the Vail Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines festival.

This process of brewing small batches of Doug and Brendan’s Kriek on the pilot brewhouse continued and as more oak barrels began to fill with this delicious sour ale, it was decided that we would attempt to do a full scale production batch for public release. Like Brendan and Doug’s first collaboration on this project, fresh handpicked raspberries were added at the end of aging to give it the complex fruit characteristic that plays so well with the unique combination of House Ale yeast, Brettanomycees and bacteria that Doug and Brendan chose to use.

We hope you are enjoying this unique hand crafted ale as much as we are and we are looking forward to continuing this project in the future. The next batch of Friek has been aging in oak and souring for quite some time now, so if you missed out the first time around don’t worry it will be back…we just need to be patient and wait for the yeast, wild yeast and bacteria to do their thing!