FRIEK-y Friday Halloween Party

Friek_Halloween-Poster-194x300Our favorite time of year is here. That’s right. We LOVE Halloween here at the brewery. We have an excuse to dress up and have even more fun than we do on a daily basis. Things tend to get a little Frieky. Maybe it’s because we’re all drinking Friek, or maybe it’s because we’re all a little weird in our own ways.

Friek is in its 5th year of production. We first released this beer in 2010 and have been brewing it, aging it, and bottling it each year since its launch. Friek is a little funky (a quality we all admire). The name Friek comes from the traditional styles of Lambic Frambois and Kriek, both inspirations behind this unique beer. Many Kriek/Lambic style ales are fermented with wild yeast and Friek-Bottles-200x300tart cherries then aged in oak barrels to sour and take on the cherry flavor. Our version is no different. We use a process called Solera. We reuse the previous barrels to continue blending flavors from year to year. After aging for 9-12 months, we immediately add fresh framboises (raspberries) to the beer before the final blending giving us the sweet and tart beer we wait all year for!


And now… It’s time to bust out your favorite Halloween costumes (or search Pinterest for one to make). On Friday, October 30 we’re releasing Friek 2015 in our tap room! We’ll be partying all day, in costume of course. The best in costume has a chance to win an IPA longboard. Do you have what it takes? After a pint or two of Friek you’ll be ready. We’ll see YOU on Friday.


Fall/Winter Montage Chili Recipes

Fall is officially here in Fort Collins. What better way to welcome fall than with a perfect pot of chili? Whether you want a traditional style chili or something a little hotter, we’ve got you covered. Grab our Fall/Winter Montage Variety Pack and get cookin’.Montage

Cutthroat Porter Chili Recipe


1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 can Dark Red Kidney beans
1 can Garbanzo beans
1 can Great Northern beans
1 can Black beans
1 can Pinto beans
½ cup Chili powder
1 ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 bottle of Cutthroat Porter
Salt & Pepper to tasteCutthroat Porter Chili

1. Brown the ground beer over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and garlic.
3. Drain the meat/veggies and pour into a 5 quart pot.
4. Add tomato, drained cans of beans and seasonings.
5. Pour the Cutthroat Porter over the mat and beans and stir well (if you like soupier chili, you can add another ½ bottle of beer or ½ cup of water).
6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with a refreshing bottle of Rawah Rye IPA.


Isolation Ale Pork Green Chili


3 lbs. Anaheim chilies (or 36-ounce can roasted green chilies)
1 lb. tomatillos, peeled (or 16-ounce can)
2 lbs. pork shoulder
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, diced
3 tbsp. flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 12-ounce bottle of Isolation Ale
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, to taste
1 lb. fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 16-ounce can, diced)
1 ½ tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt & pepper to tasteIsolation Green Chili

1. Heat grill to high heat or set oven to broil and roast tomatillos on each side until soft.
2. Grill chilies until blackened on all sides, then wrap in a towel to steam. Once cooled, skin and de-seed chilies then roughly chop. Blend tomatillos in some stock to form a slightly chunky sauce.
3. Warm chicken stock and beer. Remove excess fat from pork shoulder and cube to desired size. Heat 1 tbsp. oil on high heat in a large pot, then cook pork until brown on all sides. Remove pork and set aside, leaving oil in the pan.
4. Turn heat to medium, add onion and cook about 10 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Then add flour to form a paste. (If it’s too dry, add a couple tbsp.. stock to loosen it up and cook for another minute.)
5. Add pork, stock, tomatillos and chilies. Bring to a boil, then add tomatoes, cumin, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil and check the heat. (Add more serrano peppers to add heat to the chili.) Simmer 1-2 hours or until pork is tender.

Pop open a bottle of IPA and enjoy!

Hop Harvest – Hand Picked Pale Ale

Hop Acre Farms

Hop harvest season is in full swing! It’s a special time of year where hops, one of our favorite ingredients, are harvested for brewing. At Odell Brewing Co., we get hops from a variety of places. Some of these are stored away for future use while others come right off the bine for brewing. What kind of hops do we use? Where do we get our hops? These are all questions we asked our hop specialist, Scott Dorsch, and here’s what he has to say:

Q: How long do hops take to grow?

Scott: This totally depends on where and when they are planted. In commercial production, female hop rhizomes are planted in late spring or early summer. The amount of 1st year growth is dependent on the quantity of heat units (growing degree units) and light intensity the plant receives. In some areas, it is possible for the female plant to transition from vegetative growth to reproductive growth and produce flowers during the 1st year. Those flowers eventually become the hop cones that we utilize in the brewing process.

As the hop plant is a perennial plant, 2nd year growth begins to emerge from that original rhizome (now considered a crown) after the Vernal (spring) Equinox. The longer light periods and warmer temperatures trigger the dormant plant into vegetative growth much like an alarm clock. As long as the plant has water and nutrition, it will continue to grow until a hard freeze in the autumn. In commercial production, most of the plant material is harvested before a freeze, with the crown staying in a non-dormant stage until that freeze.

In other words… hops grow from the Vernal Equinox till hop harvest which is usually mid-August to late September depending on the type of hop.

Q: Where do hops grow?

Scott: Hops are a very adaptive plant and will grow almost anywhere that temperatures remain above freezing for 100 to 135 days. For commercial production, areas between the latitudes of 35 and 55 degrees contain the optimum day length and sunlight conditions for maximum flower and cone production.

In 2014, the USA produced 34% of the worlds hop production, second to Germany at 41%. Most commercial hops in the USA are produced in the Pacific Northwest – Washington leading with 78% of the USA production followed by 11% in Oregon and 9% in Idaho. The Colorado production is very small, accounting for only 0.2% of the USA acreage in 2014.

Hop Farm Yakima

Q: How many hop varieties are there?

Scott: This is a difficult question as it changes every year! In 2014 in Washington, 31 different cultivars accounted for 77% of the acres planted. Craft brewing has really changed the make-up of types that are have been planted recently. When you consider hops across the globe, there are probably 100 to 125 genetically different hop types in commercial production.

Q: What time of year do you harvest hops?

Scott: Mid-August to late September in the Northern Hemisphere
Mid-February to early April in the Southern Hemisphere

Recently, we handpicked hops at a local hop farm, Fort Collins Hop Acres, to add to a juicy pale ale as part of our bridge series beers. Here is what Scott has to say about this upcoming brew:

Q: What kind of hops were used in Hand Picked Pale Ale?

Scott: For Hand Picked Pale Ale, we used a variety of hops in the kettle. We used all Colorado Chinook from Fort Collins Hop Acres in the hopback.
The Chinook plants that were harvested at Fort Collins Hop Acres were planted in 2012 from rhizomes originating from Summit Plant Labs in Fort Collins. Summit Plant Labs also supplies the hop plants in our backyard at the brewery. This is the 3rd harvest season Odell Brewing Co. has purchased these hops from Fort Collins Hop Acres. This year, we took a large group of co-workers out to observe the harvest process with the Fort Collins Hop Acres Wolfpicker. (Wolfpicker is the name of the machine that picks the hops from the bines.) Chinook hop was developed by the USDA from a cross made in 1974. Its ancestry includes English types Petham Golding and Brewer’s Gold.

Wolfpicker Hop

Q: What kind of flavors can we expect in Hand Picked?

Scott: Hand Picked will have notes of peach rings, lemon and stone fruit with a bit of garlic and floral tones.

Handpicked Pale Ale will be available in our tap room starting Friday, October 2. In late August, the Odell Brewing team ventured about 20 miles north of the brewery to help harvest hops from Fort Collins Hop Acres. Within 24 hours, 600 pounds of fresh local Chinook cones were bathed in hot wort as it made its way from the kettle through the hopback. It’s a labor of love and treat for the palate!


Hopback Hops

Brew Q & A: Russian Pirate

When you feel the winds change and see the clouds roll in, you know something is coming. That something is Russian Pirate. Dark as night and thick as the raging sea, this beer is full of flavor! We chatted with the man in the cellar our Barrel Aging Manager, Brent Cordle, to get a closer look at this unique 13.3% Russian Imperial Stout.Label

Q: What was the inspiration behind Russian Pirate?

A: We’ve done some trials with rum barrels in the past as something a little different than the more common bourbon barrel aged beers. We really loved the flavor the rum barrels contributed and thus, Russian Pirate was created.

Q: What kind of barrels were used?

A: Caribbean rum barrels.Rum barrels

Q: How long was the brewing/aging process?

A: The brews were so full of malt that they took a little longer to make with such a huge mash bed. It was a challenge to get enough healthy yeast into the fermenter so that it would not be overwhelmed by such a large amount of sugar to ferment. We pulled it off beautifully with the help of great teamwork from the lab and brew team and it ended at an astounding 13.3%! It aged in the rum barrels for about 4 months collecting all the sweet rum flavor that was instilled within the oak itself.Malts

Q: What flavors can people expect from this BIG beer?

A: Rum cake, chocolate rum vanilla pie, rum S’mores. This beer is a sipper and should be enjoyed slowly. Otherwise you’ll find yourself down for the count much earlier than you’re used to.

Q: We all love a good beer with great food. What foods will pair well with this Imperial Stout?

A: This is a very rich beer. I feel it would not only be a great beer to pair with a meal, but also to bake with. It would make great brownies and other chocolate delicacies. It would be great with Italian antipasto, and higher acidic dishes like vinaigrette salad. Rotisserie chicken, pork tender loin, and a big fat juicy steak with a side of blue cheese.


Brent Cordle
Pilot System / Barrel Aging Manager

*Russian Pirate will only be available on draught. It will be distributed to our 11 state footprint and you can find it in local bars/restaurants. It will also be available for growler fills in our tap room.

Brew Q & A: Piña Agria

We caught up with Brewhouse manager, Bill Beymer, to discuss our latest Cellar Series release Piña Agria. Here’s what we learned:

Q: What was the inspiration behind Piña Agria?

A:  Our Resident Engineer, Matt Bailey, dreamed this one up more than two years ago.  He had a feeling the pineapple fruit would work well with the sour brewing process so he put together a recipe.  He first brewed this beer on his home brew system and he realized how well the flavors complement one another.  He then scaled the recipe up and brewed it on our 5 Barrel Pilot System and voila! A new Cellar Series beer was born.

Pina Agria 1

Q:  What are some key flavors you taste in this beer?

A: Pineapple is the first thing you smell when you bring it up to your nose and it mingles harmoniously with the sour lactobacillus and the earthy brettanomyces in the beer.  As your tongue first touches the beer you receive a pleasantly acidic shock to your tastebuds and immediately after you will begin to feel a warming sensation working its way through your entire body.  The pineapple and lactobacillus continue to dance pirouettes on your taste buds as you experience other tropical flavors like guava and passion fruit.  You may also taste the subtle sweet breadiness of the malt as it vies for your attention amidst the pineapple tartness.


Q: How was the brewing process for this different from the typical brewing process?

A:  The sour brewing process is not always an easy one to execute, and it can take a long time.  There are always a lot of variables that can make it extremely difficult and it is critical that we keep the entire process isolated and controlled.  The base beer is brewed and initially fermented just like most of our other brews in our brew house.  Once primary fermentation is complete, we introduce a “cocktail” of lactobacillus and pineapple juice and the souring process begins.  This cocktail or sour stock is made up separately from the base beer and we make sure that the acidity and flavor of it is exactly the way we want it.  The sour stock will sometimes be a mix of samples from other barrels that we have aging in our Woodside facility.  In the case of the Pina Agria, it began with a small sample from just one barrel.  While tasting Friek barrels last year, Matt identified one barrel that would be perfect for his original pineapple sour so he collected a small portion of it to use with his homebrew.  Once you have developed your ideal blend, you can add unfermented wort to it and grow it to the volume necessary to sour the entire large batch.  All along the way, you have to maintain proper temperatures to enable the lactobacillus to stay healthy and you have to be vigilant with cleanliness in and around the vessel it is residing in.  Ultimately, the process can take many months and sometimes years to complete but sour beer fans will all agree, it is well worth the wait.

Pina Agria 3

Check our beer finder to find Piña Agria near you!