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!

Brew Q&A: Fifty Niner

Eli 59er

To celebrate our deep Colorado roots, we’re paying homage to the gold rush of 1859 with the July 11th release of our latest Cellar Series beer, Fifty Niner. This Brett Golden Ale is bottle conditioned with 100 percent Brettanomyces—in fact, we used a wild strain of the yeast grown in our lab—and finished in a stainless fermentor filled with oak staves. The process created an ale that is creamy and robust, with hints of vanilla, almond, graham cracker and subtle fruitiness.

Quality Control Manager Eli Kolodny, along with Lab Technician Tony Rau and a plethora of other Odell Brewing folks, put a lot of passion into this project. He chatted with us about the process, in hopes of helping beer enthusiasts better understand what makes this brew a rush of gold on the palette.

Q: What was the inspiration behind Fifty Niner?

A: One of the Woodcut Series beers was aged with Brettanomyces and we really loved the way it turned out, so we wanted to replicate that. This one is the first beer that we’ve 100 percent bottle conditioned with Brettanomyces.

Q: How does the Brett yeast affect the beer?

A: It takes a lot longer in the bottle than our normal conditioning yeast, and it produces almost all of the aroma compounds that you get. All the fruity characteristics and all the fruity aroma compounds are yeast derived. So it’s a defining characteristic of the beer. A lot of our other bottle conditioned beer is just [bottle conditioned] to provide bubbles. This is more about the character of the yeast.

Q: What other unique ingredients did you enjoy working with while brewing Fifty Niner? How did they change the brewing process?

A: We used Belgian Candi sugar and light- and medium-toast oak staves. If you’re a chef, and all you’ve been cooking with is vegetables, but then you throw chicken in there, it’s another whole level of complexity you can develop characteristics with. It’s a completely different color palette.

59er final

Want to learn more about your favorite Odell beer? E-mail us a Brew Q & A request!

A Jaunt in Time

Back in 2012, we threw the most recent rendition of our Small Batch Festival here at Odell. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Small Batch, it was more or less a big ole’ party at the brewery. Akin to your typical backyard afternoon social, but with an extended invitation to the whole neighborhood. As brewers, we supply the brew, and with the goal of offering things that we had squirrelled away a few kegs of here and there. One such brew was “Totes McGoats”, a project that I had the good fortune to work on. It was, to my knowledge, the brewery’s first foray into wine hybrid brewing. We used Riesling grapes from the Western Slope of Colorado, and a blend of staves suspended in a tote added to a wheat based beer. This was the genesis of what would later become Amuste, and returns full circle to you today as Jaunt. The only difference is, we didn’t use a tote, but a stainless fermentor with the staves suspended in it. That, and we played a little with the malt, and stave combination. So it’s not exactly the same, but hey, we are craft brewers after all and as such, are never satisfied. Riesling grape adds a distinct light tree fruit note, as well as a delicate aroma of perfumed honeysuckle and touch of acidity to the finish. The oak staves provide a background balance in the form of light vanilla, almond, and Dr. Pepper-esque characters, with a lingering tannin structure. Sadly we’re not able to bring back Small Batch this year. Hopefully, those of you who were able to attend in 2012 (and those who were not), will get a small taste of what Small Batch was.

Jaunt Label TTB

– A Quality Guy

Eli 59er“01001001 01100110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101101 01111001 00100000 01101011 01101001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110010 01100100 00101110. It’s binary code for, ‘If you can read this, you are my kind of nerd.”  (Eli Kolodny is the QA/QC manager for Odell Brewing). 

Finally, Amuste is born!

After spending so much time working on the beer, it’s a bit overwhelming to hold this bottle in my hand. Hear me out on this, but I imagine it’s a bit like seeing your first child born. You know the baby is coming, you go to all these doctor visits, breathing classes, read up on countless books, take advice from friends and family. You start to feel like you have some sort of innate knowledge of what to expect. Then when it actually happens, your mind gets turned to mush and your heart melts. Everything you thought you know gets blown out of the water. You fail to care if you’re living a cliche, because your life is forever changed by the beauty and simplicity of it all.

There is a little bit of ourselves in every beer we make. We are a family here, and it isn’t much of a stretch to say that we think of the beers we make as our children. It is my sincere hope that you, constant blog reader, enjoy in whatever way works for you this latest addition to our ever growing family. Chocolate and roast greet you on the nose, with hints of juicy grape, cherry, and plums. The body is down right curvaceous, and slips into the tannic nature of the barrels as the dry wine finish lingers just long enough to keep you thirsty. Letting the beer warm rewards you with more of the nougat and almond nature of the barrels. Amuste will pair well with strong peppered meat, and nutty cheeses. Experiment with pairings as a red wine substitute. Amuste is 9.3% ABV and will be available within our 10 state distribution network. For those around Fort Collins, a release party is on for tomorrow in the Tap Room from 4-6pm.


Eli 59er– A Quality Guy

“01001001 01100110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101101 01111001 00100000 01101011 01101001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110010 01100100 00101110. It’s binary code for, ‘If you can read this, you are my kind of nerd.”  (Eli Kolodny is the QA/QC manager for Odell Brewing). 


Woodcut No. 6 has the hops!

This week we will release our sixth Woodcut brew, an oak-aged American ale featuring Mosaic hops. It’s the first dry hopped offering we’ve ever done in the series, and is the result of over a year of collaboration between the Mosaic hop farmers and our team.

It all started back in 2010. We shared some Woodcut 4 with Jason Perrault (a 4th generation Yakima Valley hop farmer), and he loved it. He and Brad Carpenter (his family began growing hops in the valley in 1868) then shared some experimental hops with us, and we loved them!

We began experimenting with the hops, known only as “HBC 369” at the time. They offered a very unique flavor and aroma…much more fruity, sweet, and tropical as compared to the traditional piney, spicy, earthy aromatic hops used in most IPA’s.  We decided to invite Jason and Brad out to the brewery to brew Woodcut No. 6 with us. At that point, they had decided on “Mosaic” as the name of this remarkable new hop.

Woodcut No. 6 Brew Day

Our brewers included both Mosaic and another yet-to-be-named experimental variety in the kettle and Hopback, but the beer was dry hopped with 100% Mosaic hops. As with all of our Woodcut offerings, we aged the beer in virgin American oak barrels for several months.

The final blend combines the intricate and delicate tropical fruit sweetness of the Mosaic hop with the traditional vanilla and toasted oak flavors from the barrels.


We’ll celebrate the release of Woodcut No. 6 this Saturday in the Tap Room and will be pouring it at The Great American Beer Festival, October 11th – 13th.



Brent Cordle is the Barrel Aging/Pilot System Manager for Odell Brewing

Melding the Meddler

Seen as a just another arrow in the cure all quiver for bad brewing practices, blending has gotten a bad rap. This is most unfortunate, as blending was oft the saving grace for many a small brewer and vintner alike. There is a roundness to beer, a balance that we as brewers and beer drinkers alike yearn for. Some beers can achieve this right out of the fermentor, but certain styles demand a softer touch. After over a year of barrel aging, we finally have hammered out the kinks in our attempt at a traditional Oud Bruin. Burgundy hued, with sweet caramel up front that fades to clean tartness. Hints of dark fruits linger well after the initial sip, supported by the cinnamon and coconut tannic structure. It’s like a trip to the Flemish region of Belgium, without the hassle from the TSA.

A Quality Guy

FernetPorter Label 1

Shenanigans baby – yeah!

Trial and error = #EpicWIN

We like to have fun experimenting on our Pilot Brewing playground… Like, a lot. So much so that we consider play one of our secret ingredients. Enter Shenanigans, a beer that was never meant to be. We were working on a Woodcut project, and a few barrels weren’t exactly what we were looking for. They were still awfully yummy, so we inoculated them with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It was about that time when things went deliciously wrong. Pineapple juice married with spicy phenols emerge first from the glass. Followed by the full malt body of a 9.1% crimson ale, and rounding out the tail end the oak tannins battle for supremacy with the tart finish provided by just a dash of lactobacillus. Try a bottle for yourself and savor the complexity and subtle nuances of our brewery shenanigans. (Join us Saturday, March 24th for the Tap Room Release Party!)

– A Quality Guy