Behind the Brew: Silver Anniversary Ale with Boulevard Brewing Co.

Silver bottle

On Nov. 18, 1989, Odell Brewing Co. sold its first keg of beer in Fort Collins, Colo. Just one day prior, Boulevard Brewing Co. opened its doors in Kansas City, Mo. and sold a keg of its own. Though the two were 650 miles apart, a lasting friendship began with those first kegs.

Twenty-five years later, founders John McDonald and the Odells (Doug, his wife Wynne, and his sister Corkie) have made lasting names for themselves in the craft beer industry – one that was nearly non-existent when they first entered the business.  “I think the way people viewed beer in 1989 was that it was all just American light lager,” Doug explained in an interview with Recommended Daily. “I was a little concerned about deviating from what people were used to in beer. We started with a beer darker in color and hoppier in character.”

Odell and McDonald kept that original character in mind when talk began of brewing a collaboration beer to commemorate 25 years in the business. “John and I met up during Boulevardia and that was the start of the beer,” Doug told Recommended Daily. “We referred to it as an American strong ale and decided on malts, the approximate alcohol by volume and that the IBU was going to be 45. That was the base we would follow and then you could use whatever yeast you want and hop it whatever way you want. We did what we like to do. We chose some interesting flavor and aroma hops to give it that good bright character.

Doug and John Blog
Brewin

And a good, bright beer it is. Though the two versions of Silver Anniversary Ale vary slightly (Boulevard’s bottled version has a richer malt character, while Odell’s draft-only version is hoppier), they are both a true testament to the breweries’ original roots. “I like it. It came out like I had in mind,” Doug said. “It’s a strong ESB in that it was a little more malty than pale. It’s not as bitter. It’s a little more malt forward. I think we got the balance right between bitterness, hop flavor and the malt backbone.”

That balance can be seen in both the beer and the breweries, which have continued to grow and expand organically. “[Odell Brewing has] done a great job of adding a new brewhouse and evolving as we have,” McDonald told Recommended Daily. “Beer has gotten pretty crazy these days. When we started back in the 80’s, [Silver] would have been a wild beer in 1989. But those beers that we made then would be a pretty straightforward type of beer today.”

Doug agreed. “We had this starting date in common and that type of beer was our inspiration – we wanted to go back to the beginning.”

Silver Anniversary Ale is part of Old Chicago’s Explorer Series, and can be found in all of the Boulevard Brewing and Odell Brewing markets. Check out our events calendar for a Silver tapping near you. 

Photo Credits (from top): Boulevard Brewing, Odell Brewing

Guest Brewer: Gayle Goschie of Goschie Farms

Our five-barrel pilot system has become more than a staple at Odell Brewing Company; it has become a way for us to extend a warm welcome to friends near and far. In turn, the brews they create are shared in our tap room and at other select events; sometimes, the brew becomes more popular than we could ever imagine (does 5 Barrel Pale Ale ring a bell?).

Earlier this summer, we welcomed Gayle Goschie of Goschie Farms and her nephew Dallas to brew an ale for their anniversary celebration in August. And after 110 years of growing hops in the Willamette Valley, they thought it only natural to brew with their own.

Aptly called 110% Goschie Farms Ale, the Goschie Cascade bitter additions and whole leaf Goschie Fuggle in the whirlpool and hopback will create an interesting and session-able brew for this special event.

Gayle and Dallas brewed with Odell Brewing’s Scott Dorsch, who helped them through each step of the process. “[They] had a wonderful experience brewing their Farms Ale with us on the pilot system,” he said. “They were also excited to find out that 100 percent of the whole leaf hops currently used in 5 Barrel originate from Goschie Farms!”

Goschie Farms grows more than 500 acres of organic hops (the majority of which are sold to Deschutes Brewery), as well as 600+ acres of other crops like wheat and wine grapes. The farm, which is located in Oregon, is a front-runner in the effort to “improve the health of Oregon hops and expand the amount of information available to other growers and beer producers,” according to its website.

110% Goschie Farms Ale will be available in the tap room this August and at the farm’s 110-year celebration Aug. 4.

Want to know more about our guest brewers? Send us an e-mail!

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). 

Wolf Pickin’ Hops

Wolf Picker Bottle 2015It’s no secret we love hops around here. We often work closely with hop farmers in the Pacific NW and Colorado, anxiously awaiting new experimental hop varieties that we can bring home to play with. This weekend we’ll release our latest hop crazy Roots Release creation, Wolf Picker.

Named in honor of the hop growing community and the harvesting equipment many use, Wolf Picker is an American Style Pale Ale brewed with two experimental hop varieties. The malt profile produces a light golden straw hue and a clean crisp finish that allows the hopback and dry hopping additions to shine. Wolf Picker features ADHA (American Dwarf Hop Association) #881 and HBC (Hop Breeding Company) #366, which give it an intensely complex hop character and aroma filled with notes of lemon, fresh basil and tropical fruit.

This spring, we will once again partner with several hop growers to showcase several new yet-to-be-named varieties for the annual Craft Brewers Conference. We’ll have up to nine different experimental hop beers on tap throughout the conference week!

Want to see a Wolf Picker in action? Check out this video from our friends at Colorado State University, and swing by the Tap Room on January 11th & 12th as we celebrate the tapping this latest Roots Release brew.

Hop to Sip – The Story of a Beer from Hunter Thompson on Vimeo.

Wolf Picker will be available on draft and in the Winter-Spring Montage Variety Pack beginning January 13th!

Mountain Standard – a Contradiction in a Glass

Fall is a time of great balance. It’s cool enough to ride to work in pants, but not so cold you need a down jacket. The afternoons are warm and inviting, but not so hot you seek refuge indoors. It’s great time to be out and about in Colorado. It’s that balance of the season that we consistently strive to bring into our brewhouse. Never is that more apparent than in Mountain Standard, our Double Black IPA. With such an aggressive style by nature, it is a challenge to maintain a level of harmony within the beer. Colorado grown whole flower hops lend a unique spicy roundness to the aroma. The beer radiates a deep copper reminiscent of first light, with cherry and chocolate in the nose. A creamy mouthfeel yields to an assertive bitterness that folds back into roasted chocolate. Like fall it’s only around for a short time, so get out there and enjoy it!

– A Quality Guy
MST

 

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

Millions of peaches, peaches for me. Millions of peaches, peaches in beer…

Harvest season doesn’t officially get into full gear in Colorado, until the peaches arrive. What could be better than biting into a fresh Colorado grown peach? Why, drinking a beer made with one, of course. One is never good enough so we added over 1800 lbs of peaches to this 7.4% ABV pilsner malt based brew. That’s a full peach in every growler, and it shows. The aroma is one of the fall orchard, and you can almost taste the skin with every sip. Join us by celebrating the peach harvest, one pint at a time.

– A Quality Guy

 

Brewed with 1800 pounds of Palisade peaches including Red Haven and JH Hale varieties, Haven and Hale Peach Ale is a crisp brew with a light golden color and a heavenly fresh peach aroma. Each sip offers a subtle peach flavor that lingers on the palate just long enough then slowly fades for a wickedly delicious finish. Slightly sweet, but also tart, Haven and Hale delights both sinners and saints.

IMG_1181Tap

An Ode to our Pilot Brew System

Did you know we cranked out over 75 different brews on our five barrel Pilot Brewing System this year? To honor our hard-working steed, an Ode to our Pilot Brew System (and check out the cool word cloud featuring some of these brews)…

An Ode to our Pilot Brew System
Part kitchen, part lab, part playground it’s true
Our Pilot Brew System is where all can come brew
We use it to craft our new recipe creations
We use it to brew experimental libations
We use it for teaching and tour narrations
We use it quite often for collaborations
Yes our Pilot Brew System is our heart and our soul
Crafting Five Barrel Batches of love is the goal
So won’t you please join us for a pint glass or two
Of a deliciously hand crafted unique Pilot Brew

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