Odell seems to keep their 5-barrel pilot brew system in action almost nonstop. The number of one-off beers they brew with employees, friends, guests and for all manner of special occasions is incredible. "We have a unique creative and collaborative culture," says founder Doug Odell. "We are a brewery of brewers; everyone is invited and encouraged to brew." An ever-changing line-up of these small batch beers are available for sampling in the tasting room.
Fill 'er Up
Odell produced some 60,000 barrels of beer in 2011, and this busy bottling line sees a good portion of it.
Keep it clean
The busy keg washing machine.
Part of Odell's beautifully tiled new conditioning cellar.
It's all about the wood
For its popular Woodcut series of beers, Odell is one of a handful of breweries that purchase new oak barrels direct from a cooperage. Once drained of Woodcut, some of these barrels earn themselves a second life aging the likes of Friek or a funky brett beer.
The cozy wood cellar
Odell’s special climate controlled barrel room feels noticeably warmer than the rest of the brewery in the winter.
Stack 'em high
Mountains of neatly palletized, fresh Odell beer awaiting pickup in the brewery’s sizable cold storage room.
These control samples are conditioned in the barrel room and tested for quality.
The brewery has a bright and busy tasting room, and there is ample outdoor space to be enjoyed in the warmer months.
Odell offers tasting flights three ways. One containing its core classics, as well as Co-Pilot and Pilot trays of seasonal, imperial, barrel aged and experimental beers.
Picture here is the Pilot tray on the day we visited. From left: The Deal Breaker, a full-bodied light golden ale, Isolation Ale, a winter old ale, Henri's Hoppy Thing, a pale ale brewed with five varieties of hops, Helios IPA, brewed with chinook, amarillo and simcoe hops, Cruise Control, a dark American lager, and Black-Ale-Licious, a dark German-style ale, brewed with Tettang and Sterling hops.
Lots to explore
The Co-Pilot tray on the day we visited. From left: Alpha Doug IPA, the most bitter beer Odell have ever produced, clocking in at 125 IBU, Myrcenary Double IPA, Mountain Standard Double Black IPA, Hiveranno New American Wild Ale, Nitro Oatmeal Stout, and Bourbon Barrel Stout.
Core Classics on Tap
Odell's core brews are on tap at the brewery. From the left: Easy Street Wheat is an 4.6% ABV unfiltered American-style wheat beer. Levity Amber Ale is a crisp, light-bodied and not overly bitter amber ale with 5.1% ABV. 5 Barrel Pale Ale is an American pale ale hopped at four stages during the boil, and once with fresh whole hop flowers via a hop back. (It's 5.2% ABV.) 90 Shilling is an 5.3% ABV American take on what is now thought of as a traditional Scottish ale. It's Odell's best-selling beer. Odell IPA is a robust, bright and citrusy American India pale ale that clocks in at 7% ABV. Cutthroat Porter is an 5.1% ABV interpretation of an old fashioned London porter, smooth and malty from sip to swallow.
As well as 64-ounce growlers and half- and quarter-barrel kegs, the tap room also offers up a selection of freshly bottled beer to go.
Big beers and barleywines
A few of Odell's Woodcut and Single Serve series of 750ml bottle conditioned releases, starting with Woodcut No. 1 Oak Aged Ale (not pictured). From left: Woodcut No. 2 Oak Aged Golden Ale, Woodcut No. 3 Oak Aged Crimson Ale, Woodcut No. 4 Oak Aged Lager, India Barleywine-style Ale, Bourbon Barrel Stout, Mountain Standard Reserve (2009) American Strong Brown Ale, Hiveranno New American Wild Ale, Saboteur Brett Barrel Brown Ale, Deconstruction Blended American Strong Ale, (44% Ale, 33% Ale aged in oak, 20% in Bourbon and 3% in Wine barrels), Saboteur Brett Barrel Brown Ale, Mountain Standard Reserve (2010) Black Double IPA, Avant Pêche Imperial Porter, brewed with organic peaches, Friek, a blended fruit lambic aged in spent Woodcut barrels, with raspberries and cherries.
Just a handful of the silverware Odell has won for its beers. A few of the honors include 2011 GABF Gold medal at GABF for Friek, 2011 Gold at Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival for 90 Shilling, 2010 Gold medal at North American Beer Awards for Woodcut No. 3, 2008 Gold at World Beer Cup for IPA and Gold at North American Beer Awards for 5 Barrel Pale Ale, plus a 2007 Gold medal at GABF for IPA.