[Photographs: Sean Buchan]
The Small Batch Festival, now in its fourth year, is an annual beer fest held at Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado to showcase hand-crafted, small batches of beer. "Small Batch is the brewery's way of saying thanks to our amazing community," said event coordinator Adam D'Antonio. "It's about sharing our creative brews and just having a good time with friends and family." Entry to the event was free, with beer tokens being sold for $4 each. A portion of the proceeds will be given to a local non-profit organization.
Each year Odell breaks out new beers, along with some annual repeats, to test on the thousands of visitors mingling throughout the brewery grounds. There wasn't a bad beer to be had at this epic event, but there were several that stood out. Here are a few of our favorite sips.
Pomegranate Pale Ale Firkin (6.5%) The sweetness and fruitiness of the pomegranate took a front seat to the bitter and sweet notes from the malt and hops. This is the perfect beer to enjoy while sitting outside on a beautiful spring day in Colorado.
Mash of the Titan Chocolate Coffee Stout (8.3%) This milk stout had loads of coffee flavor up front and finished like chocolate milk. We found the cup emptied itself much too fast.
Tiger Blood Session IPA (4.7%) This single-hop IPA (Willamette in the boil, hopback, and dry-hopping) produced a lot of flavor and even more aroma without a soaring alcohol level.
Extra Special Red Double Red Ale (7.8%) Once a part of Odell's Single Batch Series, ESR made its return at Small Batch Fest. A full malt body paired with Chinook and Bravo hops to produce a red ale that would satisfy even the biggest hop head with flavors of pine and grapefruit.
Totes McGotes Riesling Must Wheat (7.3%) Easily the funkiest of the gang, Totes McGotes was fermented using Riesling grape skins and juice and oak staves. If it hadn't been for the carbonation we may not have known this was beer.
About the Author: Sean Buchan covers the Denver craft beer scene for Denver Off the Wagon in addition to doing freelance photography for Colorado breweries. You can view his beer photography here, follow him on Facebook or on Twitter at @Beertographer.