I am thirsty. I am ready. Bring on the beer. These are the thoughts that danced through my head on the plane to Denver. Like a old record that skips at the same place every time you play it. Or better yet, a mantra that might bring me inner peace. As soon as my feet touched earth in the Mile High City, I was a kid on a road trip riding from the airport. Are we there yet?
After a veritable sprint to the bar, I hungrily scanned the taps. What should I pick? What style? My mind is racing. I am a chess player at the World Championship and its my move. IPA? Imperial Stout? Sour? Then my eyes land. I have found it. The first beer to touch my eager lips? Start big or go home, right?
BEER & BREWERY#1
Odell Brewing Co. Saboteur Brett Ale, 10% ABV: All of my fellow Brett and sour loving friends, give a Woop Woop! I have been DYING to try this beer ever since I saw its first ad in Beer Advocate Magazine. A brown Brett beer? For that matter, any beer with Brett? Yes, pleeease.
AND on tap at Falling Rock? Well, this just seems to be my day. A lovely, balanced, and delicious beer. 100% Bottle Conditioned, this beer is truly in its ideal state. Wonderful notes of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and dried fig and date. Then comes the love. Present, yet subdued notes of hay, earth, and a bit of clean horse stable. On the palate, mild and balanced sour notes perfectly mingled with the sweet notes of the brown.
This is dangerously good at 10% ABV. I relished for a moment, and then before I knew it, my goblet lie empty and sad. I hear your Boooo’s.
I will say this, and I mean it with the UPMOST conviction: Odell Brewing Co. was my greatest Beer & Brewery discovery at GABF. This is craft brewing at its best. Started in 1989, Odell was the SECOND brewery to open in Colorado. Started in a kitchen, Odell now has 57 “co-workers” and brews 45,00 barrels. That’s determination, hard work, and most importantly, exceptional beers!
While I did not get to visit the brewery, I had the distinct pleasure of tasting 4 of their 14 released beers, and I thoroughly enjoyed them all. STAY TUNED for upcoming reviews of their amazing Woodcut #3, Deconstruction Ale, Isolation Ale, and 90 Schilling. I can only hope and hope that I will gain more access to their beers in the future. Come on California beer distribution!!
Sooo, while I was on the Brett-mobile and feeling funky, I figured why get off?
BEER & BREWERY #2
Boulevard Brewing Co. Saison-Brett, 8% ABV: I first tried this beer at the Pizza Port Carlsbad Belgian Beer Fest earlier this year. But being such a sought-after beer, there wasn’t much to go around. And yes, I admit, it was one amongst MANY beers sampled that day. But it stood out to me, and I always wanted to try it again for a fair shake.
Using their ultra-popular Tank 7 beer, Saison-Brett gets a nice little dose of Brettanomyces bottle conditioning after a dry-hopping. Check out this humorous quote from their website. “Though this farmhouse ale was given three months of bottle age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that’s what you’re after.” Well, OF COURSE that’s what I’m after. I’m a Brettophile. Is that a word? I think I just made it one.
Nice combination of already present notes of citrus, hay, and pepper from the Tank 7 with the Brett character of stable, dry earth, and leather. Lovely floral and spice from the hop alongside the breadiness of the yeast.
Also started in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Co. is now the largest craft brewer in the Midwest, according to their website. It has grown by leaps and bounds, and by 2006 began brewing a whopping 600,000 barrels! With 90 employees, that’s alot of beer!! So are there plans to expand throughout the nation with their beers? Nope. As they say, “In terms of geography, we don’t have plans to grow much beyond our regional territory.”
So beer lovers, if you are wanting to try a Boulevard beer, you better live in their area, or start those beer trade routes!
Until next time friends,