fort collins craft beer

2

Odell “Myrcenary”

92 A-


“Myrcenary” is an Imperial IPA sold year-round in four-packs. It name is in reference to myrcene, an organic terpene measured in high amounts for those hops varieties used in this recipe. This is undoubtedly my favorite beer label of all time. I think Odell has the strongest identity of any brewery, and their design is world class. Fragrant hop aromas of tropical and citrus fruits hang over grass and evergreen. Malts add a sweet touch of caramel below.


The palate starts with a bright blast of citrus falling like grapefruit, orange, and lemon zest. A malt backbone descends into flavors of grain and sweet bread, establishing a consistently supportive platform for hops to stand. Tropical flavors surge up from the middle, touching on pineapple. Hop oils continue to accumulate into heavier herbal flavors like pine (pinene) and cannabis flower. A spicy bite settles onto the back-end with hints of garlic. Resinous bitterness continues to resonate for a prolonged aftertaste characterized by menthol. Thanks to the barrage of hops, the alcohol remains effectively concealed throughout. The mouthfeel is smooth over a medium-plus body with a dry departure.


There’s a modest confidence to Myrcenary, where the flavors are at once stern, but never over-the-top. It isn’t one to entirely wreck your palate, but it’ll still manage to do some damage. 70 IBU’s is rather tame for this style, allowing increased drinkability, as well as opening up a little room for greater flavor appreciation. Bitter, sweet, and sour components all blend together in perfect harmony (as is the Odell standard). I consider it a good representation of the style, however, there are certainly more stellar options to be found these days. Regardless, I find plenty of redeeming qualities to enjoy year after year, so I will continue to return. I recommend it all you hop heads.


$10.32/4-pack

9.3%

70 IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado

2

Odell “Loose Leaf”

81 B-


Loose Leaf is a so-called “session ale,” categorized as an American Blonde Ale. This is a new release with year-round availability. Aromas come across with abundant citrus highlights, lemongrass, sage, tea, pilsner and pale grains with hints of buttered bread.


The palate begins with floral hops while lemon flavors begin to percolate up toward the upper register. Grassy undertones unfold from the middle, delivering a mild bitterness that pairs with a climax of sharp carbonation. Malts wash up in subtle flavors of dough, cereal grain, and corn. Hops enclose the back-end with a pronounced upswing of sour citrus zest, finishing in flavors of stone fruit. The mouthfeel is a little abrasive on the carbonation, light bodied with a crisp, semi-dry conclusion.


Overall, I find this a refreshing thirst quencher, easy to drink, and hard to put down. It’s got the hop flavor of a light pale ale combined with the malt flavor of a blonde ale. No frills here. Loose Leaf is a decent sessionable beer, but it’s all just standard operating procedure. It’s not the best session ale, but maybe worth checking out if you have a palate geared toward a lighter hop load.


4.5%

? IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado

2

Odell “St. Lupulin”

89 B+


St. Lupulin is a Pale Ale is a summer seasonal released May through September. Aromas provide a nice display of hops, coming across rather soapy with primary suggestions of grapefruit and grass. Malts give bready notes of pale grains over a white sugar sweetness.


The palate opens sweet and creamy as biscuit malts quickly bolster a grainy backbone. Hops keep to a light, floral spectrum as citrus flavors approach from the distance like grapefruit. The climax hits in a dull, bitter edge of grass, followed by a couple drops of pine oil. The sour, citric element continues to accelerate, rising as the focal point. A fruity note lingers on the finish like apricot, developing a salty taste that quickly closes in a crisp, dry mouthfeel.


Now this is my kind of summer seasonal! It keeps to a lighter range, but gives excellent balance of bitter, sweet, and sour elements. A low IBU of 46 is high enough to level off the initial sweetness, but low enough to allow for an almost sessionable experience. When I first started drinking craft beer, I thought this was the best Pale Ale! While I still think it’s a tasty brew, in no way does this compare to Three Floyds. My palate has certainly developed since then. I still appreciate what St. Lupulin has to say, and still think it’s better than your average Pale Ale, so I recommend it.


6.5%

46 IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado

2

Odell “90 Shilling”

91 A-


90 Shilling is a Scottish ale available throughout the year. This is Odell’s flagship brew, which means its been around since their beginning in 1989, and has since become one of their best sellers. Aromas give malty suggestions of caramel drizzled sweet bread. Hops come across as weak hints of orange and peach tea.


The palate begins as mellow malts initiate a gentle roast with a sweetness like caramel and brown sugar. Next, malts shift into flavors of toasted bread with a husky twang. A sour flavor is embellished by unripe oranges. Earthy hops make the final statement with herbal, grassy flavors as a dull bitterness slides down to the underbelly. Mouthfeel remains smooth, easy-going, and nicely carbonated over with a moderate body that clings in short sustain. Drinkability is great.


It’s a well-balanced, simple, yet satisfactory brew. I really do wish it were more complex, but there’s always something to be said for simplicity. As is customary, sweet malts have the leading edge. Hops are supportive, bringing bitter/sour qualities to level off the initial sweetness. It gives a pretty toned down expression of the style, ensuring everything goes down smoothly. Drinking more than one or two would be easy. Due to its light body and malt-forward sweetness, this should certainly agree with the general palate. 90 Shilling is a great standard to have around, and always has a spot in my fridge. I recommend it!


5.3%

27 IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado

2

Odell “Runoff Red”

95 A


This Amber Ale is a spring seasonal available January through April. It’s actually a re-brand of “Red Ale,” and the old recipe hasn’t been altered in any way. Aromas have a juicy hop appeal, plenty of grapefruit, grass, and bready malts with softly sweet toffee buried below. It’s lovely.


Palate flavors begin with a malt sweetness with suggestions of caramel. Quick fruity notes arise toward the middle, resembling plum and tart cranberry. A light coating of bitterness washes into a body of grass with hints of evergreen. Malts breathe a second wind with bread and biscuit flavors. Hops close on the high register with clementine and grapefruit rind, followed by a dash of spice. Mouthfeel is creamy over a medium-thin body that finishes dry with snappy carbonation.


Sweet, bitter, and sour notes meld together really nicely. Drinkability is excellent because the balance is perfect. Hop flavor is high, and bitterness is low. Since the hop level hits above average for the standard “Amber Ale” style, this is deserving of the fusion title “Red IPA,” which if seriously recognized would help establish more distinct boundaries among this sort of modern style-blending. Runoff Red has long been one of my favorite amber ales, and I will continue to look forward to it each year. I recommend it!


6.5%

50 IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado

2

Odell “Lugene”

92 A-


Lugene is a seasonal Milk Stout available January through March. Its named in honor of the farmer who’s been feeding his cattle the spent grain from Odell’s brewing for the past decade. Once again, their design team has created another beautiful label (I think Odell has the best brand identity in the business). Aromas contain loads of chocolate with traces of roasted grain, dairy cream, and a whisper of sweet syrup outlined by vanilla.


The palate begins with milk chocolate sliding in slowly where it rests on the lower register. This still involves a little hops and yeast, so of course it still tastes like beer, but it gets as near to the flavor of real chocolate milk as is possible. Toward the finish, a slight hint of roast arises, followed by kola nut. It’s totally packed with lactose, coming across ultra thick and milky. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, wet, and well-rounded with fine carbonation.


You would seriously never guess this is 8.5%, and I’m impressed how well the alcohol weaves its way into the palate, especially since this doesn’t depend on the facade of hops for cover. I think they’ve really nailed the chocolate milk flavor and feel, at least better than any other Milk Stout I’ve ever had. Lugene would appeal to anyone that loves chocolate, maybe even those who don’t drink beer. I know I’ll keep buying this at least once or twice a year. I recommend it.


8.5%

? IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado

2

New Belgium “Spring Blonde”

82 B-


This seasonal Belgian-style Pale Ale (otherwise known as the Blonde or Golden Ale) is on rotation in the spring. I’d like to thank Keith Siggins of Colorado for his thoughtful donation of this bottle. Hoppy aromatics delve into bright lemon zest, grass, and fruits such as pear or apple. Malts come across like honey and bread, then follow with a dash of yeasty black pepper.


The palate begins with semi-sweet malts flavored like cereal grains, sourdough or biscuits. Hops step into the middle with an earthy, grassy approach that centers around mild bitterness. A sour upswing rises toward lemon, closing with a faint hint of spice. Mouthfeel is medium-to-light bodied, delivering smooth carbonation that leads into a dry departure. I’m disappointed to find this tastes worse as it warms.


New Belgium probably made a wise decision here, because the masses still want a drinkable ale. The careful balance of bitter and sweet is agreeable, and the mouthfeel is perfectly suited for spring. While I can recall a list of true Belgian counterparts that would certainly blow this out of the water, I must remind myself that this is an American rendition designed to carry more hop character, and is thus more likely to appease the palate of our typical, stateside craft drinker. Though I am not at all impressed, this is pretty good. This would probably agree with most, I think its worth trying. I might return to this again one day.


Known Hops: Nugget

Known Malts: Pale, C-80, Munich


6.0%

48 IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado

2

Funkwerks “Saison”

94 A-


Funkwerks Saison (Farmhouse Ale) is brewed using their unique, proprietary Belgian yeast strain. This is probably their ‘flagship’ brew. I’d like to thank Keith in Boulder, Colorado for his personal donation of this bottle. Aromas are predominantly fruity like a mix of cantaloupe, tangerine, and pear. Malts are bready with hints of hay, floral hops like honeysuckle, highlights of lemon, and yeasty phenols bringing out black pepper with a dash of clove.


The palate makes a fruity introduction with suggestions of white grapes and star fruit. A sour note like green apple quickly rises from behind, resting on an undercarriage of crisp cereal grains. By mid-palate, hops begin to rise into a bouquet of floral flavors, anchored down by gentle grassy bitterness. Bready malts counterbalance with moderate sweetness. Nearing the finish, that original sour note continues to rise into a bright note of lemon zest. The mouthfeel begins with tongue-tickling carbonation that surges into a smooth body, leaving dry and thirsty.


This was a great choice, Keith! Altogether, I find this incredibly well-balanced, easy to drink, and generally very agreeable. Sourness ends up being the dominant point on the palate, followed by sweet, then bitter. Yeast isn’t super funky. I feel like this captures the classic element of the Saison with harmony and grace. What’s not to like? I recommend it.


6.8%

? IBU

Fort Collins, Colorado