Odell Brewing Company released its summer seasonal, St. Lupulin, this weekend. Mentioned as one of “The Beers of Summer” by craftbeer.com, this is not a beer to miss out on. The fictional patron saint of hops, St. Lupulin is a lccal favorite as well. I called up a few good friends, we hopped on our bikes and headed to Odells. This brewery is always busy,especially for events, and we could see the crowd on the patio before we even rode into the parking lot. We locked up our bikes and headed in. Luckily, there wasn’t too long of a line. Sometimes the line can go from the counter where you order your brews, all the way out the door, and it did a few times while we were sitting inside. Despite the length of the line, the brewery operates like a well oiled machine. Two cashiers take your order and money, and yell your order back at the staff filling glasses. Usually, your order is placed on the counter, which is labeled so you know if you’re getting the right tray, before you can walk to the other side of the bar.
We sat outside for a few minutes, but the sun was skunking our beer so we headed inside for more people watching. I got a St.Lupulin, obviously. Last summer this beer was not my favorite. Too bitter for my palate at the time, I can definitely see my evolution as a I now greatly enjoy it. The flavors of this beer come from lupulin, an essential oil in hops that provides the pungent resin flavors and is what gave St. Lupulin its name. It has a strong hop aroma and bitterness in the after taste. A crisp, thirst quenching beer to enjoy on a patio. If you like hops that is. One member of our group does not, so I took one for the team and had her pint as well.
An out of town friend ordered the Co-Pilot Tray, which had a variety of their small batch brews on it. A favorite on the tray was a beer also being released that day, the Mischievous Mustache. Brewed with the Rocky Mountain Beard and Mustache Club, this beer was light and smooth with a sweet finish that was very floral.There was some live music and a booth selling mustache gear to celebrate their new malt liquor. And, there were plenty of handlebars and mountain men on the patio to stare at while sunbathing in the amazing weather.
We decided to sign up for the 3pm tour. Surprisingly, this is one brew tour I had yet to be on and since we had an out of town friend, we decided to jump on. Our tour guide was very enthusiastic, but a bit rushed. I really liked the “hop shower” they have, and are supposedly one of three breweries to use such equipment. They fill a conical bin with fresh hop flowers, and a shower head at the top rains down the wort over the hops. The liquid then leaves the chamber through the bottom, with all that delicious flavor now infused in it. Another piece of equipment Odell utilizes that is not very common is a centrifuge. This they use to filter their beer of sediments without using any of the more traditional, and sometimes harmful, ways to filter. My favorite part of the tour? The intense smells of the hop cooler. The strong, fresh, floral aromas of the high stacked pallets of hops was amazing. I could of stayed in there all day, if I had a parka.
If you have yet to spend a warm afternoon on Odell’s patio, you are missing out on a truly unique Fort Collins experience.