American Craft Beer Week was two weeks ago now, but goodness knows that doesn’t stop the hearts and minds of craft breweries this spring. It’s sunny and mild, and the trees have a certain leafy glow about them—yes, it’s festival time. And what better way to kick off a beer drinking season than with a festival featuring one brewery known for its profoundly deep and numerous special one-offs?
Yes the fine folks at Odell Brewery last week brought back its immensely successful “Small Batch Festival” after a two-year hiatus (renamed this year to “Small Batch Revival”), during which time the brewery was expanding under construction, and most likely plotting the next way to blow your mind with a flavor bomb unlike any you’ve experienced heretofore.
With 1,000 attendees the first year in 2007, and 3,500 in 2008, it was a true shame for Odell to take a hiatus from hosting a brewganza on its parking lot for a couple of years. But it’s 2011 baby! Construction is done, the brewers are maniacally creative, and they came ‘atcha with 21 unique, never-bottled, mostly maiden voyage experiments, as well as their 9 current distributed offerings. They estimate that close to 5,000 people showed up for the fun.
Odell really did a swell job of providing a little something for everyone. Admission was free, so everyone in the family could enjoy the live band, or some pizza/BBQ/burritos from local Fort Collins joints. For the “traditionalists”, who for some reason don’t much care for experimentation in their time-tested beloved styles, could revel in old recipes done right like the Man In Bock Doppelbock, Tall Tale Brown Ale, or Quick Wit. Thrill seekers and the curious had the opportunity to sip on Helihopter Belgian IPA, Roasted Chili Easy Street Wheat, or Revolution (a wild DIPA), among several others.
Downside? Such a tease for beer nerds, like me, who wanted so much to have just a lil’ of everything. While there was a gluttony of options, each beer—an 8oz full pour—ran you $4. On the bright side, this price system prevented me from spending myself into an unsafe-to-drive stupor. Always a good thing to avoid, especially in festival season.
Cheers to a lovely start of the spring!
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