Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Odell Blackbird tapping party highlights

Whew. Last weekend was certainly busy for my family and me but I managed to break away for a few hours and attend an event over at the Odell Brewing Company tap room Saturday. May 30th was the official tapping event for Odell's new Twitter inspired beer - Blackbird.

The entire beer was imagined, designed and labeled by Twitter followers of @OdellBrewing. For the last month and a half, Odell Brewing has polled their followers as to the style, the strength, the color and ultimately the name of the beer as well as the label. It was finally completed in a short period of time and released last Saturday.

Normally, last weekend would have been the annual Odell Small Batch Beer Festival, but expansion plans had canceled that event this year. However, due to the ever changing business climate, Odell Brewing had not yet broken ground on their expansion. Just as well, there was now plenty of room for hundreds of the Odell Brewing faithful to come out and celebrate.

Not only did the Twitter nation get to sample the new Blackbird schwarzbier but also their newest summer seasonal - St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale. Call it a double tapping party. St. Lupulin was due to be in stores on June 1st but the locals got to try it first. St. Lupulin was a nice orange hop packed brew that hit the spot on a partly cloudy but warm day in Fort Collins, Colorado.

There was quite a crowd that had gathered, although much less than what would have turned out for the Small Batch Beer Festival. Still, it was a perfect day to be outside and enjoying some fresh new ales from Odell. Doug Odell was not on hand that day as he was still busy returning from the Savor event in Washington DC.

All of the beer was available in $3 pints that day. They shut down the tasting sets for one afternoon and limited the crowd to their new brews and several of their standards on tap. I chose to sample just the Blackbird schwarzbier and the St. Lupulin that day as I was very eager to try something new. (And that's half the fun).

Odell Brewing even set up a live display of Twitter messages from followers who were either there at the event and tweeting or from others who simply wanted to get a reaction to the new brews. A laptop was set up along with a projector so that those passing through the tap room could glance at the comments being passed around.

I had quite a good time at Odell Brewing, as usual. I only stuck around for about and hour or so as I also wanted to get over to New Belgium Brewing and the Fort Collins Brewery the same day. I'll save those reports for one or two follow-up posts. Still, I took a ton of video and clipped out several stills from my visit that I'll share here. Enjoy!

I really enjoyed the Blackbird schwarzbier and the St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale. Odell really nailed those styles well. I savored every sip of those delicious beers. I'm hoping that they decide to make a Twitter brew an annual event with a different brew style each time. It was fun to participate in designing a brew via the internet (even though my suggestions didn't end up being selected).

See also: Odell Twitterbrew VIDEO highlights

Related articles:
- St. Lupulin and the Twitter bird
- Buckbean Black Noddy Lager review
- Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale review
- Great things come in small batches

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