On a recent trip to Colorado, I had the opportunity to do some extensive hiking in the mountains. I could easily spend the rest of this article writing about the view, but it would pale in comparison of experiencing it first-hand.
A more accessible experience you should try is a sampling of the Odell Brewing Company. Founded in 1989 by Doug Odell, his wife Wynne, and his sister Corkie, and located in Fort Collins, this is a Colorado adventure that is now a little closer to home. The only travel required is to your local bar or restaurant.
The trailhead starts with their flagship beer, 90 Shillings. This lightened version of a Scottish Ale gets its name from a tax that was imposed on only the highest quality of ales. The result is a medium-bodied amber ale, brown in color, with balanced carbonation that goes down easy.
For those who want a little more hop in their climb, I suggest the Odell India Pale Ale. Using American hops to provide a distinctive bitterness, this beer pours a light golden glass and is a great example of what an IPA should taste like, hoppy and citrusy.
For something heartier and as pleasing to behold as a cold mountain lake, please try the Cutthroat Porter. Dark brown with tan foam, this London Porter-inspired drink is named after the Colorado State Fish, the endangered Cutthroat Trout. Emanating dark chocolate and coffee aromas, this borderline stout is very filling.
The peak of the Odell selections, the unconventional 5 Barrel Pale Ale should please the more discerning taste. The name derives from adding hops to the beer on five separate occasions during the brewing process, which extracts essential oils from the select hops. Pale copper in appearance, with a taste of pine and bread, and a dry finish, it makes a fine choice for the mountain trail less traveled.
Perhaps when I return to the mountains, I should toast the ascent with a selection from Odell. I urge you to find your favorite, because each experience is a wonderful, drinkable adventure.
[ Story by Kevin Reed | Photography by Amanda Reynolds | July 2012 ]