We went up to Fort Collins this weekend and had a great time. Here are some tips to make your trip up there even better:
1. get tickets to New Belgium early
We started the day with lunch at coopersmiths. Good food, good beer. Not bad. Unfortunately, we should have started the day around 11:30 at New Belgium getting tickets for the afternoon tours. Then we could have gone to lunch and then O'Dells and finished at New Belgium.
As it was, we took the "self-guided" tour of New Belgium, which was great, but not as good as a full tour.
2. O'Dells Suprises: Environment and English Style Ales
O'Dells is a bit of a "yeah, they're OK" beer in my mind. They changed that with the tour. First, they mentioned their commitment to the environment and "being a good neighbor" in whatever ways possible. I loved that and love that they do it in an understated way. They were also really pragmatic about it - New Belgium is going for national presence...national presence means lots of shipping...shipping is bad for the environment. Wha? The O'Dells folks also pointed out "we use skylights as much as possible - sure we've got wind power for the electricity we do use, but it is better to not use the electricity in the first place." Right on.
They also explained that they make English Style Ales! Now that explains it. They've always been a bit too malty and not quite spicey enough for my liking - this explains it! I'm more of a Belgian/American ale drinker...and in the context of English Style Ales, I'll say O'Dell's was pretty good. Well done, guys.
Frankly, I've never really loved O'Dells