We in Colorado are incredibly lucky to have a fantastic beer culture that supports fantastic microbreweries. However, these paragons of deliciousness tend to spring up in the more urban areas. While understandable, this leaves many a suburban dweller with a long haul to their nearest brewery. This summer, at least one suburb will shake that stigma with the addition of Odd13 Brewing to Lafayette. I recently had the chance to visit owners Ryan (award winning homebrewer, newly minted head brewer) and Kristin (the brains behind the wonderful madness and supermom) at their brewery-to-be.
I was able to get a good idea of the space even though I visited while they are still in the middle of some pretty heavy construction. Rest assured, this place is going to rock so hard. In the main taproom, they are going to have about 70-something seats, 13 taps (some rotating), and big, beautiful windows. And it’s family friendly too! As brewery-visiting-and-loving parents themselves, Ryan and Kristin created a dedicated kid’s play room just off the main tap room. Since Odd13 is located in a highly residential area with expectations to pull a lot of neighborhood folks, this is probably a brilliant move. The “come have a beer after work! The rugrats can go play and you can drink in peace!” sort of mentality will certainly be a home run.
Odd13’s cool space does not end with the main taproom. There is a large, gorgeous beer garden behind the tap room, where you can sip beer in the sun. Further, Odd13 plans to roll food trucks off the street and right into the beer garden. To one side of the beer garden is a smaller building where one end will serve as a storage area for various brew ingredients. More importantly, the rest of this structure will house up to 40 barrels of aging and/or souring beer, a program they plan to start as soon as possible (more on the beer later). The final building will be the actual brew house, at the rear of the beer garden. There, brewers will use a 10-barrel system, or about 310-gallon batches, which is a pretty large system for any brand new brewery, but especially so for one that has very limited bottling plans. I really respect Odd13 for going big with their space and equipment from the start, instead of what many breweries do and start much smaller and expand as needed. That takes some serious cojones. For you equipment nerds out there: The hot liquor tank and mash tun are converted dairy equipment, the kettle is fabricated by Bennett Forgeworks in Ridgeway Colorado, and the fermenters and serving tanks are fabricated in China. You are welcome.
And now, the star of any brewery’s show: the beer! Owners Ryan and Kristin were kind enough to let me sample their wares, crafted on the home brew scale so far. And holy crap, you guys. It is awesome. Of the six they let me try, all of them were great but three really stuck out. First, one of their staples: Eric The Red. This gorgeous red ale is a little bit on the malty sweet end, but the hops are really what makes it shine. Part of the hop bill is Columbus and part of it is the far more exotic Falconer’s Flight. However, what I got super excited about was the 100% Mosaic dry-hopping. New hops are always a treat, but getting two of them in one well balanced, brightly tropical-citrus-y, and deliciously bitter beer? Fuck yes. Up next was their Belgian Dark Strong Ale (AKA, a quadruple) called Big Jim. The bottle I had was ever-so-slightly under carbonated, but I still saw the beer’s potential and got excited. I love a good Quad and this ruby beauty certainly is one. A little less sugary than some, and a little less giantly fruit-forward, none the less a deep and complex brew. Finally, a beer without a fancy name. A Belgian-style Tripel that was entirely fermented with Brettanomyes. I have dreams about this beer. No, I’m serious about that. A smooth bodied beer with a touch of Brett funk — just enough to be interesting while not overwhelming the beer, complex malty sweet notes, and a light carbonation sparkle. I am unsure when Odd13 will be able to produce this bottle-conditioned beauty for sale, but rest assured that I’ll be the one to punch you in the face and steal your bottle. Its that good. And yes, Odd13 does have plans to have a barrel aging program from the get-go. Expect delicious projects from these folks!
One last question remains, that everyone always asks of every brewery, forever: “Where did the name come from?” Ryan is rather mum on the subject. In fact, Odd13 will let you name a beer if you are able to correctly guess the roots of the name. If you want to take a stab at it, I suggest first reading their website. Second, Ryan offers this tantalizing clue: it’s geographic in nature, not related to Colorado, and not likely to be confused. What do you think? Tweet #WhyOdd13 with your best guess!
So, before you roll your eyes at yet another brewery opening up, give these guys a chance. They will absolutely blow you out of the water when they open in Lafayette this summer.