Another night, another meet the brewer at the Port Street Beer House. This one was rather special as the brewer concerned was Doug Odell, as in Odells the rather fine American brewery. Doug proved to be a personable guest and we learnt a little more with each beer sample. Founded in 1989 in Fort Collins, Colorado; from small acorns a mighty brewery has grown that now encompasses some 45,000 square feet and produced 58,000 barrels in 2011.
90 ShillingThe first beer they produced in 1989 and still is-although IPA is catching up-their best seller. An American twist on the Scottish style, it undoubtedly was an accomplished brew. Unfortunately, it’s simply not a particularly well liked style round these parts. My reason for dislike lies with the use of crystal malt, but even John Clarke (he’ll sup nearly anything) wasn’t that keen
IPAThis is a classic. No crystal malt. Just bags of aromatic and flavoursome hops precisely grafted onto a malt backbone to give a beautifully balanced drink.
Cutthroat PorterThis is another winner. A 5.1% smooth operator with appealing hints of dark chocolate and a dry coffee bite.
Crimson StoutOne of their experimental brews. Doug explained that if they were to brew it again, they would use more raspberries this time. However I, along with many others, felt that the more subtle flavour worked really well.
This is a collaboration brew with the Kirkstall brewery in Leeds and is an 8% old ale style beer that has been aged in Bordeaux casks. I think it’s fair to say that this divided opinion.
It was vinous and had vanilla, wood and diacetyl flavours: all the things I dislike in beer. And I wasn’t the only one who struggled with it. However, John Clarke (he’ll sup nearly anything) and his band of Lambic-loving-lushes were more than happy to take any unwanted beer from the more discerning drinkers.
An interesting night was brought to a close with some of Thornbridge’s excellent American style pale ale Jaywick. Frankly, I could have done without the late night anti-CAMRA tirade, but ho-hum.