Friday, August 30, 2013

Odd 13

It seems that more over the past year than ever craft breweries are leaving the large town scene and settling down into smaller towns. As recently as three years ago small towns like Frederick, Niwot, and Poncha Springs were only surrounded by craft beer towns that you had to drive to, but now they have benefited from the craft beer explosion and now all lay claim to a tap room. In 2013 the small town of Lafayette became a part of that list with not one, but two microbreweries opening up in this small town. One of them features a expansive tap list inspired by Belgian beers and IPAs and is Odd 13 Brewing.
Located just outside a neighborhood on a corner location the only way to describe this brewery is large and spacious. There is a large bar top that is accompanied by tables that can fit groups of all sizes. In addition there are games in the tap room to keep guests entertained. This leads to an outdoor area where there is a nice enclosed beer garden with picnic tables where guests can enjoy sitting outside, but are still blocked away from the road making it a quiet peaceful environment. Behind the bar is a shelf filled with glassware and an extensive menu that focuses on Belgian style ales, and hop forward IPAs. With two such diverse styles in so many different ways lining the taps, which one should be tries first?
With the IPA tap list being so extensive deciding which one to try first may not be easy, but there is one that combines the two styles of beer this brewery prides itself on. Of course that is a Belgian IPA that they call Professor Hops. With three different hops in this beer the aroma gives the impression that this is going to be a very hoppy beer, but after first sip you realize how complex of a IPA this really is. The hops are balanced out with refreshing citrus and herbal notes from the Belgian yeast strain, and there is also a hint of Brett yeast in this beer that adds complexities, and makes this a well rounded beer that is very easy to drink. For a more hop forward IPA there is Eric the Red, a Red IPA and also the most popular beer on the tap list at Odd 13. A sweet malty red ale is the base of this beer, but add three different hops including a dry hop with Mosaic and this beer is transformed. The hops dominate the aroma but the flavor is delicate with hints of tropical fruit. Combine that with the malty base of this beer and the end result is a dry, slightly bitter beer with hints of fruit and a tiny sweetness from the malts. Very complex and balanced with a fairly clean finish making it very drinkable, and very enjoyable.
The list of Belgian beers on the tap list is just as diverse and interesting, and it starts with a petite saison known as Doctor Cougar. Coming in at only 4.5 percent alcohol this is a great session beer that has a very pale color and delicate flavor profile. The yeast and subtle hop flavor are the prominent notes within this beer, but they are very balanced and do not overpower each other. The finish is very clean, making this a easy to drink beer that is very refreshing. For something strong within the Belgian family of beers reach for the Succubus, a Belgian Golden Strong Ale coming in at 9.7 percent. Rich and golden in color this is a very complex beer full of layers of flavors. The yeast strain gives off a bright fruit flavor that is balanced out by the bitterness of hops. In addition to that there is a hint of spice that makes this beer very unique and complex. Very refreshing for a strong beer, and so unique that it is a must try.
With a tap list that showcases the diversity within two classic styles of beer Odd 13 has made it easier to introduce beer drinkers to new styles of beer. Combine that with a friendly staff, spacious tap room that still feels intimate enough to talk to other guests, and a great outdoor patio this is a new microbrewery that is a must visit. So when looking for a new beer to try, or a new brewery to visit do yourself a favor and break away from the large towns and visit a small town brewery. Odd 13 in the small town of Lafayette is great reminder that some of the best beers come in the places you least expect to find them. 

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