As the craft beer world matures there are more and more breweries celebrating their big 25 year milestone. This is a major step for these breweries since these are the ones that began their budding craft brewing when macro beer was truly king and many craft breweries were producing less then desirable beers. And with this year two well respected breweries, Boulevard Brewing and Odell Brewing, are celebrating this 25 year anniversary with a collaboration beer.
Recently at SAVOR in Washington, D.C., company founders John McDonald of Boulevard Brewing and Doug Odell of Odell Brewing announced an upcoming collaboration on a 25th anniversary beer. The two pioneering craft breweries happen to open just one day apart, with each initially focusing on English-style ales. As a tribute to their common roots, McDonald and Odell will develop an English Strong Ale, slated for release in November.
And for us in the Pacific Northwest, this will be a great opportunity to have access to a beer from Odell through Boulevard’s distribution channel. Over the years Boulevard has become a very solid brewery in their own right. Our first visit to Boulevard was back in 1999, a decade into their brewing trade and well before the arrival of their well regarded Smokestack series of beers. Boulevard has grown considerably since this time and produce some phenomenal beers.
Then you have Odell Brewing and while in Ft. Collins, CO they are a must stop visit. Odell has grown a bit slower in their distribution footprint compared to Boulevard but the demand for their beer increases with each passing year. They only distribute to an 11 state area and as far west as Idaho. We look forward to the day that their beers will be on store shelves here in Oregon and Washington.
On November 17, 1989, McDonald delivered the first keg of Boulevard Pale Ale to a Mexican restaurant a few blocks from his Kansas City brewery. The next day, Odell tapped his first keg at an upscale Fort Collins restaurant not far from his first brewhouse. While the two did not meet for a few more years, their shared devotion to great beer and desire to make a difference in their communities created a framework for their mutual admiration.
“Back in the late ‘80s, there were only a handful of us crazy enough to start our own local breweries,” said McDonald. “We leaned on each other to talk through ideas, brewing techniques and distribution methods. I’ve always respected Doug’s path and – looking at what Odell Brewing has become today – I’m proud to call him a friend and colleague.”
“People thought John and I were insane to open breweries at a time and in markets where virtually no one had heard of craft beer,” said Odell. “We have always shared some of the same goals and desires such as brew the best beer we possibly can, and take care of our home markets first. I am very pleased to see that these shared values have provided a base for the success of both of our breweries.”
More details on the commemorative ale will be revealed over the coming months. Each brewery plans to raise a pint on their anniversary, and to celebrate with beer lovers through dinners, special tastings, and a variety of other events. The beer will be available in 750ml bottles in Boulevard’s 25-state distribution territory, and on tap throughout Odell’s 11-state footprint.