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Odell Hiveranno New American Wild Ale sneak peek

Posted : 2011-04-20

(Fort Collins, CO) – Odell Brewing‘s upcoming funkified hoppy beer, Hiveranno, will be released on May 21st and is being bottled today (per Facebook).


I sent a note to Odell brewer, Joe Mohrfeld, to ask about the brewing team’s latest project. After reading their original write-up, I was curious as to whether this could accurately be dubbed a “funky IPA” similar to the Super Friends IPA that grabbed so much attention last year. I was also interested in the way hops are used in this beer because they are sometimes aged or are not otherwise a standout feature when it comes to beers with sour/earthy/barnyardy character.

Below is the original write-up on Hiveranno (received via email and edited for readability) followed by Mohrfeld’s answers to my questions.

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“Hiveranno is our third offering that uses a wild yeast we captured from the brewery grounds. The first beer we used this wild yeast for was, ‘Deconstruction,’ a Belgian Inspired Golden Ale, which was released last summer. The second was, ‘Avant Peche,’ an Imperial porter barrel aged with Palisade Organic Peaches, released this past winter. This spring, we will be releasing, ‘Hiveranno,’ a New American Wild Ale with a Wild Barrel Aged component and a fresh hop forward component blended together. [Ed. note: the brewers are using the same method here that they did with Deconstruction where they design and brew multiple beers with the specific intention of blending them together.]

Hiveranno is made with what we affectionately refer to around the brewhouse as the ‘Fester’ Strain, named as such due in part to its ability to continue to ferment beers that are at an extremely low pH and high alcohol level. Each beer we’ve made so far with this yeast has been a totally different style.

After capturing ‘Fester,’ we isolated it and grew it in our lab before inoculating a number of oak barrels with it for Deconstruction. We have kept this strain alive in the Oak over the past year be continuing to age new projects with it. The Fester strain imparts a beautiful grapefruit rind character with notes of tart tropical fruit. We are very excited to use it in a beer like Hiveranno that features a strong fresh hop component; it compliments rather than clashes with the tropical citrus character of most American Hop varieties.

As with all our Single Serve offerings, Hiveranno is going to be a very limited release and truly a one time offering. At this time, we have no plans to ever reproduce beers in our Local Wild Yeast program, but will continue to draw inspiration from past projects while crafting new offerings.”

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“I haven’t had Super Friends but it sounds like a similar concept. The color of this beer is more of a amber/dark copper which separates it, at least in color, from just being a funky IPA. The hop forward component has maybe 20 IBUs yet the hopping rate of a double IPA so everything is added at the end of the boil, hopback, and dry hopping stages. This keeps the bitterness from clashing with the tartness of the wild yeast.

The Fester strain is essentially like any other wild yeast; it just happens to be a particular one that we captured from the air here outside the brewery. When I was out at CBC talking with other brewers, there is a definite trend starting with working with local wild yeasts and each brewery’s beer that I tried had a very unique character. This is much like the Belgians have had historically with their sour or wild beers, but we as American craft brewers are reinterpreting this history with our own styles.

The local wild yeast speaks to the ‘Terroir’ of each brewery and every brewery’s locally captured wild yeast will likely be quite unique. I think this is a very exciting trend for both us as brewers and especially for American craft beer drinkers because the diversity of flavors and styles is poised to grow exponentially as we continue to experiment with local wild yeasts.”