Remember how just a few short weeks ago we were complaining about rain? And how last month we had snow? Well, all of that is long gone, and summertime has finally arrived in Colorado. Now our days are filled with sunshine and warm temperatures, while are nights are cool and lovely. If you live anywhere outside of Colorado right now, you should be jealous. It’s simply wonderful here this time of year.
All that sunshine and perfect weather can, however, make a person thirsty. While we were out enjoying some fun in the sun this past Saturday we decided to stop at Odyssey Beerwerks for cold beers and some relief from the heat. This was not our first visit to Odyssey, but previously Odyssey was always the last stop of a multi-brewery crawl, leaving our memories of the place a bit, lets just say, fuzzy. This time Odyssey was our one-and-only stop, so we feel much more qualified to share with you our experience. Enjoy!
Odyssey’s Brewery & Taproom
Our first challenge was in finding Odyssey Beerwerks. Apparently maps aren’t too good at navigating you here, and our navigation told us we “arrived” a quarter of a mile away from the actual taproom. It didn’t take us long to find them once we were close, fortunately. Once we arrived we were first taken by the Odyssey Beerwerks patio. With picnic tables, trees, and greenery, it was a nice contrast to the otherwise industrial surroundings. We skipped the patio and took a table near the bar, where we could check out the menu better and peek into the brewery. The inside of Odyssey Beerwerks is much nicer than your typical industrial taproom. With dark burgundy walls and lots of local artwork, it was warm and welcoming. You know what else was warm? The temperature inside! When we first arrived the patio roll-doors were almost closed, and with no AC it was pretty stifling inside. Fortunately before long they rectified this, opening the doors to let in the cool breeze from outside. That, along with some cold beers, and we were some happy campers.
Odyssey Beerwerks is the brainchild of two long-time friends and homebrewers, Chris Hill and John Van Riper. The friendship that started this business endeavor was tangible inside the walls of Odyssey, which just had a friendly, neighborhood vibe. Nearly all the tables are community tables, making this a great place to catch up with old friends or make new ones. There are no real walls between the taproom and brewery, so you can see all the happenings in the brew house. If you really want to get hands-on, you can sign up for one of Odyssey’s brewing classes, or volunteer to help with canning. It’s swell to see a business so willing let customers get their hands dirty behind the scenes. This was just another way that Odyssey felt so friendly to us. Their business relationship with the customers isn’t just them (Odyssey) serving us (customers); rather, it’s more like everyone working together to make something great. It was really refreshing, especially after visiting so many big breweries lately, where the line between brewer and customer is much more pronounced.
In addition to the brewing related opportunities, Odyssey Beerwerks hosts several fun events in their taproom, including trivia, comedy nights, brewery bike crawls, and more. They do not serve food, beyond a few snacks, but often you can find local food trucks on site if you want a something tasty to pair with your beer. To keep up on all the happenings, just visit the Odyssey Beerwerks Facebook page, where they post the most up-to-date taproom news.
Not all homebrewers make a successful transition to a full-scale craft brewery. Sometimes it can be a bumpy start. That doesn’t seem to be the case for Odyssey Beerwerks. They’ve been open since May 2013, so they are well experienced in making great craft brews. The beers we tasted were all good, solid, easy-drinking and delicious brews. Their success means that several of their regular beers are now being canned for distribution, including their popular Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter. We’ve had Psycho Penguin before, and it’s a fantastic beer. However it felt like too heavy of a beer to have on such a hot summer day, so on this visit we opted for a few of Odyssey’s lighter brews.
Together we shared four Odyssey pints: Heliocentric Hefeweizen, Palm Tree Caribbean Lager, Quench White IPA and Ghost Drifter Pale Ale. All were good, true to style, sessionable beers – perfect for summertime. Surprisingly, the Palm Tree Caribbean Lager was probably our favorite. While we normally like our beers a tad more bitter, this mild lager was a great thirst quencher on such a warm summer afternoon. Our next favorite was the Ghost Drifter, a nicely-hopped American Pale Ale. The other beers were good, but the Palm Tree and Ghost Drifter really hit the spot on that particular visit.
About Odyssey Beerwerks
When we did a search for Odyssey, we found one of the definitions of odyssey is a “long wandering and eventful journey.” No doubt it was a long and certainly very eventful journey that took two friends from homebrewing to owning their own craft brewery. Based on their success, their odyssey is far from over.
If your particular adventures take you anywhere near Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada, you should pay them a visit and make a few new friends. Then come back & share with us your thoughts on Odyssey Beerwerks in the comments below.
5535 W 56th Ave Ste 107
Arvada, CO 80002