If you like craft beer and you live in Colorado, then Odell Brewing's many beers have likely left their mark on you. Now you have a chance a leave your mark on Odell, by designing a tap handle for a limited-release beer. But first -- some backstory.
Odell is the third-largest craft brewer in Colorado, and the Fort Collins company, which just completed a major expansion and renovation, now runs a sophisticated,120-barrel brewhouse. But it wasn't always that way.
Doug, Wynne and Corkie Odell founded Odell Brewing in 1989 in a converted 1915 grain elevator on the outskirts of downtown Fort Collins. Over the years, they've used a five-barrel brewing system (which is where the name for their popular 5 Barrel Pale Ale comes from) and a fifty-barrel system (which is currently mothballed and for sale, in case you're looking).
But the brewery never forgot its roots, which is why it still operates a five-barrel "pilot system" in order to experiment and test new beer ideas -- and to brew small-batch beers in its tap room or in collaboration with bars and other businesses.
One of the latest small-batch beers, brewed on November 14, is called Cherry-Oh!, and it will be served at the 2013 Westword Web Awards, which will be handed out on Thursday, December 5 (after you vote for your favorite web-savvy social-media types at westword.com, that is).
But the beer, an oatmeal stout brewed with fifteen pounds of cherrywood smoked malt, needs some artwork, which is why Odell and Westword are hosting a Tap Artwork Contest.
To participate, artists can submit their ideas for a Cherry-Oh! tap handle (cherry theme preferred) via Instagram using #CherryOhTapContest and tagging @odellbrewing and @westword.
The winner will receive a special growler of the brew and two tickets to the invite-only Web Awards, and the winning artwork will be featured in a print ad in Westword.
Brewed with cherrywood smoked malt, 35 pounds of rolled oats and a host of other malts and hops, Cherry-Oh!, at 6 percent ABV, is the brainchild of Jay Montez, a brewer, firkin master and cellerman who has worked at Odell for the past five years.
As part of the Westword Web Awards, you can vote for your favorite local Tweeters, bloggers and Instagrammers at polls.westword.com/polls/den/webawards2013/.
But to try the beer, you'll need to head to the Odell tap room in Fort Collins. Or keep your eyes out for a keg or two around town -- because although we love beer, we probably won't be able to finish all twelve kegs of Cherry-Oh! ourselves.
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Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan