Late last year, Odell Brewing named a beer, Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout, after a truck belonging to the organic farmer who hauls away the brewery's spent grain to feed to his dairy cows. This time around, the Fort Collins company will focus on the life cycle of hops -- and in particular on a butterfly that loves hops as much as beer drinkers do.
Celastrina Saison Ale, which will hit taps and store shelves later this month, is named for celastrina humulus, or Hops Blue, a tiny -- and rare -- blue butterfly that lives on wild hops plants in drainages along the Front Range and is being studied by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, a nonprofit organization run by Colorado State University.
See also: - Odell's upcoming Loose Leaf session ale will fly under the radar at 4.5 percent ABV - Odell Brewing will make Tree Shaker from Colorado peaches - Odell's upcoming seasonal, Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout, dedicated to local cows
Celastrina is a 7.5 percent ABV French-style saison with notes of banana and cloves; part of Odell's acclaimed Cellar Series, it will be sold in 750 ml corked bottles, and $1 for the sale of each bottle will be donated to the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.
On the nonprofit's blog, Program zoologist Rob Schorr describes the history of the partnership with Odell this way:
While conducting a biological inventory at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Jeremy Siemers and I were lucky enough to stumble upon a few hops blue butterfly populations. This butterfly is found in a handful of counties in Colorado and gets its name from its host plant, wild hops (Humulus lupulus).
We started a lively discussion about how best to monitor such a butterfly... and finally came up with a research plan we thought was feasible. Unfortunately, it was unfunded. These discussions led to hops-and-barley fueled brainstorming on how to fund such a study...the natural connection was right in our hands.
After some courting and scheduling, I was able to visit Fort Collins' own Odell Brewing Company and talk with them about CNHP, the hops blue butterfly, and a creative collaboration of beer and butterfly conservation. The talk was warmly received and Odell eagerly agreed to develop a beer to commemorate this minute Colorado endemic."
Odell will release the beer in the taproom on May 18, and brewery spokeswoman Amanda Johnson says several brewery staffers plan to "get out in the field to try and observe the butterfly this summer."
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