Beer Man

Odell brews #OhMyGourd, a pumpkin beer for Westword's Denver #WebAwards

Founded in 1989, Odell Brewing is one of Colorado's oldest beer makers. But it stays young with playful marketing campaigns, relentless experimentation in the brewhouse and an eye toward its edgiest fans, who live on social media and the Internet.

So it makes sense that Odell -- which created a Twitter beer in 2009 -- is temporarily changing the name of Oh, My Gourd, a small-batch pumpkin beer, to #OhMyGourd in honor of Westword's annual Web Awards, which take place on November 15.

See also: - Become a beer artist! Design an Odell tap handle logo and win serious beer swag - Vote in the 2012 Denver #WebAwards - Odell's upcoming seasonal, Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout, dedicated to local cows

The event is a celebration of the best and brightest projects in digital Denver, and Odell will be on hand to pour #OhMyGourd and other beers for all the creative types.

And "creative" is a word that describes the beer as well, says Odell brewer Brent Cordle. "We wanted to get a little more creative with this than just having pumpkin flavor," he explains. "So one of our guys, Dave Clapsaddle, roasted the pumpkins at his house over a fire, chopped them up and marinated them in some nutmeg and cinnamon."

Odell is pressing all the juice out of those pumpkins today and brewing the beer on its small "pilot" system, which it uses to experiment with new styles, to perfect larger releases (like the upcoming Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout), and to collaborate with other brewers, bars or individuals, Cordle says. The system also gives Odell employees, like Clapsaddle, a chance to come up with their own recipes and brew their own beers.

"The pilot system is a great marketing tool and a way to reach out to people and show them how beer is made, to teach them about brewing," says Cordle, who manages the pilot brewery. Odell has made special batches with restaurants like Jax Fish House, beer writers like Christian DeBenedetti and with its own employees.

Oh, and Westword and Odell are looking for art submissions to decorate the #OhMyGourd tap handle. Think you can handle it? Check out the details in "Become a beer artist! Design an Odell tap handle logo and win serious beer swag."

And finally, the Web Awards include plenty of food and nightlife categories. Tell us about your favorites with the 2012 nomination site.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes