Craft breweries across the country are renowned for creating local and unique beers for their growing number of consumers. These specialty beers include native ales (craft beers that boast all native and local ingredients), beers made with all organic ingredients and a fan favorite, the philanthropy beer, (a beer that raises money for a good cause).
Odell Brewing Co. (OBC) out of Fort Collins, Colo. has accomplished all three of these specialty beer styles with Celastrina Saison, a French-style saison with fruity and spicy notes from the local hops used. This craft beer is named after and dedicated to the hops blue butterfly, also known as the Celastrina hummulus, a rare species found in a small number of counties along Colorado’s Front Range.
OBC partnered with The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) to help and support conservation efforts to protect the butterfly that lives and thrives on wild hop plants in Colorado. Rob Schorr, a zoologist with CNHP, first introduced the idea to OBC employees after discovering the rare species while conducting a biological study near Colorado Springs. Schorr noticed the butterflies feeding on the native hops and realized that both the hops and the Celastrina hummulus were unique to Colorado.
The Celastrina Saison was released at Odell Taproom Saturday, May 18, and will be sold on draft and in 750 ml cork and cage bottles. OBC will contribute $1 of every bottle sold to hops blue butterfly research.
“Celastrina boasts an inviting aroma of fruity hops and fermentation esters display notes of pear, apricot, banana and citrus zest,” said OBC’s Marketing Manager Amanda Johnson-King. “A light yet sturdy malt backbone mixes with a subtle lemon pepper flavor driven by the French saison yeast and complements the hop character to create a dry, crisp finish. It’s complex, yet balanced.”
Schorr says the funds raised will go to discovering the butterfly’s origin, which hop varieties it prefers and when it emerges every spring. So raise a glass of Celastrina Saison to butterflies, beer and conservation.
Thomas Appel’s love for craft beer began after visiting a micro brewery at the end of the world in the Chilean Patagonia. He currently lives in the center of the beer world in Boulder, Colorado, where he is the intern for the craft beer program and a recent graduate from the University of Colorado. A native of the Sunshine State, Thomas can be found enjoying craft beer while getting lost on the beautiful rivers of Colorado!