I’m not a hockey kid. In fact, I’ve only been to a dozen or so college games in my life. So when someone told me there was a brewery in Eagle River that was called Odd Man Rush, I said “What?”
Turns out Odd Man Rush isn’t any thing about a goofy guy named “Rush” (which is what my initial thoughts were.) Its a hockey term, used to describe a move when the offense has more people than the defense in an “attacking move” is happening. I’m not sure any correlation exists between this move and beer. A couple weeks ago, on the way back from Valdez, I decided so swing in for a taste and see whether these guys were attackers or defenders.
If you look up previous articles about Odd Man Rush, they can tell you about all the re-purposed materials that went into the construction of the tasting room they built after a successful Kickstarter campaign. While entertaining, the reason I was here was for the beer – so we got one of everything.
My brother and I carried a couple of tasting paddles upstairs while some heavy rock blasted throughout the brewery. It was a Tuesday afternoon, and there were a few other people having a pint downstairs. I enjoy tasting with my brother, since he is not a “beer geek” and can provide an opinion of what an average drinker might think.
First off, none of these beers were “terrible”. There wasn’t one on the list that we didn’t finish (although there were a few that I wouldn’t order again.) A few were not quite to style but still tasted fine. It was pretty impressive for a nine-beer lineup to have so many beers that were pretty good. Not something we’re seeing with every new brewery that opens.
I don’t hold back on my reviews – if you’ve read anything I have written about a product or review you know if anything I’m almost too harsh. So take that with a grain of salt.
In no particular order, here’s what we thought of the individual beers:
Oatmeal Stout was tasty. Had a nice smooth mouthfeel and a light roasty character.
The “Hot Blonde” Jalapeno Blonde had great Jalapeno flavor, but no spice. Not sure if this changes with age. Light smokiness. Well balanced. My brother’s favorite.
The Chocolate Stout was smooth as well and had noticeable light chocolate notes to it.
I don’t know much about Scottish Ale, but this was a tasty beer. I referenced my (nerd alert!) beer style guidelines and for it seems as though they met the mark for this one. Good caramel flavors, no noticeable smokiness.
The Gose was a low point for me, as I really like Gose and was looking forward to something tart. Oddly enough, they don’t sour their Gose at all, so this beer was a wheat beer with salt and coriander. Not particularly amazing. [If anyone from the brewery ever reads this, I’d be happy to lend a hand showing some sour kettling techniques!]
The Black IPA was hoppy but too astringent for my tastes. Perhaps it was just over bittered and too much roast, but I didn’t care for this one. Full disclaimer: I don’t like Black IPAs. Keeping that in mind, this was one of the rougher ones I’d tried.
The Hefeweizen was a clean beer with some light banana and clove, but seemed thin for a hefe when it came to that wheaty character we look for. I’m also skeptical as to whether this was brewed using something other than the house yeast.
The Kolsch was lacking in crispness and missing most of its hop character. It was a drinkable beer, but not one I’d put in the Kolsch style.
The Double IPA was ok for style, but too much caramel malt and not enough hop flavor. The maltiness was dominant, something that shouldn’t be in a DIPA.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience. The beers were good, but didn’t quite meet the price point they’re asking for a pint or growler fill. I’d go back if I was in the area and get another sampler to see how things change as they find their stride – I do recommend going by for a tasting. Seeing how this is the first review I’ve done, I won’t rank them “better” or “worse” than others in the state, but they do seem to be a little above average from most the breweries I’ve been to.