Welcome back to Pints of Interest, a column from Jake Uitti that features bartenders and brewers pouring some of the best beer in Seattle.
Odin Brewery launched in 2009. Its dark, ruby colored flagship beer Odin's Gift is one of the best in Seattle, hands down. Its malty start and oaky finish is unique and the body of the beer, despite that dark color, drinks light. Additionally, the Sigrun IPA is clean and on the lighter side of the spectrum—not as hoppy as Boundary Bay's IPA and not as floral as Georgetown's. Odin champions the idea of pairing beer with food and even offers some suggestions. For example, staff say pairing the Odin's Gift with pork, burgers and barbecue chicken pizza is best, the Freya's Gold goes well with seafood, and the IPA compliments tacos or chicken masala.
For all these reasons and more—including the Viking blood mead, a beverage clocking it at 19% alcohol that costs $10 for a 6oz glass—Eater had to stop by Odin's Asgard Tavern tap room in Fremont to chat with Retail Supervisor Jillian Willenbacher about the brewery's beers and expansion plans.
The Odin's Gift used to be called the Ruby Red. What happened with the name change?
McMenamins sued us. Pike Brewing's Kilt Lifter couldn't be called a ruby either. McMenamins patented the name Ruby, how they did that I don't know. But a lot of people still call it The Ruby even though we've changed the name.
How long has the taproom been here?
It was a year on Solstice, in June. Our brewery is in South Park and as of now it's too small. We had a tasting room there but it was getting in the guys' way more than helping. You can still stop by and there are beers on tap, but this is the real spot for tasting our beers.
[Odin's South Park brewery. Photo: S. Pratt]
What's your favorite beer on tap?
Depends on the day. The saison is pretty damn tasty, that would be my favorite today. Yesterday was the IPA. And it was the Thor's the day before, but that gets me in trouble because it's about 9%!
What's with Odin's Nordic theme?
One of the owners is Nordic and his grandma's name was Sigrun, that's the name for our IPA. He wanted the brewery to be all about his family.
How often does Odin bring out new beers?
This year we did three new ones. We did a couple different saisons, one was a 3% light summer ale. We also did a red wine barrel saison. And we did the Dirty Jackhammer, a slightly sour beer aged for eight months. We just released another stout and we're going to release a German lager after Labor Day for Oktoberfest.
Odin has plans for a new brewery, right?
At our new brewery (in Tukwila) we'll be able to do more beers, and we'll be opening a tasting room and restaurant. I'm trying to talk to the guys about doing a smoker—and I hope we serve sliders! We're already occupying the building and the front half is a tasting room. We're going to triple our capacity in the brewery. We'll also have more parking, it will be kid-friendly and we'll be hosting family friendly events. There will be twice as many taps, too.
[Photo: Willenbacher behind the bar.]