BREWERIES

A Longtime Leader in Colorado Craft Beer: Odell Brewing

30-plus years of steady growth has made Odell the 23rd largest craft brewery in the country.

May 2020Written by Kyle TrompeterPhotography provided by Odell


street view of odell brewing co's steel and brick brewing facility
identical photos of founders Wynne and Doug Odell in front of the facility taken 30 years apart
room of stainless steel tanks and equipment used to brew beer
Odell Brewer Jeff Doyle pours hops into a fermentation tank used to brew beer
Odell Head Brewer Bill Beymer and former brewer Kevin Bosley funnel ground hops into  fermentation tank used to brew beer
Co-founder Wynne Odell and Merchandise Manager Lynsey Bates pour hops from a green yard bin into a steel fermentation tank used to brew beer
Odell Employee Colleen Rapaich smiles as she looks into a tank of unfermented beer
Odell employees Bri Brown and Kristen Wood shovel spent grain out of a steel tank created during the beer making process
row of Odell's six core beers: Colorado Lager, Drumroll APA, Rupture Ale, 90 Shilling Ale, IPA and Myrcenary Double IPA
Odell founders Corkie, Wynne, and Doug Odell
glass snifter filled with Odell beer sits atop a table

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Odell Brewing is a mere 60 miles north of Denver — a beautiful drive with a mountain view out the driver’s side window for the duration of the ride.

Founders Doug and Wynne Odell, then and now.

Odell’s brewhouse was custom built in Germany and is large enough to provide upwards of 300,000 barrels of beer. The operation can rinse and fill 120 bottles per minute, with a daily haul of about 130,000 fresh brews. The canning line rinses, fills, and seams 310 cans per minute.

Brewer Jeff Doyle dumps cryo hops into a brew. Odell beers are well known for their lively hop character, particularly in their IPA, Drumroll, Myrcenary, and Mountain Standard expressions.

Head Brewer Bill Beymer and former brewer Kevin Bosley are dry hopping their Rupture IPA, featuring freshly ground hops from their own custom hammer mill. By grinding the whole hop, they “rupture” the lupulin, which releases the oils that give the beer its flavor.

Co-founder Wynne Odell and Merchandise Manager Lynsey Bates get in on the hop action in the brewhouse, too. It’s an all-hands on deck situation every day at Odell!

Odell’s Colleen Rapaich watches the wort drain from the mash. Wort essentially means unfermented beer. Basically, beer before beer becomes beer. Make sense?

Odell’s Bri Brown and Kristen Wood shovel spent grain out of the lauter tun, separating the wort from the solids of the mash.

These last three photos are from Odell’s Annual Women’s Day Brew. All the women at Odell come together to brew a beer for International Women’s Day. Odell tells us they are very proud of the fact that two of the three owners are women. They continue to find different ways to promote equality in an industry where men historically have been heralded as the ones leading the way.

Pictured: Odell’s core range of beers — Colorado Lager, Drumroll APA, Rupture Fresh Grind IPA, 90 Shilling Ale, IPA, and Myrcenary Double IPA.

The owners who started it all — Corkie, Wynne, and Doug.

If you’re ever in Colorado, make time to visit Odell, home to some of the most thoughtfully and passionately produced beers available today. But until you’re able to make that trip to the Rocky Mountains, pour a glass of any of their expressions to experience the brilliance of Colorado brewing.

It’s no secret that Colorado is famous for its beer. So famous, in fact, that even iconic movies have described the Centennial State as a “place where the beer flows like wine” … whatever that means.

While Colorado is home to only two percent of the country’s population, it is ranked fourth in the nation for most breweries per capita, with more than 330 in total, according to Colorado.com. Despite the crowded field of craft, Odell Brewing has managed to ride a slow and steady growth model over its 30-plus years to become the 23rd largest craft brewery in the U.S.

employee at Odell's Rino Taproom pours beer into a crowler from a tap
Employee at Odell's RiNo Taproom pours beer into a crowler from the tap

This feat, of course, wouldn’t be possible if they weren’t making phenomenal beer — which they do. Founder Doug Odell set the tone for producing high-quality beer as a homebrewer in Seattle in the ’70s and ’80s. Then, in 1989, Doug, his wife Wynne and his sister Corkie turned his passion into profession with the opening of Odell Brewing in the college town of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Join us on a tour of Odell Brewing to find out what makes it one of the finest craft breweries in not just Colorado, but the entire country.



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