Doug, Wynne and Corkie Odell started their brewing odyssey in 1989 in a converted 1915 grain elevator located on the outskirts of downtown Fort Collins. Odell’s was just the second microbrewery to open in Colorado. No one knew what “craft beer” was in those early days of the industry and we had to educate our first customers on what exactly it was we were trying to sell them. Not home brew, or worse, bathtub brew, but small batch, hand-crafted, commercially brewed distinctive beers. Our success was immediate.Doug brought his passion for crafting great beer to our new brewery. Starting in his kitchen in Seattle, Doug had spent ten years refining recipes and playing with brewing processes until he settled on two perfect recipes, although not yet the names – 90 Shilling and Easy Street Wheat. After brewing and kegging his beer, Doug would deliver it, pick up empties, and make sales calls out of his old mustard-colored Datsun pickup. Corkie cleaned out the tanks and Wynne paid the bills.
Flash forward to 1994 and you’ll find us in our newly constructed brewery, a vast 8,000 square feet, working hard to brew 8,300 barrels of beer. Two short years later, we amended our draft-only focus, added a bottling line and started churning out six packs for the drink-at-home fans. Numerous small expansions ensued. By 2009, having outgrown every inch and aspect of our brewery, we doubled our plant size to 45,000 square feet and our beer sold to 45,000 barrels – one barrel per square foot! Today we are still dedicated to sharing our passion for delicious beer with our ever-growing family of fans. Experimentation with beer recipes, barrel aging and yeast cultivation coupled with our dedication to our customers and each other keep our creative juices flowing and our reputation for excellent, innovative beers growing.