The Farmer and Odell

If you’ve been to the brewery, chances are you’ve seen the old beat-up Chevy that hauls away our spent grain. That truck belongs to our friend and farmer, Lugene. Ever wonder what happens to that spent grain once it leaves? Well our co-worker, Emily followed Lugene one day after he picked up a load…

Spent Grains = Local Milk
Ever wonder what we do with all those grains and hops after it is used to make delicious beer? We load it into a truck and pass it on….
Ever since 1994, Lugene Sas, owner of Taft Hill Dairy, has been feeding his “girls” our leftovers.
Lugene comes to the brewery twice a day and hauls away our spent grains and hops to his small local dairy just a few miles north of the brewery.
Once back at the farm, the grain and hop mixture is dumped from the truck into a pit, picked up with a tractor and then a measured amount is dumped into a large feed truck.


There, the grains and hops are mixed with organic alfalfa hay, organic grass hay and silage to form a complete feed.
Holy happy cows! A mix of Jersey, Guernsey, Holstein and Brown Swiss, these momma cows are hungry and happy to have their feed.
As I shot photos, Lugene walked along greeting them gently and telling me their names (yes, the ladies all have names, not just numbers).
After feeding the matrons, we took some warm milk to the younger cows and watched them enjoy.
As it dripped from their happy faces, I couldn’t help but get milk-thirsty.
And if you are a milk drinker and you’ve never had raw milk, you’ve got to get your hands on a mason jar of this rare delicious nectar.
Taft Hill Dairy produces only raw milk so patrons of the dairy must participate in a milk-share program in order to enjoy. In a milk-share program, consumers purchase a share of a cow, thus establishing partial ownership of the animal and the right to drink its milk. (Google “raw milk Colorado” if this sounds confusing).
Spending a few hours at Taft Hill Dairy gave me an even greater appreciation for the impact our business has on the lives around us.
While repurposing our grains may not save the world, it matters. Every decision we make at OBC is with a conscience, a purpose and a desire to better ourselves, our environment and our community.
Lugene could not be more grateful and gracious about his role in our circle of beer. He LOVES our beer – 90 Shilling is his go-to favorite, but he also gets pretty excited about our seasonal and pilot brews. And he can usually be seen sporting an Odell shirt or hat, or both. Even though Lugene does not work at the brewery, he is definitely a part of the OBC family.



EmilyEmily has been with Odell Brewing Company since 2009 and loves serving beer, tasting beer, talking about beer and occasionally even brewing beer. She also enjoys expensive cheeses, laughing until she cries, and capturing the beauty of this life through the lens of her camera.



Categories: Sustainability