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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.




  1. Paula Amaon says:

    Great photos used in a wonderful story.

  2. Great photo documentation Emily!!! Love this post!!

  3. Lovely photos and inspiration for packaging & promotion!

  4. Ashley Young says:

    Those are some happy cows! Way to do your part. Yet another reason you are my favorite!

  5. Congratulations Lugene on the honor of having a beer named after you. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!!!

  6. Lugene is one of the best guys around. Love his heart and his hard work. Totally looking forward to the beer coming soon with both his name and the Odell name on it.

  7. I’m an east coast city slicker, but I was fortunate to have married into a family of western nebraska wheat farmers and ranchers. My daughters are experiencing all the wonders of our food cycle, the things I took for granted.

    Don’t sell yourselves short. You are saving the world, at least a little part of it.

  8. Beautiful.

  9. beautiful storytelling and photos!!!

  10. Travis Cutbirth says:

    Lugene is a great farmer and a great guy, he has helped me and my family so many times we’ve lost count. And he’s a great guy to share a bottle of 90 Shilling with, too :) Great choice, Odell, you couldn’t have picked a better guy! Really looking forward to this brew!

  11. Twice I have seen this truck cruising past Native Hill Farms lot at Taft and 287! The smell of hops caught my attention first, I turned, and there was this old blue truck with 6+ yards of spent green hops. I was wondering what the deal was. Great story!

  12. Love the story. Look forward to picking it up on shelves in Minnesota!

  13. Tom Marsh says:

    Great story, great pics. Can’t wait to try it and sample/spread it around the Rochester, Mn area.

  14. The Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout is without a doubt the best tasting beer I’ve ever had. I’m 41 and I’ve sampled a lot of beers, from micro-brews to craft beers to the big juggernauts. Frankly, I’m a hop head and love the IPAs. But this stout is the smoothest, tastiest, most easy drinking beer I’ve ever tasted. Master stroke guys. Simply amazing.

    Thanks for the cool story and the killer brew.

  15. Jim isabell says:

    I loved your new Lugrne beer and after looking at the pictures at the farm it gives me a warm and fuzzy dealing to be a responsible beer drinker!!! Glad to do my part.

  16. Hank Schemper says:

    I went to college with Lugene about a million years ago…..have you got an email address or better yet, “Where can I get a case of this beer? I’m in Tucson.”

  17. Doug Nienhuis says:

    Could you deliver a sixer to me old buddy? You look great, Beer is good for the soul.

  18. Brandon Skiver says:

    I love this story! If I can find your beer in Ohio I will definitly support your business! I love hearing about small business working together.

  19. Lamar Hall says:

    When can I purchase your Lugene beer?

  20. From the words of the late Neil Armstrong just before exiting Apollo 11 and stepping onto the moon, I quote, “Damn, I wish I had more of that beer.”

    Neil, I now know which beer you were referring to, Lugene’s Chocolate Milk Stout.

  21. Gary Peterson says:

    Had a bottle at a pizza place in Fruita, CO… just ‘cuz I like stouts and the label caught my attention. It has now replaced Oscar Blues OLD CHUBB as my favorite! Went to Applejacks in Lakewood, CO and picked up a 4 pack. Going to go get another now that I see that this is a “seasonal” brew.

  22. I am in love with these pictures. Can they be purchased? I visited Odell in October and read the story of Lugene and though it was an amazing story. I look forward to trying the beer.

    • Thanks Jenny. Please email us to inquire about the specific photos you are interested in. Cheers(at)odellbrewing(dot)com.

  23. Lilyana8324 says:

    Hello, Im extremely interested in your chocolate stout beer. However I live in GA usa. Can you please inform me as to how I can purchase some .

    • Thanks for your interest. Sadly, we do not distribute to GA. There are a couple of online retailers that are able to ship into certain states. You may want to try Our chocolate milk stout will be available again in January. Cheers!

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