This fall, Fort Collins, Colorado’s Odell Brewing Company will turn twenty-five years old.
4 years ago
To celebrate its silver anniversary, on September 22 the brewery will kick off a week of events that will include a Silver Lining soiree benefit for the Food Bank of Larimer County, throwback beers, special food pairings, live music, and more. The brewery will also release a special anniversary beer during the week: 180 Shilling, a double version of the brewery’s flagship 90 Shilling. It boasts a hearty roasted malt base balanced by subtle earthy hops; it is aged on oak to create notes of toffee, plum, vanilla, and dried cherry.
Odell Brewing opened in 1989, just after Doug and Wynne Odell moved to Fort Collins from Seattle. Doug had been an active homebrewer, strongly influenced by the northwest brewing pioneers, so the couple decided to take his passion commercial. Doug’s sister, Corkie, lived in Fort Collins and scoped out a location to start the brewery. Shortly after Doug and Wynne’s move, Corkie joined them in opening the brewery in an old converted grain elevator. It was the second packaging craft brewery to open in the state of Colorado, and the first in Fort Collins.
During the first five years, the popularity of Odell’s handcrafted draft-only ales caught on. Soon, a larger facility was needed to handle the increasing demand, and a whole new brewery was built in 1994 at the current location. In 1996, a packaging line was installed, and the brewery introduced bottles for the first time. After many years, several brewery expansions, and a packaging re-brand, Odell Brewing expects to produce about 100,000 barrels of beer this year. It currently employs just more than 100 people, and sells a diverse portfolio of craft beers across eleven states.
Odell Brewing will also commemorate its twenty-fifth year with a special collaboration beer brewed with Boulevard Brewing (Kansas City, Missouri) later this fall. Boulevard also got its start twenty-five years ago (and just one day before Odell Brewing). The Boulevard/Odell collaboration—Class of ’89, an English Strong Ale—will be released in mid-November with a series of events and celebrations across the breweries’ collective distribution areas. But you can join Doug Odell and John MacDonald, the founders of Odell Brewing Co. and Boulevard Brewing Co., respectively, as they introduce Class of ’89 on October 3 at Freshcraft during GABF.
Photos courtesy of Odell Brewing Co.