Constructing Community

In January, Corkie Odell and I met with the lovely executive director of Northern Colorado’s Habitat for Humanity, Kristin Candella, to see how Odell Brewing could partner with them in 2013. It quickly became apparent to Corkie and I just how wonderful the impact a Habitat build is to our greater Fort Collins neighborhood. With a limited budget and resources, we puzzled over how we could make the most powerful impact in our community through a Habitat project. And then it struck us- the craft beer industry offers a unique opportunity of inclusion. Inclusion of our industry peers, inclusion of our fans (which we all happen to share), and inclusion of the amazing, supportive communities that have given us our success. It only made sense that we reach out to our skillful assemblage of dedicated, passionate brewers here in Fort Collins and get the other breweries on board to help us craft a home and hope for a deserving Northern Colorado family.

Kristin and her cohorts at Habitat seemed thrilled by the idea (I hope that’s still true ;) and with precision, helped us create a project plan, gather our peers and get everyone on board. Collectively we decided to use the platform of Community Funded crowd funding to draw on craft beer believers everywhere to help us fund the project and get the “bricks and sticks” planned and paid for.


My clever co-worker, Amanda, named the project the “House That Beer Built,” and it gained a face when our creative, Reagan, designed its logo. Then we were bestowed our family. After the horrors of last summer’s fires and the amazing support of the breweries in fire recovery efforts, we were fortunate to receive a family who lost their home in Rist Canyon to the High Park Fire. Candace Andrasik is a single mom of 3 lovely kiddos and a huge part of her canyon community. She is the pre-school administrator for Stove Prairie School, and Habitat received piles of endorsement letters from the people whose lives she has touched. We were all thrilled to be honored with the task of ensuring that the Andrasiks not only were able to rebuild their house, but that they are able to move into a home, built on the property that they know and love, built with the passion and collaborative spirit of the craft brewing industry and all of our incredible fans!

Each brewery that joined this extraordinary project, Black Bottle Brewery, Coopersmith’s, C.B. & Potts, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, New Belgium Brewing, Pateros Creek Brewing and, Odell Brewing, made commitments to serve a specialty brew in our tap rooms and proceeds would support the build. Everyone went above and beyond to provide rewards on Community Funded and Equinox even hosted a dunk tank during New West Fest! Visitors were able to purchase balls to dunk brewery co-workers from all 8 breweries (into freezing cold “Dunkel” of course!) and they raised almost $800 (and had a blast!)! Way back in June after brewers from all of our wonderful Fort Collins breweries had come together to brew collaborative beers in a project called “Collusion,” Black Bottle Brewery donated all Collusion sales to the House That Beer Built to the tune of more than $3,500.00! We have seen unbelievable support from other folks related to our industry as well; GoWest T-shirt Company has donated all of the House That Beer Built shirts that we are selling in our tap rooms and giving as a reward for a $30 donation on the Community Funded site. Lightening Labels donated stickers of the project logo and we found ourselves in full swing launching the CF page on July 1st.

Today, August 21, 2013, we have reached almost $68,000 of our $100,000 goal to get this house built! We are entering the home stretch, in fact, Habitat has tapped the dollars that we have put in, scraped, begged for and raised and started construction! The Andrasiks’ foundation is poured and Monday, representatives from all of the breweries will be onsite for the wall raising. We are moving forward; but we still need your help! In addition to the $10,000 donation we sent over to the project a few weeks ago, we would like to inspire, beseech and wrangle a donation from each of our fans in the form of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can spare. Please check out the Community Funded page and get some delicious craft beer, some locally roasted Mugs coffee beans, Mouco Cheese, or more and we’ll match your donation up to $5,000.00! We are certain that we can hit that $100,000.00 mark in the next 12 days, but we need your help! We need the help of your friends, and your grandma, and your kid’s teacher and tax specialist. Tell everybody, and make sure that you tell them the more people they tell, the less help it will take from them!

It’s also “go time!” Please help us do the dirty work! If you would like to dedicate some time to helping your local craft brewers and the Andrasiks actually build this house, please visit Habitat’s volunteer page!



_MG_0378Karla is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from CSU 10 years ago and made Fort Collins her home. She has been given the extraordinary opportunity to work at making it a better place through her employment as Community Outreach Coordinator at Odell Brewing Company.