Doug Odell’s passion for craft beer
started in the late 70’s when he took his first professional brewery (not brewing) job at San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company. He spent most of his time there scrubbing the mash tun. After his time at Anchor, Doug moved to Seattle where he continued to homebrew, perfected some recipes and met his wife Wynne. While honeymooning in the UK, Doug and Wynne were inspired by the many small breweries that were successfully selling flavorful real ale, and decided they wanted to take Doug’s passion commercial.
Since Washington was already booming with breweries,
Doug and Wynne decided to explore other college towns that were close to a major city and highway. They landed in Fort Collins simply because Doug’s sister Corkie was already living there, and the three of them joined forces to open up the brewery in 1989.
The original brewery was located in 1915 grain elevator just a few blocks from the current brewery sits. Their first commercial release was Odell’s Golden Ale brewed with all malt and a modest hop build. 90 Shilling came along soon after, and remains the brewery’s top selling flagship.
Focusing on a regional slow growth model,
Odell Brewing is now the 34th largest craft brewery in the country distributing beer to just 11 states and a small amount into the UK. While the brewery crafts a variety of beers, its roots are built on British styles. Innovation and creativity meet balance, consistency and quality in each brew.
This balance is a not just a philosophy for the beers Odell Brewing crafts, it’s a foundation for the company as a whole. The brewery’s managed growth strategy has created and fostered a culture of family and collaboration. In 2015, the Odell family founders sold the majority of the company to its co-workers (now co-owners) in a combined management buyout and ESOP.