Doug Odell starting working in the brewery business in the late 1970s at San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing. During a honeymoon trip to the United Kingdom, Doug and his wife, Wynne, sampled beer from very small brewers across the region, and this got them thinking about starting a small craft brewery back in the states.
After a move to Seattle, Doug started homebrewing in earnest. However, by the time he had perfected his beer recipes, Seattle was booming with other microbrewers so he and his wife set out to find another town to launch their brewery. They settled on Fort Collins, Colorado, which met their criteria of being a small college town not far from a major metropolitan area. That location also had the added benefit that Doug’s sister, Corkie, was already living there and was willing to help get the business off the ground.
Idaho is one of only 11 states where one can get Odell’s brews. Odell Brewing ascribes to a “regional slow growth model” to maintain the quality of not only their beer but of the culture of the company as well.
Odell has won gold medals for their IPA, “Runoff;” “5 Barrel Pale Ale;” and “Friek,” a raspberry cherry ale. Along with winning awards for their beer, they were also named the “Best Company to Work For” in Colorado in 2015. The family and employee-owned company makes sure new employee-owners are immediately immersed in the brewery’s culture and encourages them to spend time learning about each department, brewing their own beer, and participating in open-book finance meetings which give employee-owners all relevant financial information about the company so they can make better decisions as workers.
The company also facilitates a variety of cross-departmental committees dedicated to maintaining company culture, wellness, sustainability, and community outreach. On the matter of sustainability, Odell uses much less water than the average brewery, which typically requires seven gallons of water to create just one gallon of beer, whereas Odell uses only four gallons of water. Their brewery is also powered completely with solar and wind power. They also have a goal to generate zero waste to landfills by 2020, and they are already 87 percent of the way there.
One of their community support efforts is their “Charity of the Month” program which provides funding for non-profits that focus on the environment, education, and the humanitarian needs of children-at-risk, single parent families, and the elderly. With “Odell Outreach,” the company solicits employee-owners and their families and friends to participate in hands-on volunteering efforts.
Their beautifully designed website is a treasure trove of beer facts; recipes such as “90 Shilling Rib Eye Marinade,” “Easy Street Wheat Halibut,” and “IPA Lemon Bars;” and even beer-related poetry.
Odell Brewing is committed to maintaining a passion for beer that inspires them to create quality, hand-crafted innovative brews while also fostering a culture of family, collaboration, and community service with a focus on sustainability.
Odell Brewing Snapshot
- Founded in 1989
- Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado
- Family and Employee Owned
- Information from this article and more can be found at: www.odellbrewing.com.
Amy Newsome and family came very close to moving to Fort Collins in 2013. It’s a super cool town but fortunately so is Moscow!