Are you from out of town and looking for a unique brewery to visit in Fort Collins? Looking for interesting beers that you can only get at a brewery and nowhere else? I have such a brewery! One of my favorites is Odell Brewing Company. This year, they began a major expansion, nearly doubling their brewing capacity and more than doubling their tasting room seating. I recently visited and looked over their expansion progress, took in the experience and feel of the brewery, and sampled a couple of their quality beers. My hope is that this write-up will get you to go visit and see it for yourself. It’ll be worth it, I promise.
The expansion at Odell Brewery is almost done. They’ve opened up a few areas, and you can sit on the outside patio at this point. The new outdoor area is truly a fantastic addition with a really cool table made of rock to sit at, a natural gas fire pit, lots of new seating areas divided up with rock walls, beautiful landscaping and lots more room for enjoying the many bands that often play here. What really stands out is the new rock tower that can be seen from afar, and is an incredible and tasteful addition to the new look.
The overall experience of the Odell brewery is pure Colorado at its heart. By this I mean the look has a rustic feel to it with earth tone colors with wood and hand-shaped rocks intertwining everywhere inside and out of the brewery. The feel of Colorado is captured right down to the aspen leaf logo that adorns all of their products. Speaking of products, let’s talk about the beer, which is the real reason I write to you now and why this brewery is a regional stand-out and local favorite.
The beers at Odell never get boring, and are pure genius as well. Consistent and full of flavor, these beers never skimp and the employees here drive a lot of the experimentation into new flavors. Well-balanced always comes to mind when drinking one of their brews. If you can’t figure out what style to decide on here, just ask an employee and they’ll tell you exactly what they’ve been drinking lately. Another option, try their sampler trays that allow you to try 6 different beers and will give you descriptions about what they specifically put into their beers. You can choose between their standards (like 90 Shilling and Easy Street Wheat), pilot beers, and co-pilot beers. These "pilot" and "co-pilot" beers are a rotating line of experimental ales which are made by employees and other collaborators.
On this particular day I tried two different beers that you can only get at the brewery itself. The first beer, if you like IPA’s, was the “Handpicked IPA” which is really worth going to the brewery to try. The aroma and taste for the Handpicked IPA were both very balanced, and hops always come through beautifully in every beer Odell does. The second beer tried was a rare firkin keg tapping called the “Neapolitan Levity Amber Ale”. This beer is a mixture of an Odell standard, their Levity Amber Ale, and Neapolitan ice cream flavoring. This beer is served warm, un-carbonated and really packs a flavorful punch! Whoever put this together should be given the flavorful creativity award.
The people who work and play here are truly genuine, friendly and completely love what they do. It shows in everything they produce. From the look and feel, experience and stellar craft beer the people at Odell really make it a pleasure to visit. Overall, with this brewery being one of my local favorites in Fort Collins, as long as they keep making quality beer over quantity of beer (see Budweiser if you like quantity), this beer drinker will continue to return over and over again. Cheers and happy beer hunting!