Odell Brewing Company is a local craft brewer headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado. When founders Doug and Wynne Odell first moved to Fort Collins, their plans for opening Fort Collin’s first brewery seemed lofty and ambitious. The husband-and-wife team stuck with their dream and opened Odell Brewing Company in 1989. In 2014, Odell Brewing Company had sold 99,517 barrels of beer and look to continue growing into new markets. The company is completely self-funded and looks to keep it that way.
Regardless of how big Odell grows, sustainable and efficient processes will and always have been at the forefront of their local operations. Odell even has a sustainability committee, whose aim is to get input from across business divisions and implement new projects to help improve their carbon footprint as well as their bottom line. With a particular focus on reducing energy and water usage at their brewing and bottling facilities, Odell is one of the leading sustainable brewers in the state of Colorado.
- Energy usage
To see exactly how Odell Brewing takes sustainability to the next level, one must look inside their state of the art brewing facility, powered by 95% wind and the remaining 5% by solar power made possible by the 11,000 square feet of solar panels on site. Solartubes adjust the levels of sunlights that is let in from the outside and automatically turn down the temperature in their warehouses to compensate. Pretty cool if you ask me. Cooler still is how Odell has systems that capture the steam released in the boil process to heat the next brew. The company also uses bio-diesel delivery trucks, which emit 78 percent less CO2 than standard fuel.
- Water usage
As you may already be aware, making beer is a very resource intensive process. One of the main resources the brewing process requires is water. And a lot of it. It normally take around four gallons of water to brew just one gallon of beer. Odell has made some serious modifications to reduce their water usage in the past few years. The first being the installation of special vacuum pumps. The vacuum pumps that Odell installed in 2012 allow the same water to be reused three different times throughout multiple brews and saved the company from using 25 million gallons of water that year alone. More impressive still is how Odell has incorporated porous pavements in its parking lots and sidewalks to collect rain and snowfall into the groundwater used in many of its processes. Perfect for those snowy Colorado winters up in beautiful Fort Collins.
- Locally sourced ingredients
Most famous for its 90 Schilling and Easy Street brands, Odell sells seven year-round favorites. However, they are constantly experimenting with new flavors and varieties, and currently boast eight seasonal options. Regardless of what season they are brewing in, Odell has is a firm believer in using locally sourced ingredients. From barley and hops to the organic fruits and ciders it incorporates in its zestier seasonal varieties, Odell believes this focus on quality further sets their products apart and make for a more enjoyable drinking experience for the customer. It even sells back the spent grain, yeast, and hops to a local dairy farmer to be used as animal feed. They also recently named a beer after this fellow sustainably driven individual. That’s pretty neat.
- Focus on local distribution
Even though Odell Brewing Company has expanded distribution to states outside of Colorado, most recently Texas, they work to maintain a very regionally-focused distribution network. This helps reduce transportation costs and reduce emissions as a result. Odell still does most of their beer sales within their home state of Colorado, with 65% of its sales coming from within the square state. All in all, it is apparent that Odell Brewing Company is making real efforts to add value to its operations as well as to the environment.