Odell Brewing Company Tour, Ft. Collins, Colorado

Just down the road from New Belgium Brewing, which I told you about last week, is the Odell Brewing Company. That’s where I want to take you this week. It looks just as inviting as New Belgium, and they have a free tour, too.

Their bike racks are shaped like hops:

And I wasn’t kidding – Odell is literally less than a mile from New Belgium. I’d seen Odell beer in local establishments, and I spotted the brewery on our way to New Belgium last trip. My husband and I headed to Odell a couple of weeks ago four their tour, mainly because we’d recently bought a growler from New Belgium. I Amazoned a cover for it so no one would know it was off brand!

If you don’t know what a growler is, here’s the scoop: it’s basically a giant bottle, which usually holds about 64 ounces, or a little over five 12-ounce bottles. It has a stopper or top that prevents the beer from going flat. Breweries will gladly fill your growler from the tap for a little less than those five beers would cost. People use growlers for water and other liquids, too. Beer will stay fresh in the growler for two or three days, depending on how often you open it.

I didn’t really know what a growler was until I moved here, but this place is lousy with local breweries and I learned a lot of beer culture fast. No one is 100% sure why it’s called a growler, but there are several theories. I don’t really believe any of them, but I do like the name ‘growler’. We have the aforementioned insulated, stainless-steel growler from New Belgium and also a 70-ounce glass one from Gordon Biersch. I love the way the glass one looks – very Old-World – but it’s not insulated.

Anyway, we showed up at Odell around 2pm one afternoon. The first thing you see right inside the door is the gift shop – love some of their gear!

The place was very crowded, but the order line moved quickly.

We ordered a couple of flights. Here’s the Classic Tray:

We managed to get in on the last brewery tour of the day at 3pm. A very fast-talking employee took us upstairs to the vats:

Seriously, he talked so fast I could hardly understand him! He also led us around the aging, bottling and warehouse areas:

I was kinda disappointed in the tour. It was only supposed to last 30 minutes, and it ended about then. But the guide talked SO FAST that it was hard to keep up. Also, they didn’t give you any beer til the end, and then it was only one. We skipped that part. I think we were spoiled by the four-beer, 90-minute tour down the road a few weeks prior. If I had any advice for them to improve the tour, I’d say give people a beer or two before or during the tour and either cut down on the vast amount of information given by the guide or extend the tour duration so there is time to enjoy the information given.

But the people were very friendly and seemed to enjoy working there. The service was good. Their grounds are pleasant and you can bring your dog. The beer was good and the tour was free. You can join tours daily at noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, and you can sign up for them online. They have a great website, too! I would put them second on my list after New Belgium for beer taste and ambiance. Odell is worth checking out!

Photo for No Apparent Reason:


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