Behind the Scenes at Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

Behind the Scenes

Your ticket into the secret world of boozemaking.

[Photographs: Stevie Caldarola]

Colorado produces more beer per capita than any state in the Union. The state is also home to the Great American Beer Festival and the Brewers Association. There are well over 100 breweries in the state of every conceivable shape, size, and construction. Over the coming months, I will be taking you on a virtual tour of some of the many breweries in the Rocky Mountain state, or as some have aptly renamed it, the Napa Valley of beer.

Odell Brewing Company in the picturesque college town of Fort Collins is one of the most successful and long-standing craft breweries in Colorado. Alongside brands like New Belgium, Great Divide, Avery, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Boulder and Fort Collins, Odell is known and respected throughout the U.S., as well as around the world. Today we'll get a look behind the scenes.

As you tour and drink your way around Odell, you will notice that the building was designed with "green" in mind. Wherever possible, energy is saved or indeed, produced. They've invested heavily in solar panels as well as a large scale environmentally aware cold storage warehouse that constantly adapts to the external temperature of the building. The system draws in frigid air when available, instead of using traditional power-hungry refrigeration. The main brewery roof has ceiling windows to negate the need for typical indoor factory lighting during the daytime.

When visiting Odell, we highly recommend you try as many of the pilot beers as possible, especially the wood aged Brett and sour beers. Odell's Hiveranno and Friek (which won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011) rival the best. Check out the slideshow for a peek into the brewery.

About the Author: Lee Williams grew up in Bristol, England and now resides in Denver, Colorado. In 2009 he founded Hoptopia, a beer review website, iPhone and Android app. He is currently penning his first book, titled Beer Lover's Colorado; due for publication in October. You can follow him on Facebook or on Twitter at @Hoptopia.

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