Fort Collins-based Odell Brewing Co. on Monday officially opened its second brewhouse at 2945 Larimer Street in Denver. The cozy new taproom and 10-barrel pilot system recall the brewery’s 1989 beginnings in a 1915 Northern Colorado grain elevator. Over 29 years and from its expanded facility in Fort Collins, Odell has become the 22nd largest craft brewery in the country.
“For years we’ve explored the potential of a second taproom, and Denver has always been at the top of that list,” the brewery’s CEO and co-founder Wynne Odell said last April when her team landed on the century-old, Larimer street address. They’ve kept its brick bones and created a comfortable two-story taproom with two outdoor patios. From the ground floor fire pits, drinkers can see across the street to Ratio Beerworks; from the back upstairs deck, it’s a straight shot to Epic Brewing. There are more than a dozen breweries in RiNo now. Soon, New Belgium Brewing will open a small brewhouse down the street at The Source Hotel. According to Odell team members, it was time to strengthen their presence in Denver.
“We just want to make sure these beers kick ass,” said Odell’s Denver head brewer Brent Cordle. “There’s a lot of competition down here.” After years running the brewery’s five-barrel pilot system and barrel-aging program in Fort Collins, Cordle got the opportunity to brew a selection of eight or so constantly changing beers for the Denver audience. On tap now on Larimer Street are a guava gose, a “lil RiNo” session IPA, and a margarita “crossover” ale, among other new brews and Odell classics. In a nod to the Denver neighborhood, Cordle says the brewery will feature a series of cocktail beers, starting with the margarita.
Longtime Fort Collins employee Matt Jaspers is managing the new taproom. While Odell’s sprawling Fort Collins bar and patio could see as many as 2,000 drinkers a day this summer, this space will fill up with 200 patrons, he says. Tucked between all the new construction on Larimer Street, it’s a big-for-the-brand but relatively inconspicuous Denver entrance. For those seeking an Odell pint starting Monday, just look for the giant hop wall mural.
Status: Odell Brewing RiNo is now open from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from noon to midnight Thursday through Saturday, at 2945 Larimer Street.