For our Rocky Mountain District’s August meeting, we had the pleasure of being hosted by Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, CO. Since our last meeting at Odell over a year ago, the company has undergone major expansions. The brewhouse expanded from a 50 barrel capacity to 100 barrels, along with 8 new 400 barrel outdoor conditioning tanks, including 7 fermenters and 1 bright tank. Also worth mentioning is their newly renovated indoor taproom and outdoor patio, complete with two bars, fire pit, and stage for live music.
With an attendance of approximately 150, members enjoyed Odell’s Matt Bailey’s “Brewhouse Expansion Considerations” presentation. Matt’s mantra throughout his talk rang “plan for growth!” More specifically, 15-20% growth, to keep up with demand for craft beer. Matt emphasized the value of learning from fellow craft brewing friends from (but not limited to) New Belgium, Left Hand, Brooklyn Brewing, Victory and Troegs, who have recently recovered from the growing pains of expanding brewing operations. In Matt’s words: “See [other brewery’s] installations and learn what is liked and not liked.”
Yet choosing a brewhouse is only a part of expanding a brewery’s capacity. Important considerations he presented ranged from level of automation to raw material receiving and storage, and perhaps most important, maintaining coworker involvement and morale during the entire process.
From a practical standpoint, Matt emphasized the importance of designing new buildings around future expansion. Odell Brewing has designed both roofs and floors for future additions of tanks, with crane access. Also, it is important to communicate to suppliers of hardware and raw materials alike on the specifics of your expansion, and to work with them to meet your needs.
Prior to Matt’s presentation, our district business meeting started off on a positive note with President Jon Kemp reporting that our district is financially well-off, and is looking to use excess funds towards scholarships. All members are encouraged to apply! Ali Hamm, PhD candidate at Colorado State University, accepted a $500 scholarship for her trip to MBAA National Conference in Austin, TX, where she gave an oral presentation.
Entertainment Chair Tamar Banner provided more details on our districts Out of Towner meeting September 19-21 in Saratoga, Wyoming, complete with 4 technical sessions, plenty of outdoor activities, and of course, the annual horseshoe tournament! More information and registration can be found at rockymountainmbaa.com.
Technical Director Co-chair Jeff Biegert next put out a call for members to apply for eBoard positions, including, but not limited to: Treasurer, Secretary, Technical chair, and Technical co-chair. Our district is forever grateful for the volunteer services the eBoard members have contributed (many for over 10 years!)
Our next Rocky Mountain District meeting will be the MBAA-ASBC Joint Meeting held this fall. The location and date will be announced soon on our website www.rockymountainmbaa.com.
Your Rocky Mountain District Secretary