Showcasing Brewers’ Creativity Leads to Small Batch Festival for Odell

Connecting with the local community and giving brewers a chance to showcase their creativity is behind the Small Batch Festival at Odell Brewing.

The 27th largest brewery in the country brews nearly 100 pilot beers each year. In May, the brewery will have its sixth such festival, which debuted in 2007 and has gone on since every year that the brewery hasn’t been busy expanding. It will be the second year in a row this year for Odell.

“We wanted an opportunity to showcase those [100 beers] to our fans,” said Odell Community Manager Kristen Wood.

All of Odell’s seasonal and year-round beers were born on the pilot system, so this isn’t just a chance to sample one-offs, but future popular brands from the brewery as well.

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And although Wood said that the festival is mainly attended by locals, about 40 percent of the consumers at the festival are tourists that either come for the festival or make a stop since they are in the area.

It takes great deal of coordination between the brewery’s taproom manager, the pilot brewing manager, and the Special Events Manager to facilitate the timing between brewing and aging of a number of the pilot brews,” Wood said, but getting ideas for the 40 small batches that will be ready in late May isn’t a problem.

“It takes an enormous amount of creativity, but we’re never short on that around here since so many of the co-owners are involved in brewing on the pilot system,” she said.

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