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Best Companies to Work For 2015: Odell Brewing Company

Who wouldn't want a weekly beer allotment?


Odell Brewing Co.


Location: Fort Collins

Rank: 1 in the medium company category

The culture: The orientation program immediately immerses new additions into the company culture, matching them with a mentor who takes the new co-worker on a tour of the facility, introduces him/her to other co-workers, answers questions and often will share a beer at the end of the day. Each new hire spends time in each department and rides along to see the beer in the market, helps develop a recipe and brew the beer, and participates in a series of open-book classes with CEO Wynne Odell.

Perks: In addition to a weekly beer allotment, Odell Brewing Co. pays for up to 30 people to attend the Craft Brewers Conference, an event hosted in different cities each year. Employees with tenure of five years or more receive a trip to Europe to explore brewing culture and significant others are invited, too. The Culture Club creates fun, interactive events for co-workers such as movie nights, barbeques, ski trips, Rockies games, Rapids games, beer dinners, concerts, bowling, trivia nights, volleyball and holiday parties.

Giving back: The company donated $100,000 to launch a Fermentation Science major at Colorado State University and has supported a Fermentation Science course for 10 years, contributing a small brewing system for students. Odell Outreach includes Team Build Days with a variety of nonprofits in the area. Projects have included erosion mitigation and flood damage restoration in the Big Thompson Canyon, and planting in fire damaged areas in the Poudre Canyon, as well as “The House that Beer Built,” which brought together nine other Fort Collins breweries to raise $100,000 for a Habitat for Humanity house. 

The inside scoop: “Our focus on wellness and healthy activities has become a bigger area of interest for our co-workers,” one Odell employee shared. “Our social media co-worker said that running in the Colorado Marathon with more than a dozen of her co-workers was wonderful. (During) the Boot Camp Challenge, 20 of us, ranging in age from 24 to 64 are all getting together in our neighborhood park to be tortured by our coach. It is extremely challenging, and we all encourage each other to do our best and push ourselves. Our marketing manager recently said, ‘This place is like a big family. We may not always like what someone is doing, but we all genuinely care about each other.’”

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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