Video: Doug Odell Discusses Growth, Succession Planning

Since its launch in 1989, Odell Brewing has prided itself on a core belief that slow, steady growth is the healthiest way to build a beer brand.

Over the last 24 years, Odell has been careful not to grow its distribution footprint beyond ten Rocky Mountain and Western Plain states.

The Fort Collins, Colo.-based craft brewery recently completed an expansion that brings its total production capacity to 250,000 barrels and, while the additional tank space is a welcome sight for a craft brewery that had been butting up against capacity constraints, co-founder Doug Odell said the company doesn’t plan on changing its approach to growth.

“We don’t plan on changing our growth philosophy just because we have new capacity, but it does allow us to go into new markets if we choose to do so,” he said.

A new 135-barrel brewhouse and fermentation cellar adds about 170,000 barrels of new space and Odell said the addition of another lauter tun could eventually bring total capacity to 400,000. With that kind of capacity, private investors and strategic buyers are beginning to take watch. Odell said that he’s begun to explore his own options for exiting the company — something he claims is still “five years away.”

“Over the past year-and-a-half, we have done a lot of investigation and we know a lot more about the potential selling market,” he said.

He said his desire would be to initiate an employee stock ownership program as well as transfer some ownership of the company to the management team.

“That sounds like a favorable outcome, but it takes more investigation,” he said.

In the video above, Odell discusses the brewery’s latest expansion, growth opportunities and succession planning.