Odell Brewing Coming to Chicago

Breaking: Odell Brewing Entering Illinois in February

In Press Release by Karl

Bring on some more beers from Fort Collins.

Exciting news for Illinois drinkers comes from Colorado today – beers from Fort Collins’ Odell Brewing are coming to Illinois via Breakthru Beverage.

Odell has long been in our list of “top five breweries we’d love to see come to Chicago”. (The top of the list, Short’s, announced their arrival to Illinois earlier this year. Others on the list include Ninkasi and Perrin.) We’ve grown to appreciate their well-balanced, thoughtful offerings over a few trips to Colorado and also thanks to friends and family hauling 12-packs back from the state.

They make damn good beer, which is why they’ve grown to one of the largest craft breweries in the country — #32 on last year’s Brewers Association list – without any beer being east of the Mississippi. Opening up Chicago should only further push their growth and having their beers – specifically 90 Shilling and Myrcenary – available regularly makes us pretty happy. It also, in our mind, reaffirms the Chicago market as one of the best places in the nation to drink craft beer.

Folks who only follow local beer news would probably recognize Odell as the brewery responsible for forcing the name change of Mercenary Brewing & Distilling to what we now know as Maplewood. Odell claimed that the Mercenary name was too close to their Myrcenary Double IPA for trademark comfort, which prompted the name change.

More on the story comes from the Coloradoan back in April 2015:

“The average person is paying no attention to how it’s spelled necessarily,” said Odell co-founder and CEO Wynne Odell, adding that her attorneys advised sending a cease-and-desist letter to end the matter.

“In every other case we have called (the other brewery) first, but in this case we didn’t feel we had the time or option,” she said.

The owners of Chicago’s Mercenary-turned-Maplewood wrote in a press release: “We offered Odell multiple potential solutions and explained that we have been using the name Mercenary (albeit informally) since we began homebrewing in 2007. However, as is their legal right, Odell did not allow us to continue to use any form of the word ‘Mercenary.’ Odell was kind enough to allow us to run through our current label stock prior to the name change, which we appreciate.”

Soon, you’ll be able to drink the beer they fought over, without the hassle of booking a flight to Denver.

The full press release follows:

Odell Brewing Coming to Chicago

Odell Brewing Expands Distribution to Illinois

Fort Collins, CO. – Odell Brewing has partnered with Breakthru Beverage to bring the Colorado-based brewery’s beers to Illinois. Distribution will include both draft and package available throughout the entire state starting in February.

“I always said that we wouldn’t distribute in Chicago unless the Cubs won the World Series,” noted Founder, Doug Odell. “All kidding aside, Illinois has long been one of the nation’s leading markets. These folks know beer, and as a brewery that has largely distributed in the Rocky Mountain region, we’re excited to step into our first state east of the Mississippi River.”

Odell Brewing plans to launch with bottles, cans, and draft. The brewery will bring its flagship, 90 Shilling, along with Odell IPA, Drumroll APA, Myrcenary Double IPA, seasonal offerings including Runoff Red IPA, limited releases of Tree Shaker Imperial Peach IPA, and Cellar Series offerings starting with Friek Raspberry & Cherry Sour and Dark Theory Black Cherry Sour. The brewery’s launch in Illinois will mark the 14th state within its distribution footprint.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Odell Brewing for their Illinois expansion. We’ve been working together for many years in Colorado and we’re looking forward to building on that already stellar relationship,” said Kevin Roberts, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Breakthru Beverage. “Odell Brewing is the 32nd largest craft brewery in the country, and of those who rank higher, all but two are already available in Illinois. While it’s over 900 miles away, Illinois craft drinkers know Colorado and they know Odell Brewing. This is one of the most requested and anticipated breweries we could hope to add to the region.”

The brewery will open the state with events happening in Chicago and Downstate Illinois starting in February. For more information and launch week details, please visit odellbrewing.com/events/.

About Odell Brewing – Odell Brewing is an independent, family and employee owned regional craft brewery. Since 1989, the culture of family and collaboration has thrived, fostering a brewery full of beer-centric people. It is this passion for beer that inspires Odell Brewing to create quality, hand-crafted and innovative brews. Odell Brewing is committed to providing exceptional service to its customers while making positive contributions to their co-workers and community through its outreach and charitable giving programs. Odell Brewing was named the “Best Medium Sized Company to Work For” in Colorado in 2015 and is the 32nd largest craft brewery in the United States.

About Breakthru Beverage – Breakthru Beverage was formed by joining substantial holdings of The Charmer Sunbelt Group and Wirtz Beverage Group. The company employs more than 7,000 associates and with its affiliates has operations across the US and Canada. For more information, visit BreakthruBev.com.


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About the Author



Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago, AskMen and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers.If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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