Odell Brewing hopes to revitalize former nursing school near Sloan’s Lake

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DENVER (KDVR) — From the bones of an old building right near Sloan’s Lake, Odell Brewing is hoping to bring something new to the scene this spring

“I’m very excited to be interacting with our community down here,” head brewer Marni Wahlquist said.

The brewery’s new spot opens Monday, after the pandemic slowed down it’s plans for the past year.

“We’ve had to be flexible and kind of get ready for what changes came our way, in terms of closing our tap rooms down for a couple months, or the can shortage that we’ve experienced,” said CEO Eric Smith.

Since March of 2020, 33 breweries have shut down in Colorado and in total more than 13,000 jobs were lost in the industry – including brewery staff, distribution companies, marketing and more. But the state is slowly gaining those jobs back with openings like these.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Smith. “We love when we can contribute not only by not laying people off, that we did in both of our taprooms in Fort Collins and in Denver, but then adding 30 jobs to the market and then hiring people from this neighborhood that we’ve done as well.” 

Smith said the location was a draw and they’re doing something new at this spot – brick oven pizza.

“Very ingredient focused. I look for the farmer, and then I make my pizzas from there,” chef Isaiah Ruffin said.

This brewery will also feature unique beers for consumers.  

“They’re always looking for what’s new, what’s next, and different flavor profiles,” said Smith.  

 Think of it as a laboratory to test out small batches for Wahlquist, who says it’s her dream job.

“Have more bandwidth in my work to do that and get more creative and really focus on my brewing,” she said.

The Kuhlman building used to be a nursing school and dorm part of St. Anthony’s Hospital campus. You can find old pictures of what life used to be like at Odell’s taproom.

“People always want to be with others, so that’s what I hope we get back to, where patios are full and people are enjoying beers together,” Smith said.

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