It is not every day a lifelong hobby realizes itself into a dream-come-true. That’s just what happened when Odd 13 Brewing Inc. co-creators Ryan Scott and his wife Kristin decided to take a plunge into the unknown by turning Scott’s home brewing hobby into a now-booming beer-brewing business.
A fixture in the adorable and quiet neighborhood of East Simpson Street in Lafayette, Colorado, the brewery is located at the heart of the what was once the town’s business epicenter. The lot itself was home to the town’s movie theater, where movies played for a mere dime. Today, the brewery is a flagship in the revitalization of Old Town Lafayette, becoming a hotspot for old-meets-new in this up-and-coming neighborhood. (Since Odd 13 Brewing opened its doors in 2013, East Simpson has seen tremendous growth including the creation of Lafayette Commons, the revamping of several businesses on the 400 block of E. Simpson, and the ongoing construction of an upscale residential cluster of 19 high-end townhomes adjacent to Odd 13.)
“I’ve medaled in every (regional home brewing) competition I’ve entered,” Scott, who hails from Flint, Michigan, recalled about his proven success as a home brewer. He contributes his phenomenal successes to researching each competition beforehand and by listening to pod casts from The Brewing Network, which he said is where he learned everything he knows about brewing. It was when friends and family members who tasted Scott’s creations started asking ‘Who made this?’ that his wife, Kristin, who holds an MBA, decided to encourage Scott to create his beers on a larger scale.
“It was her idea.” Scott said he thought his hobby might keep him entertained when he retired, but because they have seen craft breweries throughout Colorado succeed on a smaller scale than mass production, he and his wife knew this dream was within reach. So, the couple and their two children, now both of school age, would start to build their dream in the quaint former coal mining town of Lafayette, becoming one of the city’s first breweries in August 2013.
From longtime residents to the new crowd, patrons can be found imbibing on the brewery’s kid-and canine-friendly outdoor courtyard patio, or relaxing during an afternoon rainstorm in the modern industrial taproom. Perfect for an after work brew or just hanging out on a Saturday afternoon, Odd 13 Brewing has a home-y feel that has exceeded the Scotts’ expectations year after year – so much so that they are opening a second production-only facility in the Fall.
Rather than focus traditional pub style ales, Scott described 13’s focus as maximizing hop characteristics and utilizing progressive fermentation techniques to create new flavors not common in conventional beers. Scott says early on he created one Amber Ale and one Blonde Ale – but that wasn’t his thing. Lesson learned, Scott instead wanted to focus on beers that he is passionate about, resulting in a better tasting beer.
Scott said he incorporates mixed culture fermentations and uses progressive hops which pack a mean flavor punch without being too bitter. Because of the moderate bitterness, underlying flavors such as citrus or tropical fruits are able to come through more prevalently. The result, Scott has been able to make true converts out of older patrons who are experiencing craft beers for the first time. “Having bartenders find a flavor to bridge them into what we’re doing is very important to us,” he added.
One of Odd 13’s more unique flavor profiles are its seasonal ‘Sinister Sours’ beers, which are becoming more sought after by beer enthusiasts for their intentionally bold sour flavor profiles which leave your palate puckered and ready for more. Because of Scott’s expertise in making sour beers, he has been asked be a guest on The Brewing Network’s “The Sour Hour,” which airs June 17.
Another signature characteristic of this neighborhood gathering place, is its branding and artwork by Scott’s childhood friend, Jesse Glenn. Seen throughout the brewery and its delivery truck, Glenn’s comic book-inspired characters are also what make Odd 13’s year-round canned beers pop on the shelves of more than 50 retail locations throughout Colorado.
Lafayette’s founder, Mary Miller, was a devout protestant who created a clause in the original town deeds to exclude the sale of alcohol on the east side of what would one day become Public Road. She even made it so no other religious sects other than Protestant could occupy the eastern side. The first church in Lafayette was the church Mary Miller attended regularly; it still stands directly across from Odd 13 Brewing and is currently the location of the Mary Miller Theatre. Because of the no alcohol clause, it has been told that residents living to the east also took to home brewing in order to satisfy their desires, only their alcohol of choice was wine. So it is not far fetched to believe that at one time, residences could have brought their home brewed wine to the very location of Odd 13 to enjoy a nice beverage while they watched a “picture” at the old Jewel Theatre.