On my many beer travels through Colorado, I have come to the stark realization that they know how to put together a better brewery tasting room than we do here in San Diego! I'm not trying to put down our local breweries, who are finally starting to realize that when it comes to a tasting room bigger truly is better, but Colorado identified this fact long ago and has been reaping the rewards ever since. What rewards? The consumer benefits because they can visit a large, comfortable tasting room complete with tables and chairs (what a concept!) and sample the many offerings of their favorite brewery. I have visited quite a few of these tasting rooms that were packed with people all the time, which correlates to more revenue for the brewery, recognition and demand for their beers, and helps establish them as a true landmark in the community that beckons visitors from near and far.
These pictures were taken at Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colorado. They currently only distribute to 10 states, but are quite big in Colorado and are growing fast. I would be surprised if we don't see distribution here before too long as they continue to grow. I believe that their growth is due, in part, to the beautiful facilities that they offer to their guests to enjoy their brews.
Can San Diego, as a brewing community, learn anything from Odell's success? I hope so. Even though we have several nice tasting rooms now throughout the county, I would like to see large tasting rooms become more of the rule, rather than the exception. Our beer here is awesome, so let's make the venues we enjoy them in equally awesome!