Brewery concerts add another dimension to Northern Colorado music

A man plays guitar and sings in the corner of a room.

Musician Dee Tyler performs at Odell’s Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado as part of the business’s weekly concert series.

Craft breweries have become a large part of the Northern Colorado landscape and, with a number of breweries hosting live music, their appeal may be growing even more.

According to a Denver Post article published on February 12, 2014, Colorado has 217 active permitted breweries, 24 of which are located in Northern Colorado. With the music scene also expanding in the region, some breweries have decided that combining the two is a perfect fit for business.

“Live music is a lot of fun. It’s culture and I think what we’re doing here at Odell with our craft and our passion about our product and wanting to share that with people that come in and want to get excited about what we’re doing,” said Lynsey Bates, the merchandise and music manager at Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins. “The parallel with music is tight. Musicians want to share their craft and get what they’re doing out there. The two kind of go perfectly together.”

Odell Brewing Co., which will have been in Fort Collins for 25 years come September, hosts music concerts every Wednesday at 4 p.m., and every Sunday at 3:30 p.m. during the summer. Even though the company has been hosting concerts for nearly 10 years, Bates said the appeal of live music has not dwindled a bit.

“I know there are people that come here every Wednesday for the live music. And sometimes we have more kids than adults in here, especially now that we’ve got this beautiful backyard area and an outdoor stage when it’s nice out,” Bates said.

Not all breweries have an outdoor stage but some still have weekly concerts. This is the case for Big Beaver Brewing Co. in Loveland, which hosts shows every Sunday.

“We look at any way we can support a small business, especially a local one, because that’s a big priority for us. I think you can consider local artists as small businesses,” said KatiLyn VanNosdall, the marketing director for Big Beaver Brewing Co.

VanNosdall said the company originally received recommendations from customers that asked for live music and, now, the company has been hosting local acoustic acts for three years. The results, according to VanNosdall, have been resoundingly positive.

“It’s really a win-win situation for everyone involved. It makes it fun for the customers, it’s good for the brewery because it brings in new customers and it’s good for the artists because they get exposure,” VanNosdall said.

According to Dee Tyler, a local musician who played at Odell Brewing Co. on July 30, VanNosdall is right. Tyler, who is a member of the local bands Patti Fiasco and Hwy 287, has played at the brewery four times and said the environment is especially great for songwriters.

“It’s not a whole lot different than other gigs, but there’s definitely a different, unique vibe. More people are listening to your songs and the songwriting because it’s earlier and no one is there to party,” Tyler said.

Music and craft brewing will be shown on a much larger scale on Saturday August 8 during the Gnarly Barley Brew Festival. The festival features 26 craft brewers and four different bands playing two-hour sets.

Two beers sit on a counter as a woman works in the background.

KatiLyn VanNosdall prepares food at Big Beaver Brewery in Loveland, Colorado on Thursday July 31.

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