On Friday, February 20 Brewers Association (BA) staff members Erin Glass, Julia Herz and Chuck Skypeck traveled to Colorado Springs to attend several events uniting craft brewers from across the Rocky Mountain region. The weekend began with the 20th annual Rocky Mountain Microbrewing Symposium (RMMS). Hosted each year by University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, this conference offered a full day of lectures on topics across a broad spectrum of craft brewing disciplines–from technical brewing to Colorado beer history and marketing best practices. The industry-expert speakers passed on their knowledge to nearly 200 attendees.
Highlights of the day included the keynote address, The Latest Craft Malt, delivered by malting and brewing industry veteran Dave Thomas and a look into the business of craft malting by fourth generation barley grower become maltster Jason Cody of Colorado Malting Company. Julia Herz delivered her seminar Getting the Word Out About Craft Beer in her usual energetic fashion.
In addition to the seven lectures, attendees had the opportunity to peruse the exhibitor booths of conference sponsors and sample beers donated by Colorado craft brewers.
The evening commenced with a closing reception hosted at the local brewpub, Phantom Canyon Brewing Co.
As is the case each year, the next day was reserved for a Colorado Brewers Guild (CBG) meeting and their 11th annual Firkin Rendezvous. The CBG meets three times each year, this meeting being the first. Executive Director, John Carlson, led the meeting held at Bristol Brewing. Carlson covered the State and Federal legislative updates, and a presentation outlining the KeepCOlocal.com efforts for the Colorado beverage industry.
Following the meeting it was all-hands-on-deck to tap the firkins and prepare for the festival attendees to arrive. The festival brought in 350 attendees and is an important fundraiser for the CBG.
The weekend’s events are an increasingly valuable opportunity for professional development, networking, and collaboration. As the Colorado brewing industry continues to grow, so does the importance of the well-organized Colorado Brewers Guild.