MBAA-RMD Press Release – February 2016

On February 10, 2016, Rocky Mountain District held its winter meeting at Dry Dock Brewing Company’s North location. The meeting started with social hour and self-guided tours around the facility followed by announcements and dinner.

Business announcements began with President Dana Johnson thanking Dry Dock for hosting the meeting. Past-President John Kemp introduced this year’s e-board again as a re-cap from the meeting at Coors in November. He also talked about upcoming events scheduled for this next year: on May 20th Colorado State University will be hosting the RMD Technical Summit and World Beer Congress coming up in August from the 13th to the 17th. The annual out-of-towner was also brought up at this time, taking place on the weekend of July 9th and planned for Salida right now. MillerCoors will be our last quarterly meeting this year and the date is not set as of right now.

Kevin DeLange, one of the owners of Dry Dock, presented first on the importance of developing standard operating procedures (SOPs). Dry Dock produced over 20,000 barrels of beer last year with their expansion into their North Dock facility, which houses a 40 barrel, 4 vessel system. This facility with planned expansions should be able to boost their overall volume to 60,000 barrels in the upcoming years. Kevin opened his presentation talking about the purpose of SOPs and why they are important: they focus on quality, it allows for transparency through departments, helps with efficiency improvements, and is a living document, allowing all employees to be involved with reviewing and modifying them. Kevin then went over their in-house procedures for developing them and the process of reviewing and approving them. He also gave examples of not only departments having them, but specifics as well to elaborate on how detail oriented they need to be, for example not just having a single brewhouse SOP, but one for each step along the way such as lautering, boil, whirlpool, etc.

The second presenter was Dan Driscol of Avery Brewing Company presenting on “Multiple Yeast Strain Management: A Genetic Approach”. Avery uses multiple yeast strains consistently and keeping beer uniformity is a big deal. Dan opened his presentation discussing what quality assurance questions need to be addressed to make this happen, driving home the point of beer consistency via yeast health while maintaining 40+ different brands per year being produced by 6 different yeast strains for the majority of the brands. Dan went on to discuss their quality control program for monitoring bacterial contamination or yeast cross-contamination, with the first step in detection occurring in the lab on agar plating followed by sensory data backing this up. This is important to look at as any beer that is no longer sellable costs money and time at the end of the day. To help aid in preventing this and adding another step of security, Dan reached out and was working with the University of Colorado’s BioFrontiers Campus, the Robin Dowell Lab in particular. This lab is a next generation sequencing lab that is helping to develop various genetic markers per yeast strain to allow for real-time identification via PCR. By doing this, Avery is able to look at any fermentation or yeast source they want and test for specific genes to ensure only the desired flavor compounds are being developed, typically due to a cross-contamination of yeast strains. Dan talked about the downsides to this method and the amount of work necessary for this due to it being yeast strain specific, and consequentially brewery specific, and the cost of the tests. Dan wrapped up his presentation reminding everyone that consistency matters and to invest in getting a better understanding of your beer.

Big thanks to Kevin and Dan for their presentations and information shared with the district.

dan driscoll at Dry Dock

Kevin DeLange at Dry Dock

MBAA-RMD Press Release – August 2015

On August 11, 2015, Rocky Mountain District held its fall meeting at Avery Brewing Company. The meeting started with social hour, tours of the new facility, and dinner.

Vice President Dana Johnson started the formal meeting with introducing John Bryce, the new Technical Director. John gave a brief presentation on “What can the MBAA do for you?”. The presentation gave a brief history on the MBAA, from its founding in 1887 to its focus on its values, especially being all-inclusive and welcoming of everyone that is interested. John then went on to describe the various resources and tools available online to members, including past technical quarterlies, webinars, and courses and scholarships that are offered through the program. John wrapped up his presentation with using social media as a tool to help reach more people in the brewing industry.

Dana then went on to introduce Dodie Doyle, Entertainment Chair, who talked on the upcoming out-of-towner and technical meeting in Steamboat Springs in October. Jeff Callaway, the Director of Industry Outreach for Colorado State University’s Fermentation Science and Technology program, spoke briefly on the program as well as spoke of a couple of job opportunities through the program. President John Kemp followed up with Jeff’s talk with reaffirming the MBAA-RMD’s commitment to CSU’s program with ongoing donations over the years to come. John then wrapped up the smaller presentations with thanking Avery for their hospitality.

Dana then introduced Andy “Hollywood” Parker, who presented on how to be successful with a barrel aging program. Andy is the Barrel Herder at Avery and heads their special projects. He helped start their barrel aging program 10 years ago, starting with 12 barrels of beer at a time. They started the program with 30 physical barrels, have grown to house 1100 currently, and are expecting to have close to 2500 by December. The two main points that Andy presented on were the importance of selecting the right equipment and establishing good quality practices. Andy went over various pieces of equipment for putting the beer into the barrels as well as de-barreling the beer and the pros-and-cons of each piece along with what the overall goal of each step is. With quality, Andy brought up the importance of tasting and checking barrels individually over time, with heavy emphasis on having multiple people tasting the barrels as everyone’s palette is different and can pick up different flavor characters at varying intensities.

Andy Parker (left) presenting to MBAA-RMD at Avery Brewing Company - August 11, 2015
Andy Parker (left) presenting to MBAA-RMD at Avery Brewing Company – August 11, 2015

After Andy’s presentation, Dan Driscol from Avery was lined up as the second speaker but the meeting had ran out of time so he will be presenting on a future date.
Dana then gave the closing remarks. He reminded everyone of the out-of-towner coming up and thanked Avery again for their hospitality.

The next district meeting will be held at MillerCoors Brewing in Golden, Colorado, in November.

Tony Rau
Publicity Chair
Master Brewers Association of the Americas – District Rocky Mountain
August 2015

Click here to download a copy of this Press Release

Register for the MBAA-RMD Meeting – August 11, 2015


Join us for our next MBAA-RMD Meeting on
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
5:30pm – 9:00pm

The meeting will be held at
Avery Brewing Company
4910 Nautilus Court
Boulder, CO 80301


Important Note!
There will be a shuttle service for the first 40 people, on a first come, first serve basis. If we do not fill the shuttle near capacity, we will have to cancel, and issue refunds.

Register for the MBAA-RMD Meeting – May 13, 2015


Join us for our next MBAA-RMD Meeting on
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
5:15pm* – 9:00pm

The meeting will be held at
The Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins
2351 Busch Dr
Fort Collins, CO 80524

*Brewery Tour is from 5:15-6:00pm.
If you register for the brewery tour, you must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes.
For all others, check-in for the Social/Dinner will be at The Biergarten at 6:00pm.

Head Brewer position in Denmark available

Attractive Head Brewer position offered at one of Denmark’s most ambitious craft breweries!

Ebeltoft GardbryggeriPeder Zacho Hansen, who owns and runs Ebeltoft Gårdbryggeri together with his wife, Helle, is extremely ambitious and has plans to move the brewery to the next level in terms of both capacity and technology, from the current manual 15 HL brewhouse and plethora of odd sized tanks producing about 1,500 HL per year to an automated 30 – 50 HL brewhouse with matching tanks. Also in terms of beer styles, Peder is keen to innovate, slowly moving the portfolio from the current range of relatively traditional styles into more unchartered waters including barrel aging, sour- and brettanomyces beers, Nordic Beer (beers based on the local terroir and ingredients).

But Peder desperately and urgently needs a qualified head brewer – preferably American – to relieve him of a significant part of the work load as well as to offer sparring on the development of the beers and the brewery. To that end I’ve offered to help by contacting my trusted friends and colleagues in the US and Canada – that’s you! – in the hope that you might know somebody with the right profile and an interest in spending a couple of years abroad in a position that will offer unique opportunities for professional and personal development.

Here are a few basic facts about the position offered:

Time Frame: The job is available here and now, so the sooner it can be filled, the better!
Peder is looking for a minimum employment period of one year (with a 3 month trial period), but these issues may be negotiated.

Profile of applicants: A minimum of 3 – 4 years work experience in a smaller craft brewery. Ability to work independently and take full responsibility for the entire brewing process, physically strong and healthy and willing to perform all brewery related tasks, including bottling, cleaning, housekeeping, etc.

Salary: According to qualifications. A typical salary for a Danish Head Brewer will be 4,000 to 5,000 $ US monthly (but taxes here in Denmark are crazy – count on 40 – 50 % in income tax on the salary). Full insurance coverage is included.

Working hours: The standard workweek is Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, but a reasonable degree of flexibility is required on a ‘give and take’ basis, so compensation for overtime will be offered.

Accommodation: The brewery is situated in a rural area, 15 mins from the town of Ebeltoft, and the employer will assist in finding suitable accommodation, for which the rent is not covered by the conditions of employment.

For more information or if you are interested, please email Finn Knudsen

MBAA-RMD Press Release – February 2015

On February 2, 2015, Rocky Mountain District held its winter meeting at Fort Collins Brewery. The meeting started with social hour and food followed by an optional tour around the brewery.
Business announcements began with President Jonathan Kemp welcoming new members and introducing some of the new members to the e-board as well as some role changes to existing board members. The new treasurer, Carly Brown, went over our current state of finances. Ali Hamm, the secretary and head of memberships, proceeded to announce that our district now has over 300 members. Next, Katie Fromuth, Technical Co-chair – Quality Assurance, reminded members that if their workplace is interested in hosting a meeting to contact her, as the meeting place for August has yet to be determine. Katie then proceeded to introduce the first speaker.

MBAA RMD February 2015Thomas Barnett, the Operations Manager at Fort Collins Brewery, was the first speaker and went over the history of the brewery. The brewery opened in 2003 as a German lager producing facility at the location Funkwerks currently resides. In 2004, the brewery changed ownership, being purchased by Tom and Jan Peters and began to brew ales. In 2008 they started to plan the current location of the brewery and restaurant and moved to the location in 2010. Thomas went over the technology they had purchased along the way to help foster creativity as well as help increase the quality of beer, two important aspects to growing breweries. He concluded with touching on the barrel program they are launching and giving hints at what to look forward to.

The second presenter was Troy Casey, creator of Casey Brewing and Blending. Opening in 2013, Troy presented on what makes them unique as well as the importance of using local ingredients. The beers are 100% barrel fermented and the wort is supplied from another local brewery that uses Casey’s ingredients and instructions before being transported back to Casey Brewing and transferred into the oak. The ingredients Troy uses are very unique, as over 99% of the ingredients come from Colorado. He went on to talk about the pro’s (supporting local, typically organic, differentiation in the marker) and cons (small production size, variability in crops, more expensive at times). Tory believes Farmer’s markets are the easiest and typically best ways to find local ingredients as well as get to know the growers. With that, it can take some planning and communication to know what is coming up, but Colorado is a great source for most fruits: peaches, apricots, cherries, apples, pears, plums, and grapes. Brewing with local ingredients such as the fruit “isn’t easy or perfect but is worth it”. An added benefit of getting to know the growers and local sources is that if they currently do not have what you are looking for, they can be easier to talk to about getting what you need.

After the presentations were complete, Thomas (left) and Troy (right) were given MBAA engraved beer steins as gifts. Thanks to them both for insightful presentations!

The next district meeting will be held at the Fort Collins Anheuser-Busch facility on May 13th, 2015.

Tony Rau
Publicity Chair
Master Brewers Association