MBAA District Rocky Mountain Press Release – February 2014

The Rocky Mountain District had the pleasure of holding our winter meeting on February 10th at Boulder, Colorado’s newest brewery: Sanitas Brewing Company.

Business announcements began with President Jonathan Kemp welcoming new members. Next, Entertainment Chair Tamar Banner announced the date change of the district Out-of-Towner in Saratoga, Wyoming to the 19-21 September 2014. Technical co-chair Jeff Biegert next reminded members to stay tuned for more details of our 2014 Technical Summit on May 7 at Colorado State University: look forward to a full-day event of oral and poster presentations, and chance to connect with colleagues and suppliers. Jeff then announced our district would provide an endowment to the new Colorado State University Fermentation Sciences undergraduate degree program, in the amount of $1000/year for the next 5 years. The program began in Fall 2013, and offers students a Bachelors of Science in Fermentation Sciences as part of CSU’s Food Science and Health Nutrition department. For more information, contact Jeff Callaway:

Next, the first speaker Michael Memsic, co-founder of Sanitas Brewing Company presented his talk titled: “Why us, and why now,” describing the history of Sanitas brewing. “First you need a team,” and Michael partnered with former Boulder Brewing Company co-worker Chris Coyne, and design expert Zach Nichols. In his presentation, Michael addressed his challenges of being just another new Colorado brewery: “Do we all fit on the shelf? Can we all live this dream?” His conclusion was that if the beer is good, and the craft brewing sector keeps growing as it has, then the answer is… yes!

Our keynote speaker was Joshua Cody, co-owner of Colorado Malting Company and 4th generation barley grower in the Alamosa Valley, CO, representing “the epitome of family-run business,” which pioneered the craft malting business in 2008, and is the only malthouse in the world that grows the barley they malt. The San Luis Valley in southeast Colorado at 7544ft elevation is an ideal place to grow malting barley, with cool temperatures and low humidity. The valley historically, and still is today, a major source of barley destined to Coors malting facility in Golden, CO.
Joshua presented the argument that local, malted barley is nothing new: “We are 100% local. This is not just a niche market; it is the future of business! Or rather the history.” With 5,000% growth in the last 5 years, the Cody family will soon be malting 30,000 lbs a week. They also offer custom malting!

Our meeting concluded with a gift of MBAA stainless engraved beer steins to both Michael and Joshua. Thank you for the great presentations!


Ali Hamm
MBAA Rocky Mountain District Secretary/Publicity Chair/Web Manager