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