October marks the season for beer, and this year Colorado celebrated with a frothy glass filled to the brim.
For over 30 years, Colorado has honored its evolving craft brewing culture with hundreds of beer festivals and events that have advanced the legacy of the industry today. These beer festivals are the resource local brewers need to get their product in as many people’s hands as possible.
It’s an opportunity that was acknowledged on the morning of Sept. 29 Tivoli Brewing Tap House with the official kick off ceremony for the eighth annual Denver Beer Festival. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, members of the Colorado Brewers Guild, MSU Denver brewing industry coordinators and Tivoli brewing Co. staff attended the ceremony. It marked the launch of hundreds of upcoming local beer events and the unveiling of the mayor’s new commemorative beer label. Hancock began his speech by expressing what makes the Denver Beer Festival such a special event in our state.
“The Denver Beer fest illuminates, I think, what has become uniquely Denver, and that is our craft beers, and so I want to congratulate Corey Marshall and the Tivoli Brewing for what you are doing,” Hancock said. “This year is particularly special because we are here at the Tivoli, one of our oldest breweries in Colorado, that has a history that dates back to the Civil Rights era. It’s true Colorado and we are excited to be here.”
After 46 years of closed doors, Tivoli Brewing aims to immerse itself back into Colorado’s growing craft beer scene. It’s a significant returning step for the company, and one that founder and CEO Marshall acknowledged at the ceremony.
“Historically, Tivoli brewery has always been a very important component of the brewing culture and history of this state. I think we’re bringing that back with Tivoli Brewing Co.,” Marshall said. “We are obviously in the heart of Denver, and we’re right here across the street from the Great American Beer Festival, and we got a great place to come and visit what the brewing roots of Colorado and Denver are all about.”
The Denver Beer Festival and other approaching local beer events will give consumers a chance to experience hundreds of new flavors from craft breweries around the state. For workers in the industry, it will be the marketing move they need to deliver a strong platform for their product.
“The craft brewing industry was built on events. There were never any big budgets for marketing for these breweries, and what’s really important in the 30-plus years craft beer has been around is putting a beer in someone’s hand and getting that liquid to lips,” said Steve Kurowski, operations director of the Colorado Brewers Guild. MSU Denver students involved in the Brewing Industry Program will also be playing a vital role in making the upcoming festival and other beer events a success. The program is working alongside the Tivoli brewery and helping to give it a spot on the map for the approaching festival season.
“The nice thing for Metropolitan State University is that we have over 40 students in our brewing program now, and they’re able to volunteer at a lot of these events,” said Scott Kerkman, instructor and coordinator for MSU Denver’s brewing industry program.
“The great thing for Tivoli and what they can get out of it, is really just getting people to know them. They’ve only been around a year so they’re still building that brand awareness.”
2016 will mark the eighth year for the Denver Beer fest and the 33rd for the Great American Beer Festival. This will be hosted alongside hundreds of other beer events throughout the month. Hancock’s Mayorzen Tivoli brew will be among thousands of other craft beer labels that will be hitting the streets in October. Colorado is now home to over 350 craft breweries with an industry that has reached $1.7 billion dollars. Many of these craft breweries will be contributing in the approaching beer festival season, helping to make Colorado a top destination for beer drinkers around the country.