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For Craft Beer Week: A Frosty Pint Of Growth, Diversity, And Jobs

Brewer's Association

"Big Week, Small Breweries" is the hook for this year's American Craft Beer Week. In Colorado, the breweries may be small, but there sure are a lot of them.

Colorado’s craft beer industry has lots of special events and offerings up its sleeve this week for American Craft Beer Week, from a tapping of New Belgium’s famed Le Terroir in Fort Collins to a Pig Roast Luau at Big Choice Brewing in Louisville.

Growth of the craft beer industry continues to be strong. Last year the market saw a 17 percent increase in dollar growth. As sales increase, the crowded marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive and forcing brewers to up their game.

Credit Mike Ensor / Flickr - Creative Commons
Flickr - Creative Commons

In order to find out what's ahead for one of Colorado's favorite businesses, we spoke with Steve Kurowski of the Colorado Brewer's Guild.

Interview Highlights

On Colorado growth:

“We’re about $46 million per year in economic revenue. It’s creating about 5,000 full time jobs in Colorado. Nationwide, craft beers in volume are 6.5 percent (of the overall market)…Although we’re seeing great growth—double digit growth nationwide for craft beer—in Colorado there just seems to be more extra excitement and that economic driver behind craft beer.”

On the rising interest in sour beers:

“It’s the diversity of craft beer in the United States that’s drawing people into the category. You can get a sour, a stout, you can get German beers, American-made lagers, amber ales, IPAs, you can kind of get what you want. Sours seem to be a different enough style of beer that it captures people interest and when they love it, they are fanatical about it.”

On what’s driving craft beer:

“I like these smaller breweries, these neighborhood, more communal breweries. I think those are adding a lot to our neighborhoods, these local towns, mountain towns, it’s really bringing a lot to tourism. I really like all the brew pubs and the quality of food that these new restaurants are opening with, these gastropubs. And the food and beer pairings it just seems to elevate more and more all the time…and really bringing it to the culinary level that most people don’t expect with beer. That’s what’s turning people on to our products.”


All week, KUNC will be looking at craft beer in Colorado for our series Craft Beer Week.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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