Craft Beer

If the impasse over President Trump’s proposed border wall makes it to Saturday morning, this will be the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. And it has an unlikely victim — craft beer.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Beer aisles in grocery and convenience stores will be stocked with something new on New Year's Day.

A new Colorado law will allow stores like King Soopers and 7-Eleven to start selling full-strength beer on Jan. 1 at 8 a.m. The lighter 3.2 beer, an option that's been around since the Prohibition Era, will be not be sold anymore.

Andres Gil Zaldana, executive director of the Colorado Brewers Guild, said the number of stores that sell craft beer will more than double, allowing the industry to reach new customers.

Back in 2010, there were high hopes in Colorado that locally grown hops, the plant that gives beer a bitter or citrusy flavor, would help feed the then booming craft beer market. In just six years, the industry sprouted from almost nothing to 200 acres, according to the trade association Hop Growers of America.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Coloradans love locally brewed craft beer and it appears the rest of the country does, too.

Big Beer’s Plan To Get In Your Fridge

May 26, 2017
Jackie Fortier / KUNC

Outside the tour center of Anheuser-Busch ’s Fort Collins brewery, a team of eight huge clydesdales pull the iconic red wagon around the parking lot. The gold harnesses catch the sunlight and people eagerly snap pictures with their cell phones.


The Budweiser Clydesdales have been a crowd pleaser since 1933, but a lot has changed since then.

Courtesy: Brewers Association

Colorado remains well-represented among the nation’s top craft breweries.

A new ranking from the Boulder-based Brewers Association places five of Colorado’s breweries among the top 50 in the country for 2016. The ranking is based on a brewery’s total sales volume for the year.

Colorado is known as a craft beer haven, but the industry's boom inevitably gained the attention of what was once "the enemy": big beer. As consolidation starts to take hold, where does that leave one of the state's biggest success stories? [AP Video]

Jessica McDonald / KUNC

Kim Jordan, who co-founded the Fort Collins-based craft beer company in 1991, is stepping down as CEO. She’ll be transitioning to a new role as the New Belgium’s executive board chair.

Christine Perich, currently the company’s chief operations officer, will take over Jordan’s reins as CEO, managing day-to-day operations at the Fort Collins brewery, and at the company’s location in Asheville, North Carolina, set to open in late 2015. Perich will also be tasked with leading the New Belgium executive team and focusing on short-term strategic goals.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Which came first, Fort Collins’ enviable innovative culture, one that’s put the city in a Smithsonian Institution exhibit about inventive places, or the beer and bike industries that have helped put the city on nearly every “Best Of” list in the country? It’s a classic question.

The city’s brand is tied to beer and bikes, boasting more than 15 breweries, with 5 more in planning stages, and more than 20 businesses devoted to bicycle fabrication and manufacturing. Their successes are intertwined.

It’s a marriage that shows up everywhere in this city of 150,000, from the label of a New Belgium Brewing Company bottle of Fat Tire, to the brewery map handed out at the Fort Collins Bike Library, to the bars built of bike frames, to the beer bar that doubles as a bike shop.

KUNC File Photo

It's been a month since Colorado lawmakers wrapped up their 2015 legislative session at the state capitol, but the work is far from over. Many of the bills that failed this year will likely be back next session and some long-standing issues may already be poised to go before voters in 2016.