Highlights from 25 Years

















As we wrap up celebrating the Colorado Brewers Guild’s 25th anniversary, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few notable things that happened since the Guild was founded.

  • 1995
    • The Colorado Brewers Guild was founded by breweries to promote and protect Colorado craft beer. At this time, there were 56 operating breweries in the state, the most since 1875.
    • Ska Brewing opens.
  • 1996 
    • The CBG celebrates its first legislative win after the Colorado Beer Distributors Association proposed a law to cap the amount of beer that brew pubs could produce to 6,000 bbls per year. The CBG was able to negotiate a cap of 60,000 bbls for brew pubs. This law (HB 96-1168), created the Colorado brew pub license and is still in effect today.
    • Colorado Brewers Rendezvous in Salida starts.
  • 1997
    •  Oskar Blues Original Grill & Brew Restaurant was founded by Dale Katechis in Lyons, Colorado.
  • 2002
    • Oskar Blues becomes one of the first craft breweries to put their beer in cans.
  • 2003
    • John Hickenlooper, Wynkoop Brewing Company Founder, becomes Mayor of Denver. He is re-elected in 2007 for another term.
  • 2006
    • Colorado sets a new record with 108 breweries operating across the state.
  • 2008
    • Craft beer pioneer Tom Henessey opens Colorado Boy Brewing. Hennessey has helped open more than 100 breweries across the country.
  • 2009
    • The CBG creates the ability for breweries to do alternating proprietorships (SB 09-254).
  • 2010
    • The CBG hires their first marketing manager, Steve Kurowski, where he will spend the next decade championing Colorado craft breweries.
    • Denver brewery taproom pioneer Strange Craft Beer Company opens.
  • 2011
    • Hickenlooper becomes Governor of Colorado. Wins re-election in 2014.
  • 2012
    • The CBG creates the Colorado 6 PAC, a political action committee that donates to state legislators.
  • 2013
    • Collaboration Fest, “the original collaboration craft beer festival” where Colorado brewers team up with brewers from around the world, starts.
  • 2014
    • The CBG launches “The State of Craft Beer” campaign to promote Colorado craft breweries and position Colorado as a top destination for craft beer.
    • Hickenlooper unveils a draft beer system at the Governor’s Mansion—that was funded and installed by the CBG— with craft beers from across the state on tap.
    • Hop the Vote, a spirited but friendly brewing competition held between Colorado State House of Representatives and Colorado State Senators, is created.
  • 2015
    • The State of Craft Beer expands to more than 300 operating breweries.
    • The CBG launches the annual Colorado Pint Day.
    • The CBG thwarts an attempt to raise state excise taxes.
    • HB 15-1217 would allow for local input on liquor salesroom applications, which would result in dual licensure for breweries and triple licensure on manufacturing brewery taprooms. The CBG was able to codify the rule that cities do not have licensing authority over the Colorado brewing industry or veto power on salerooms locations.
  • 2016
    • Breckenridge Brewery sells to Anheuser-Busch, becoming the first Colorado craft brewery to sell to the beer conglomerate.
    • After a brief split, the majority of the membership voted to reform the CBG with updated bylaws.
    • CBG kicks off the Colorado Craft Brewers Summit, an annual industry trade show and conference.
    • SB16-197 passes to allow for full strength beer in convenience and grocery stores.
    • The CBG prevents the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) from conducting restaurant-style inspections at breweries.
  • 2018
    • The State of Craft surpasses 400 breweries.
  • 2019
    • Full strength beer in convenience and grocery stores goes into effect.
    • The CBG hires Shawnee Adelson, former deputy director, as their executive director following the departure of Andres Gil Zaldana.
    • Colorado takes home 40 medals at GABF, including 13 gold medals, Small Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year.
  • 2020 
    • CBG works tirelessly to lobby for breweries amid COVID-19. Below is a recap of notable highlights:
      • The CBG teams up with the Left Hand Brewing Foundation on the Colorado Strong campaign to provide for those impacted by COVID-19.
      • The CBG works with Governor Polis and the Liquor Enforcement Division (LED) so that breweries could deliver and sell beer to-go during Colorado stay at home orders and under capacity restrictions.
      • The CBG lobbies to make sure that reopening guidelines for restaurants and food services include breweries and brew pubs.
      • The City of Denver issues Home by 10 public order, which has guidelines that negatively impact breweries who do not have a licensed food retail establishment (such as a food truck or neighboring restaurant) adjacent to them. The CBG works with LED and the city so that the fine print is amended to include food establishments within a 10 minute delivery radius.
    • Senate Bill 20-194 signed into law, allowing brew pubs with multiple locations to sell beer to-go from both locations if the beer was brewed under the same ownership.
    • The CBG successfully kills an effort to take away the excise tax credit on unsalable beer.
    • The CBG successfully amends two statewide relief bills to include taprooms in sales tax relief and direct aid to those severely impacted by capacity restrictions due to COVID-19.



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