College of Business Beverage Business Institute Launches Symposium Series

Brewing with Purpose

“Brewing with Purpose” opens the series Jan. 22

The beverage industries in Colorado are thriving – and a new symposium series from the CSU College of Business Beverage Business Institute should give professionals working in craft beer, wine, coffee, spirits and kombucha the skills to remain an economic driver in the state.

The College of Business’s BBI launches the first installment in its symposium series Jan. 22 with “Brewing with Purpose” 5:30 p.m. at Raices Brewing Company in Denver. Highlighting the commitment to their communities common among many Colorado breweries, the event provides business owners the knowledge they need to share their values and brand story to develop a sense of purpose for their organization. The night features a keynote address by author Zach Mercurio of the CSU Center for Meaning and Purpose and a panel discussion about brewery brands driven by socially conscious values with representatives Raices Brewing Company, Lady Justice Brewing and New Belgium Brewing Company.

While the Brewing with Purpose event aims to connect the state’s beverage industry with knowledge specific to their field, its focus on developing a meaningful direction should resonate with any organization: 83% of consumers want to support companies that do the right thing, according to research by consulting firm Weber Shandwick. Think of the event as an opportunity to sip a small-batch double red ale while learning how to grow your business.

“These topics aren’t exclusive to the beverage industry,” BBI director Penny Gill-Stuart said. “They’re engaging to all businesses and we’re using beverages to bring people together to talk about them. Bringing people together is something that beverages do best.”

The panelists at the event each highlight a different approach to developing a meaningful business. Some provide a look at how a business can focus on a key value. Tamil Maldonado Vega will discuss Raices Brewing Company’s mission to share and promote Latinx culture. Betsy Lay shares how Lady Justice Brewing is driven by its mission of providing financial support to organizations that empower women and girls. New Belgium Brewing’s expansive efforts into environmental and social justice will be shared by Katie Wallace, offering a large-organization perspective to the panel.

A Monthly Series

The professional development opportunities the Brewing with Purpose event offers are wide enough to connect with professionals from any industry, but the series’ long-term focus is to provide education and networking for the beverage community.

“The Beverage Business Institute offers opportunity for you to connect with people who are laser-focused on the industry,” Gill-Stuart said. “Making those connections has huge value. If you’re coming up in the industry, you’re going to want to talk to those people because they’ve lived through the same challenges.”

While networking opportunities and professional development will serve as the symposium series’ foundation, the very nature of beer, wine and spirits lends itself to the occasional recreationally focused installment. February’s event will seize the spirit of Valentine’s Day for chocolate, wine and beer pairings led by a master brewer and a wine educator and writer.

Irrespective of how each event dials in the mix of professional development and entertainment, the BBI Symposium Series will complement the deep sources of technical know-how already on tap for the industry rather than attempt to replicate it.

“There are many amazing technical educational resources for people that distill and brew,” Gill-Stuart said. “The Beverage Business Institute is about how do you use this amazing foundation of beverage and layer on topics that build acumen on the business side of the industry.”

Join the BBI at Raices Brewing Company Jan. 22 for “Brewing with Purpose.” Tickets are $15 and available to purchase until Jan. 20.