The Centennial State is celebrating its 144th birthday on Saturday, August 1. You know we live in one of the most beautiful states in the country, we know it, so let’s celebrate in one of the best ways we know how… raising a pint of Colorado craft beer! We’re proud to represent some of Colorado’s great breweries. We asked our sales team to share stories of the first breweries and beers they enjoyed from our great state. Cheers to Colorado!

Andy Whitmire, Regional Account Manager, Elite Brands

Three years ago when driving to Crested Butte to get married, we stopped at Elevation for a beer.  This was the first time I got to taste the new pilsner Elevation was releasing.  Elevation Pilsner blew me away from the first sip.  Every time I have an Elevation Pilsner it reminds me of the trip to Crested Butte for my wedding and the amazing times we had that week.  Feel free to ask me about the cake.

John Bruner, Account Manager, Elite Brands

“A drive on Highway 285 is incomplete without a pit stop at Elevation Beer Company. In my days of living in Durango, Elevation became a beacon of hope that pushed me through extra hours of travel time. A clean bathroom, cold pilsner, friendly food truck, and rad-as-hell staff are just what the road trip doctor ordered and reminds you why Colorado is your happy place.”

Sophia Abbgy, Marketing Coordinator, Elite Brands

“The first brewery I visited when I moved to Colorado was 4 Noses. It was also the first time I hung out with my Elite co-workers. It was their anniversary party so they had some fun food trucks and all the yummy beers and drinks you could imagine. The first beer I ordered that day was Fruit on the Bottom. Light, crisp and bursts of strawberry flavors. It was a wonderful refreshing first drink in the Colorado sun that could cool you down and put a smile on your face. I had three more after that. The environment was so different than what I was use to, the sun felt warmer, colors were brighter and the beer was perfect.”

Cole Hanson, Brand Manager, Elite Brands

“The Craft Brewer’s Conference was in town and I was working my downtown route as hard as I would for any large beer fest. Breweries had the typical tapping events and I was feeling pretty over beer having tasted and drank my way through the world’s best in October and now for the conference. Telluride Brewing had a small event at Mellow Mushroom, tapping a brand new beer they had named after a departed friend named Russel Kelley.  I ordered one, having loved all of Chris’ beers and when it hit my lips my mind was blown. That delicious hop flavor was fresh and tasted almost fruity. It was simple yet refined, refreshing and innovative.  In the waves of all of the double, imperial and adjunct beers that just hadn’t lived up to the hype, it was perfect.  Suddenly all of the reasons I loved beer that had been forgotten over the dozens of festival events came flooding back and I found myself truly mesmerized. Though it’s undergone some changes since, RKPA is to this day one of my most cherished beers and an unforgettable experience.”

Patty Fryc, Account Manager, Elite Brands

“Some of the most nostalgic beers are the ones where you can say, “go big, or go home” and for me, sipping on Epic Brewing Company’s Big Bad Baptist series, specifically the vanilla bourbon barrel aged variation, is the one where I go big! It’s the perfect libation for a chilly winter outing, cozying up by the fire, something to impress your friends and family with, and pairing with desserts.  Or heck! Pair this beer with a side car of your favorite Colorado bourbon! That’s when you know the “go home” part will happen.”

Nic Jumel, Brand Manager, Elite Brands

“When I moved to Colorado in 2002, I lived in Uptown and walked down to Falling Rock regularly.  My wife and a couple friends of ours started a dart team and convinced Chris Black to sponsor us out of his bar.  The one beer I remember well was Bull & Bush Man Beer.  A delicious malt forward IPA, which always helped my dart game, at least in the early part of the match.”

Matt DeBoer, Account Manager, Elite Brands

“Epic’s Escape to CO IPA sums up my entire journey. That’s exactly what I was doing when I moved from South Dakota to Colorado. 24 years was enough time in good ol SD and it was time for a change of scenery. Escape to CO was one of the first craft beers I had here when I arrived, aiding in my decision as for what I wanted in a career path, craft beer. Funny enough, I first enjoyed that beer at Westrail Tap & Grill, a neighborhood spot that would become my account 4 years later when I joined Elite. I am forever grateful for the ‘Escape’ that I made to Colorado.”