Colorado Enterprise Fund to offer free May 5 workshop in Denver for craft beer entrepreneurs

Monday April 17, 2017 0 comments Tags: Denver, Colorado Enterprise Fund, SBA, Colorado Small Business Week


DENVER -- Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) will present a free workshop for first-time entrepreneurs during Colorado Small Business Week, April 30–May 6, called “Crafting Success: From Home Brews to Beer Biz.”Colorado_Enterprise_Fund_logoUSE

Attendees will learn about loans available for first-time entrepreneurs, including specific CEF loan products for new companies.

CEF staff will share what to expect during the loan process and what in-house business advisory services CEF offers.

The workshop will focus on the craft beer industry, featuring success stories from first-time brewers and distributors who launched their businesses with the help of loans provided by CEF, and will also include a beer tasting.

As of the latest statistics compiled for 2015, the craft beer industry in Colorado had a $1.7 billion impact with more than 350 breweries throughout the state, CEF said. Colorado Small Business Week is part of a national initiative presented annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

This year’s initiative in Colorado will focus on the theme: The Faces of Small Business in Colorado.

The workshop will be held May 5 from 1–2:30 p.m. at The Commons on Champa,1245 Champa St.

The CEF workshop is open to the public and presented in partnership with The Commons on Champa, the City of Denver Office of Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration-Colorado District Office.

The event will feature four guest speakers, all CEF borrowers who will share their personal success stories:

  • Chad Miller, Black Shirt Brewing Co: Launched in 2013, Black Shirt Brewing Company specializes in handmade, small-batch red ales. In an era of fast-paced, high volume craft beer-making to satisfy demand and generate profits, allowing an artisanal beer to age in oak barrels is unusual. But Black Shirt Brewing Company knew this is what would set them apart. And it has. (Read their CEF success story)
  • Brian O’Connell, Renegade Brewing: Brian and Khara O’Connell made their hobby into a business when they opened Renegade Brewing Company in 2011, a time when Denver only had eight breweries. Their little brewery in the Arts District on Santa Fe has since been discovered and grown. Renegade signed with a distributor so their beer is more accessible across Colorado and has moved to a new 15,000 square-foot warehouse. Renegade currently offers five year-round beers -- one of which recently won an award at the Great American Beer Festival. CEF provided a loan for working capital to Renegade Brewing in August 2016.
  • Tom Jasko, Colorado Craft Distributors: Established in 2016, this wholesaler of beer, cider, spirits and wine specializes in sales, warehousing and delivery for small and independently-owned businesses. With a diversified portfolio of brands from Colorado including some CEF borrowers’ products, co-owners Tom Jasko and Christopher McGraw received a CEF loan for working capital in January 2017.  
  • David Levesque, Launch Pad Brewery: A neighborhood nano brewery that produces unique hand-crafted ales, owners Dave and Erin started Launch Pad brewery in 2013 in their garage, inviting friends to join them for "brew day." Believing good beer should be shared amongst friends, Launch Pad expanded to their current location in Aurora after receiving a CEF loan in 2014.

CEF’s Lending Team will also be at the event to share information about loans for first-time entrepreneurs.

There is no cost to register for the workshop but a ticket is required for entrance. Registration is limited to 85. Register and reserve tickets via The Commons website (scroll down to register) at

In addition to the May 5 workshop, CEF is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) on additional events in Denver as part of this year’s National Small Business Week (#DreamSmallBiz) 9th annual celebration in Colorado.

For more information, click here.