Alumni Brew Local Business

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series May - 2015

Alumni Brew Local Business

Shoes and Brews

Craft beer and an active lifestyle go hand-in-hand in Colorado. Now they go hand-and-foot. Last July, Colorado State University alumni Colin Anderson (’11, economics), Ashlee Velez (’10, apparel and merchandising), Dave Zakavec (’07, business administration)—and a few other minority owners—opened Shoes & Brews, a combination running shoe store and tap room/ nano-brewery, in Longmont, Colorado.

All three ran cross country for CSU, so they know what it takes to succeed in the long run. In lieu of marketing gimmicks, they rely on word of mouth, lots of local brews on tap (including their own), and social runs.

Two days a week, the owners lead fun runs attracting participants of every ability, from walkers to serious racers.

The runs start just outside the store on the St. Vrain Greenway. Wiped out by last fall’s floods, the path has returned to life as Longmont’s busiest recreational conduit. In fact, the path’s rebirth is a metaphor for the entire city’s renaissance. “We want to be part of the growth,” says Velez.

Branch Out Cider

Branch Out Cider, a Fort Collins-based cidery owned by Colorado State University alumni Aaron Fodge (M.B.A. ’01) and Matt Fater (B.S. ’95, M.S. ’00), brought home the title of Best Cider/Fruit Wine from the fourth-annual Governor’s Cup Colorado Wine Competition last year.

Branch Out’s Perennial Sparkling Dry is made from apples picked from backyard trees in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Wellington known collectively as the “Community Orchard.”

“We are very pleased to have been selected for this award,” said Fater, a College of Engineering graduate. “It is a true testament to the great people of the Community Orchard and their apple trees. We couldn’t have accomplished this without them.”

In addition to the title of Best Cider, Perennial was included with 11 other award winners in the first-ever Governor’s Cup Case. Wine included in the Governor’s Cup case is used by the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board for marketing purposes in Colorado, across the country, and around the world, as well as for educational purposes to help improve the overall quality of Colorado wines.

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