In May of 2018, the Colorado Brewers Guild and Colorado State University collaborated on the Liquid Arts Research Forum (LARF), during which attendees identified and prioritized prominent issues facing the Colorado brewing industry and aligned these issues with Colorado State University researchers’ interests. The objective of LARF is to create networks that promote collaboration and lay the groundwork for a public-private partnership between CSU and Colorado’s brewing industry.
With this objective in mind, the LARF steering committee—composed of academics, seed producers, hop growers, and craft maltsters, brewers and distillers—selected eight topics for discussion at the Forum. The topics selected were 1) building the Colorado brand, 2) sustainability, 3) quality control and system improvement, 4) navigating federal, state, and local regulation, 5) bringing craft beer into grocery stores, 6) equipment and engineering, 7) ingredients and raw materials, and 8) industry-specific continuing education. These topics were selected based on their importance to industry business owners and the research interests of their academic counterparts. LARF attendees debated these topics in 8 breakout sessions—identifying and prioritizing the issues deserving further exploration.
In order to spread the information gained from the LARF and accomplish the Forum’s objective, a Forum Overview and eight Breakout Session Brochures were created. The Forum Overview provides a condensed summary of each breakout session, an analysis of how the topics themselves were prioritized by attendees, common issues identified across sessions, and a framework for future collaboration between CSU and Colorado’s brewing industry. This document is a great place to start for those interested in the motivation behind the LARF and the framework for a public-private partnership between CSU and the brewing industry. The LARF breakout session brochures provide a comprehensive summary of the topic discussions as well a record of how attendees prioritized the issues put forward. Those who wish to learn about specific issues from the perspective of their peers in the industry and counterparts in academia will find these documents insightful. These documents will hopefully serve as a launch point for future collaboration between CSU and Colorado’s brewing industry. Many issues and challenges were identified at the LARF, but so were many opportunities for the industry and CSU to work together to overcome them.