​Spring Meeting
Thursday April 22, 2010
2351 Busch Drive
Fort Collins, Colorado 80524

It's that time again! Spring has sprung and thoughts turn once again to outdoor BBQ's and drinking beer! (Although I have to admit my thoughts are always on good beer drinking opportunities.) In order to satisfy your thirst, we are once again holding the spring Master Brewer's meeting here at Anheuser-Busch. As an added bonus, we are bringing back the in-process tasting/tour that was so popular at the meeting two years ago. The meeting is exactly one month from today - Thursday, April 22nd starting at 5:30 PM at our Tour Center. For more information, please open the attached. RSVP by Thursday, April 15th. Looking forward to seeing you all there and, as always, feel free to spread the word and bring along a friend (or two).

RSVP deadline:
Thursday, April 15th to

$15 members, $30 non-members*
Includes dinner, meeting and all the beer you can (responsibly) drink.
*Please check out for a special offer for new members.


5:30 – 6:30 PM

(including in-process tastings!)

6:30 – 7:30 PM


7:30 – 8:00 PM

Technical Presentation

8:00 – 8:15 PM

Business Meeting

8:15 – 9:00 PM

Closing Social and Raffle

Technical Presentation:

Steve Rockhold
Director, Brewing Materials Procurement
MillerCoors LLC, Golden, Colorado 80401
E-mail: ;

Barley is to Beer as Grapes are to Wine; Procuring High Quality Brewing Materials for High Quality Beers”

“I really think, my dear friends, that one of the reasons that we have prevailed and so many breweries haven’t, is that we focused our full efforts and our full intentions on producing a quality product. I think some of you have heard me say this before, that barley is to beer as grapes are to wine. You cannot make a good wine out of bad grapes and you can’t make a good beer out of bad barley. You can make a terrible beer out of good barley, that’s easy to do. But at least start right.”– Bill Coors (2004 Center, Colorado, Barley Field Days)

At MillerCoors, quality in our beers starts in the barley and hops fields across the world. In this presentation, we’ll discuss our relationship with our suppliers, may they be small farmers to large companies, and how we align our supply partners with our ideals as a company and procurement organization.

C.V. - Brief:
Steve has been with MillerCoors for 18 years. Previous to this position, he began his career as the Montana barley procurement agronomist, then moving to Golden, Colorado in progressive positions as the Logistics Manager, Group Manager, Director for the Brewing Materials Department, and as the Director of Direct Materials Procurement (brewing and packaging materials) at MolsonCoors. Before joining MillerCoors, Steve was the Area Manager, Product Support, for Deere & Co., covering the Montana/North Dakota Industrial Equipment dealer organizations. Steve has extensive experience in agricultural production, supplier management, raw materials procurement, total cost/value sourcing, sales support, and people management. Steve’s Brewing Materials Team is responsible for sourcing all the raw ingredients used in the brewing process, including barley, malt, hops, adjuncts, enzymes, flavorings, spices, and filtration materials. In addition, the team also is responsible for sourcing the energy requirements for brewery network, as well as marketing By Products from the brewing process, including spent grains and spent yeast. His 31 person team is located in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Steve earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Wyoming. He is also certified in Supply Chain Leadership from Penn State University and has completed advanced Lean Supply Chain training from the University of Tennessee.

​Meeting Minutes

The spring meeting for District Rocky Mountain, hosted by Anheuser Busch / InBev, and was held at Anheuser Busch Tour Center in Fort Collins, CO. We had one of the largest turn outs for any meeting every held by District Rocky Mountain. The evening began with the social hour and tours of the brewery. The tour included tasting in process beer throughout the plant. An awesome meal of chicken, ribs, vegetable lasagna and all the fixings was prepared by Texas Roadhouse. Thanks to Steve Woodward (Fort Collins Feed) for arranging the meal with Jimmy Dolan of the ‘Roadhouse’.

Our technical speaker for the night was Steve Rockhold (MillerCoors). Steve’s presentation was titled “Barley is to Beer as Grapes are to Wine; Procuring High Quality Brewing Materials for High Quality Beers”. One of Steve’s opening comments: “If you focus solely on raw material cost, your overall cost will increase”. If you buy the ‘cheapest’, you get cheap raw materials and subsequently a cheap finished product due to production issues. “You can’t make good beer out of bad barley”. You must work with your suppliers and focus on maintaining and improving the quality of your raw materials to ensure a high quality finished product. Your suppliers are essential to adding value to the raw materials and therefore your beer. Start it out right; get close to your suppliers (farmers). For example, MillerCoors has a barley program; they work with 800 growers in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Through the Legacy Coors Barley Program, MillerCoors works with agronomists and farmers to develop their own barley varieties. The suppliers feel like they’re part of MillerCoors brewing. “Work with the growers and they will work with you”. Members of the Coors family still make visits to farmers to personally let them know how important they are to the process and to show them their appreciation of their efforts. The Coors Hops Program works in a similar fashion as the barley program. MillerCoors works with direct grower contracts and grower market associations to hand pick hops for their family of beers. They recognize top growers individually for their contributions to the corporation. In summary, Steve mentioned that, “Great ingredients, great facilities, great processes and great people make great beer!” Cheers, Steve, the MBAA-RMD agrees! Ein prosit!

The business portion of the evening was conducted by Scholarship Chair Steve Presley (Anheuser-Busch InBev Ret). Steve again thanked Kevin Fahrenkrog and Todd Hansen (both of Anheuser-Busch InBev) for hosting the event at the tour center. He congratulated the district for being one of the largest, most active and vibrant districts in the United States. Our membership is approaching 200! Steve also mentioned that there are scholarships available and that members need to take advantage of the program. He then presented a scholarship for $100.00 to Michael Demers who attended the Rocky Mountain Microbrewing Symposium in Colorado Springs this past February.

Sue Pawlak (Anheuser-Busch InBev Ret) was next up for the evening. She reminded the group that the local IBPA district is merging with MBAA RMD. The merger is a win-win situation for all our members. IBPA has a scholarship fund of approximately $15,000.00 that can only be used for packaging related scholarships. This is great news for all members looking to improve their knowledge and skills and help their companies thrive by learning more about the critical aspects of packaging technology and techniques. Sue then presented Bryan Kittle (New Belgium Brewing Company) with a $300.00 scholarship for attending the “MBAA Brewery Packaging Technology Course” in Madison WI. Jim Canary (Anheuser-Busch InBev Ret) gave a quick Treasurer’s report. He mentioned that the district has approximately $10,000.00 between the checking and savings accounts. “Between IBPA and MBAA RMD, we have a substantial amount of funds to spend on our members and should keep our district active and interesting for some time to come”.

Final note of business: The next function sponsored by District Rocky Mountain is the Brewing Technical Summit on Friday, June 25, 2010 from 08:00-17:30. Hosted by New Belgium Brewing Company, the summit will be held at the Aztlan Northside Community Center at 112 E. Willow Street, Fort Collins, 80524. (Directions: The price for early registration, by June 1st, is $25 for members ($50 for non-members). Late registration fees jump to $40 for members and $65 for non-members. So, join if you are not a member, and register early to save money! Check out the website for details and for the rest of the calendar for 2010.

James (Jim) Canary
Publicity Chairman & Treasurer
Master Brewers Association of the Americas, District Rocky Mountain
April 30, 2010

Brewing Resources

Ask the Brewmasters Technical Quarterly MBAA Webinars MBAA Podcasts Food Safety Brewery Safety Member Directory