Steve Kurowski, who has served as the chief beer ambassador, event planner and all-around anchor for the Colorado Brewers Guild since 2009, plans to move on from the organization in May.
Over the past decade, Kurowski has helped guide the Guild, which advocates for laws and policies that benefit Colorado's craft breweries, through an unprecedented period of growth in the industry. When he took over as marketing director, after leaving a position at Breckenridge Brewery, there were roughly 100 craft brewers in the state. There are now more than 400, more than 60 percent of which are Guild members.
During that time, he helped develop the annual Colorado Craft Beer Week, which just ended its 2019 iteration on Sunday, and created Collaboration Fest, the state's signature beer fest. He also spearheaded dozens of other events, marketing campaigns, fundraisers and educational sojourns.
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"Steve was instrumental and the driving force behind many of the events and marketing that Colorado craft-beer enthusiasts have come to love," says Andres Gil Zaldana, who has been executive director of the Guild since 2017. One of those was the "State of Craft Beer" logo and slogan that the Guild now uses.
Kurowski plans to take his marketing know-how with him to a new position with Laws Whiskey House, which is building a wide new brand strategy and marketing department.
Kurowski’s began his career in craft beer in 1999 at Wynkoop Brewing Company as the events and marketing manager. From there he moved on to Breckenridge Brewery, where he served in a similar capacity.
Zaldana says the Guild will likely split Kurowski's role into two parts. Shawnee Adelson, who now handles membership, will become deputy director and take on more responsibilities. In the meantime, the group plans to hire a dedicated event planner.