We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Hertz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Holidaily Brewing Company is a combination of my education, work life and personal life. I have an MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver and had 10 years of beer industry experience, primarily at Molson Coors. In my personal life I was impacted with health issues. In 2007 I was diagnosed with melanoma and in 2008 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and an autoimmune thyroid disease. After surgery and radiation treatments, doctors recommended a gluten-free diet. I discovered for most foods and beverages I could find a replacement or just eliminate that food. Beer, however, had very few options and the quality of those that did exist didn’t compare to the booming, traditional craft beer quality happening around me in Colorado. I began thinking that there had to be others out there that just wanted to have a beer at a tailgate party, apres ski or baseball game but were required to follow a similar diet. Extensive research and testing on ingredient options allowed me to create world class craft beer that is entire gluten-free. We opened in February of 2016 and haven’t looked back.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Holidaily Brewing Company is America’s Dedicated Gluten-Free Brewery. We opened in February of 2016 on a mission to be the obvious choice in gluten-free beer. There are over 8,000 craft breweries in the United States – only 16 of them are dedicated gluten-free (meaning all they brew is gluten-free beer). We are the largest in the country. We started with a taproom and three beers on tap. I began distributing our products by getting in my car and knocking on liquor store and restaurant doors. We now distribute throughout all of Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, Kansas City and have some further distribution reach announcements coming soon! My biggest challenges have come from a lack of understanding around gluten-free and people’s hesitation to try a gluten-free product. Our focus on creating a safe, world-class beer negates the doubters and nay-sayers. I am most proud of sticking to our mission of creating world-class products. We don’t cut corners on any of our ingredients or processes. Our customers are guaranteed to have a safe, gluten-free beer drinking experience. We are certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, which entails audits, process, testing and training requirements. Our brewers can’t even have a sandwich in our production facility. A number of our competitors take short cuts in order to cut costs and I think it shows in the quality of the beer that they make. We aren’t willing to do that and we’ve stuck with being insistent upon quality in safety and flavor.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a Colorado native! This completely depends on the season. I am a sports addict – Spring/Summer? Rockies game. Fall? Broncos and/or CU Buffs game. Winter? Avalanche, Nuggets or up to the hills for some skiing or tubing. My undergraduate degree was at CU Boulder, so a trip to Boulder would always be on the list. The absolute essential visit is a trip to Red Rocks, concert or not. Another favorite spot I love to take people from out of state is to Strawberry Park Hot Spring in Steamboat. And of course, to 801 Brickyard Circle in Golden to check out the Holidaily tap room and get a flight of the 10 beers we have on tap!!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people to thank but I’ve gotta give this shout out to my family and my friends who knew I was just crazy enough to follow through on this idea!
Kimberly Swanson Photography