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Accounting for Breweries – What you need to know moving forward

The following post is from Forrest Rose, owner of Grey CPAs in Windsor, CO – www.greycpas.com. Forrest helps growing breweries keep their accounting in order so they can concentrate on what they are good at – pumping out delicious beer!

Denver and Colorado microbrewer opening rates have surged in recent years, and for good reason. Talented brewers have taken advantage of the growing thirst of Colorado beer loving patrons who want to taste different varieties of beer concoctions. As an accountant who spends a lot of time in breweries helping owners sift through the accounting changes taking place every single year, I’m very lucky to live in this great state of Colorado, where the breweries are plentiful!

Because we spend a lot of time in breweries, we hear stories about hopeful brewers flaming out before they got a shot to successfully distribute their beer. Some don’t make it to where they want to be because of lack of funding, some because of not properly tracking or preparing for operational costs.

For the breweries that have achieved fiscal sustainability, the tax and financial code is an important thing to understand, or have your accountant understand. The below explains more of this in detail, but if you have questions, of course reach out to a certified public accountant.

New FASB update for revenue recognition (how companies make money) and the 5-step approach a company should utilize to ensure revenue is appropriately recognized:

  • Identify the contract(s)
    • What this means is that companies must identify all contract types (pricing arrangements, terms of payment, shipping terms, etc.) and revenue streams.
  • Identify the separate performance obligations
    • What this means is that an entity must identify what goods or services are being sold in the contract and ensure that those performance obligations are segregated appropriately
  • Determine the transaction price
    • Is the price fixed or determinable? Is there a variable component? An entity must determine this.
  • Allocate the transaction price to the separate performance obligations
    • Each performance obligation above must be linked to a determinable price.
  • Recognize revenue when the entity satisfies a performance obligation.
    • An entity can only recognize revenue when the goods or services have been provided.

A lot of brewery owners may look at the above, and be a bit confused, which is where an accountant can help. Whether breweries have a CPA on staff, or bring one in to help them, it’s important to make sure the financial and tax codes are understood, as they change regularly.

We hope this was helpful to all the Colorado breweries that are already booming or just getting started!


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Craft Beer Drinkers May Expect Plenty of Eye-Openings Sips Before Spring

 

Several breweries are planning to tempt craft beer connoisseurs with some very special offerings before spring. And many of those offerings have something in common. Can you guess which ingredient they’re hoping to focus on? We’ll give you an eye-opening hint. It’s something people tend to drink the moment they open their eyes. That’s right, it’s coffee.

Adding coffee to craft beer isn’t new. Creative brew masters have been doing for decades. However, this latest crop of coffee-loving, craft brew masters has come up with ways to elevate the classic pairing to whole, new, incredible levels. For example, have you ever heard of cascara sagrada? If not, you will in the next few weeks when brewers start releasing their finest.

Normally considered a holistic health essential, it is a natural ingredient found in shrub bark. One would think that adding bark to beer would make it bitter or negatively alter its texture. Surprisingly, it doesn’t do either of those two things. Instead, it tends to deepen the craft brew’s existing, coffee profile without adding unwanted aftereffects. And as we promised, cascara isn’t the only natural additive being used by 2016’s brewers.

Many are experimenting with the beer’s aging process to bring more to their coffee and cascara brews. For example, the young brews may be placed into wine or whiskey-soaked barrels to help give them a remarkable edge. Other craft beer manufacturers may skip the barrels and try adding a blend of exotic coffee beans or flavored syrups instead.

By now, you might be wondered where to get your coffee craft beer fix. One place slated to feature beanie beers in the months ahead is Copper Kettle Brewing Company. To learn more about them and other places to find excellent coffee beers in Denver, please contact us today for a tour.

 


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5 Winter Craft Beers to Try This Year

 

The craft beer industry runs far and wide across our country. Sometimes, the popular beers on the East Coast aren’t even available on the West Coast. This has a lot to do with distribution and money — many smaller breweries don’t have the capital or the resources for wide distribution.

However, for those who can try all the winter beers (no matter their area), this post is for you.

From porters to stouts to IPAs, please join us as we profile five great winter beers that you should try this winter.

1. Stone Smoked Porter: Very few breweries have an ego like Stone, but very few can actually back it up like they can. Try their Smoked Porter and find out why they brag.

2. Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter: Deschutes has branched out to the East Coast as of late, but they are still making great tasting beers. Their Black Butte is delightful, creamy, refreshing and… well, you should just try it.

3. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: Worried that Sierra Nevada has gotten too big for their britches? Don’t be. Try their Celebration Ale and discover why Sierra Nevada is an American original.

4. Lagunitas Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale: Lagunitas has made quite the name for themselves lately. But their beer is worth the hype. Test out their “ethos in a bottle” known as Brown Shugga‘ American Strong Ale and see why they are a popular choice this winter.

5. New Belgium Accumulation White IPA: IPA fans, we didn’t forget about you. White IPAs have long been associated with the winter season, and this IPA is a testament to why. New Belgium has done a great job creating a winter warmer without the knockout effect often associated with IPAs.

For more information on how we can help you, please contact us today.

 


A Much-Abridged History of Denver, as it Relates to Drinking

In 1919, the states ratified the Eighteenth Amendment and Congress adopted the Volstead Act, which made Prohibition the law of the land. An historian charged with writing a history of Denver as it relates to drinking would be excused from thinking that the city’s residents were a sickly lot back then. Taking advantage of a loophole in the Volstead Act, Denver issued over 16,000 prescription forms that allowed physicians to prescribe up to four ounces of alcohol to any patient that had a “medicinal need” for the same.

Denver’s religious congregations jumped through another loophole and routinely claimed “sacramental” exemptions from the Volstead Act, which that allowed them to continue to use altar wine and other spirits, perhaps doing wonders for church attendance at the time. In anticipation of the broader effects of prohibition, in 1917 Denver had the foresight to issue permits to almost 60,000 of its citizens who claimed a personal consumption exemption from laws that were then in effect, allowing each of them to consume two pints of wine and the equivalent of a 24-pack of beer every month.

Colorado’s agricultural heritage contributed to the efforts to keep a steady flow of alcohol into Denver and throughout Colorado during Prohibition. Moonshiners and other illicit Colorado producers used the state’s sugar beet crop to distill grain alcohols under monikers such as “Sugar Moon” and “Leadville Moon”. By 1932, when Prohibition was repealed, enterprising citizens could find alcohol for sale in Denver on almost every street corner. The city’s denizens no doubt raised a hearty cheer on April 7, 1933, when Coors restarted beer shipments from its Golden, Colorado brewery.

Fast forward to the modern era. By last count, Colorado has more than 200 microbreweries and brewpubs that produce their own craft beers and ales. Many of those breweries produce fewer than 50,000 cases of beer per year (which is likely far less than the amount of beer spilled in a single week at any national brewery). Do Denver’s and Colorado’s attitudes toward Prohibition teach us anything about current drinking practices?

Residents of other cities and states certainly took advantage of the Volstead Act’s exemptions, but little data can be found that allows a comparison of Denver’s and other cities’ reliance on those exemptions. Denver had slightly more than 250,000 residents in 1920. As noted, in 1917, 60,0000 of those residents (i.e. almost one-fourth of the city) claimed a personal consumption exemption, allowing them to consume generous quantities of wine and beer every month. The city’s and state’s enterprising citizens also used locally-grown sugar beets to make their own potent potables. If nothing else, Denver’s Prohibition-era history reveals a creative mindset that will search out and find creative ways to quench a thirst. The city’s new microbreweries and brewpubs are just continuing this tradition with new formulas, flavors and tasting rooms that cater to an ever more selective clientele.

The Denver Microbrew Tour will give you a new perspective on the city’s thriving beer and brewing culture and history. Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information or if you want to schedule your own tour with us. Eighty years has passed since the repeal of Prohibition, and you can enjoy the city’s microbrew offerings without looking for a Volstead Act exemption to keep you above the law.


Do You Crave Craft Beer with Sprinkles, Whipped Cream and a Cherry on Top?

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Crave something sweet with your beer? New Belgium’s new brew may be just the ticket.

We’ve all at least seen or heard of floats made with soda but what about combining ice cream and craft beer? Sounds like an interesting prospect doesn’t it? Well before you grab some bags filled with hops and ice cream scoops en route to the U.S. Patent Office, know this. Someone has thought of the idea before:

As a matter of fact, several brew masters, including a few in Colorado, have actually made it a reality. So residents may often drink as well as eat delights like chocolate milk stout. The latest to hit pubs and shelves in Denver is Salted Caramel Brownie Ale. It’s manufactured in Fort Collins by Colorado’s own, New Belgium Brewing Company. The craft beer has 6.3% ABV and as expected, a distinctive essence not unlike its namesake.

It may be partially attributed to the two varieties of hops, pure vanilla, premium cocoa, ale yeast and a trio of malts. The nugget hops, in particular, help give the craft beer a mild, herbaceous aroma and average acidity. The Golding tosses in a hint of bitterness and deepens the craft beer’s aroma to include a touch of warm spices. The malts undeniably add to drink’s flavor too, not to mention its lovely, brownie-like coloring.

If you’re not into the taste of ooey gooey brownies, don’t worry. Other breweries in Denver have the opposite ends of the flavor spectrum covered with offerings like vanilla porter, coffee stout and raspberry limbic. One place that traditionally has vanilla porter on the menu year round is the Breckenridge Ball Park Pub. In addition to the regular vanilla porter, there are barrel-aged singles available from time to time too. They tend to contain hints of premium rum.

To learn more about ice cream flavored beers, beer flavored ice creams and other fabulously adult treats, please contact us for a weekend tour.


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Denver Breweries: Great Hang Outs For Novices and Cicerones Alike

 

People often wonder, “Do you have to be a cicerone in order to enjoy walking tours of Denver breweries?” In short, “No, cicerone status is not necessary when it comes to making the most of the Mile High City’s sudsiest of spots. Our guides have more than enough knowledge of beers, breweries and Denver’s finest venues to cover everyone who signs up for one of our specialty tours.

However, there are actions craft beer drinkers may take to help improve their knowledge of the brewing industry after the tours. For example, picking up magazines, DVDs and books about the topic may help. There are a number of them already in print and countless others scheduled to come out in the future. A few well-received ones that are already in print are listed below:

  • Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher
  • Beer Companion by Michael Jackson
  • The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks by Joshua Bernstein

And no, libraries, bookstores and online sites are not the only locations where such reading materials may be found.

Sometimes Denver’s breweries host book signings wherein authors bring their respective manuscripts. It happened throughout this year’s Great American Beer Festival and it’s likely to happen again. The list of authors known to have these types of events in Denver includes, but isn’t confined to Jeff Alworth, Christian DeBenedetti, Mirella Amato and BryanJansing.

And don’t worry, if one of them does decide to return to Denver breweries for another book signing, our tour guides will make a note of it. Depending on the pace of the tour, it may also be possible to speak with area brewers and get their perspectives on cicerone related topics too. To learn more about tours that cicerones would be proud to call their own, please contact us today.

 


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Don’t Let Craft Beer ABV Concerns Keep You from Sampling Denver’s Finest

 

Have you heard the latest froth blowing off the tops of pints across the nation? Law enforcement and various public health experts have been teaming up to discuss one element of craft beer, it’s ABV. As this FOX video proves, stories about the two groups’ concerted efforts to educate America’s hops faithful have been cropping up on major news networks since early October.

We suspect the timing of the push has a lot to do with four of the biggest, concurrent drinking holidays, starting with Halloween. All across Denver, craft beer manufacturers and thirsty residents’ favorite hang out spots have been gearing up for it as well as the other top three. You guessed it. We’re talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

People worry the characteristically high alcohol content coupled with amazing flavors will cause some people to drink and drive. We’re hoping that they drink and walk responsibly instead. At Denver Microbrew Tour, we don’t believe in drinking and driving. So, all of our brewery tours involve walking throughout scenic Denver. As a consequence, participants may drink in the autumn beauty too. And we’re not simply signaling out the leaves.

RiNo and other craft beer laden areas of Denver are blessed with more than fall colors. Many businesses choose to add autumn art work to the idyllic picture, including murals and outdoor sculptures. Some of the bar and brew pub interiors happen to be well decorated too. Thus, our autumn walking tours are truly a feast for craft beer lovers’ senses.

Scheduling a safe tour that allows everyone to drink and walk responsibly is easy. Merely reach out to our craft beer tourguides online or by phone, the sooner, the better. And we’ll set aside tickets to one of our most-loved, craft beer tours, which generally occur on the weekends. Hope to see all the holiday beer lovers at our starting locations this week!

 


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How This Denver Brewery Is Planning To Take Over The Craft Beer World

 

When people think of Denver, they now think of delicious and innovative craft beer. This great beer reputation is in large part due to the efforts of incredible breweries like Great Divide. Great Divide was started in 1994 by brewer Brian Dunn, and Great Divide’s first batch of beer won an award at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery went on to earn accolades and admiration worldwide, and was even named the 7th best brewery in the world by Beeradvocate.com.

With beers like Titan, Yeti and Colette, it’s not surprising to hear about Great Divide’s success. For years, Great Divide ran its brewing operations out of a small building located at 2201 Arapahoe St. in Denver, but has now completed the first phase of its major expansion effort in Denver’s River North district. The new facility has an awesome new tap room called Barrel Bar that boasts 16 taps and an awesome patio.

Their second location is also home to a new state-of-the-art packaging facility, canning line, barrel aged and sour beer storage(yum). Great divide is also rumored to be collaborating with Denver sour beer brewery Crooked Stave on a new beer soon. We can’t wait.

Want to check out awesome breweries like Great Divide? The Denver Microbrew Tour is a guided walking tour through downtown Denver, Colorado’s historic LODO (lower downtown) and Ballpark Neighborhood districts. The tour includes beer samplings at several microbreweries and a local tap room, info on everything you’d ever want to know about beer, a coupon for a pint of your favorite beer on the tour, and local Denver history. For more info on The Denver Microbrew tour,contact us today!

 


Coming to Denver: A New Belgium Pilot Brewery

When it comes to Denver breweries, the city already has a lot to offer: on top of its amazing beer history, there is currently a strong network of microbreweries to fuel the beer-loving city. And with a great atmosphere of brews, experimentation, and creativity, who could blame non-native breweries who want to become neighbors?

As recently announced, New Belgium will be moving a new pilot 10-barrel brewery to Denver’s Riverside District, sharing space with The Source Hotel. While new Belgium is anything but “micro,” the new brewery will also bring new small-batched brews and barrel-aged on site, as part of the company’s experimental vision the brewery will take part in. In addition, it will all be housed as part of The Source Hotel, a new renovation project in the RiNo district that’s bringing life to an old brick foundry. On the roof top, New Belgium will share the space with The Source’s culinary complex (and pool) by serving its brews with small plates in their beer garden. On the 8th floor, New Belgium will age its beers in barrels. Overall, it will blend in well with the artsy, industrial look of the charming district.

Still, don’t go flocking to just the New Belgium tap room once it opens. Downtown Denver is teeming with great localmicrobreweries, all of which you could visit in Denver’s RiNo and LoDo districts on one of our beer tours. To learn more about how you can explore and taste local brews in downtown Denver, contact us.


Downtown Denver Rock Bottom

Downtown Denver Rock Bottom – Harbinger of Denver’s Growth?

 

The early ’90’s may have brought us grunge music and a tech bubble, but they also brought us the beginning of the craft beer and microbrewery explosion. Since 1991, no tour of Denver breweries could be complete without a visit to Downtown Denver’s Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. Back before brewpubs were a thing, the folks behind Rock Bottom had the good sense to combine two of the things people love most in the world – great food paired with craft beer. Is it a coincidence that Denver exploded with growth and culture immediately after Rock Bottom opened its doors? Is it possible that Colorado’s T-REX project was necessary because of all of the traffic Rock Bottom was creating?

Maybe that’s a bit much, but the fact remains that Rock Bottom started brewing, and Denver began a renaissance period that they’re still enjoying today. You can draw your own conclusions.

The key to Rock Bottom’s greatness, at all of their locations, is their focus on the locals. Local brewers and chefs work together to create a unique combination of flavors in their menus. An IPA made with Belgian yeast? A Kolsch made with three kinds of spicy chilies? Yes, and yes, and so many more. It’s an atmosphere of quiet revolution, without the well-earned attitude of being the guys who were there when the revolution started. They’d rather just blow you away with their great beers.

As they like to say, “life begins when ‘You’ve Hit Rock Bottom‘,” so it’s not an accident that we start our tours there. Before the Rockies and the Avalanche came to town, along with the other million people who moved in during the ’90’s, there was the Rock Bottom Brewery. Please contact us if you want to experience Rock Bottom and some of the other great breweries in Denver.

 


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