Holidaily Brewing Company
Industry: Consumer Packaged Goods
In her early 30s, Karen Hertz survived both melanoma and thyroid cancer, leading to a treatment regimen which included a gluten-free diet. After adopting this diet, Hertz struggled to find a great-tasting, 100% gluten-free beer.
As a beer lover, being gluten intolerant meant only drinking gluten-free beer or not partaking in social activities in the same way her friends and family could. “If the lack of quality gluten-free options was a challenge for me, I thought that it certainly was a challenge for others as well,” said Hertz.
With an MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies and 10 years of beer industry experience under her belt, Hertz researched gluten-free ingredients and taste-testing alternatives while gaining an understanding of brewing processes in order to create a better gluten free brew. Thus, the idea for Holidaily Brewing Company was born.
Hertz the chief brewista, utilized her entrepreneurial training and launched the brewery in February 2016. Since then production has grown to ten times the amount of beer brewed in their first year open. Holidaily operates a taproom that’s open every day of the week and features 10 beers on tap (every single one is gluten-free). In addition, Holidaily recently opened a production brewery which will help distribute throughout Colorado and expand into other regional markets.
“Holidaily Brewing Company strives to be the obvious choice for a gluten-free beer option throughout the industry” said Hertz.
After beating cancer, Hertz said her focus shifted to a desire to focus on health, happiness and a commitment to celebrate life every single day. And, so her passion project began. She realized that three percent of breweries are owned by women, but that didn’t stop her from entering a male-dominated industry.
“Especially when Holidaily first opened, I would go to an event or conference and be one of the only ones in the room without a beard," Hertz said in an article published on Lonely Planet. “Lots of times, if you’re in a room and everyone looks the same, the one that’s different is the one that gets remembered."
As a female entrepreneur, Hertz not only started her own company, but she has created an entirely new product category. Her work has led to several honors and awards, including being named the Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and Jefferson County’s Innovator of the Year. Holidaily Brewing Company has been featured in Bon Appetit Magazine, the Denver A-List, Gluten-Free Living Magazine, USA Today and many more publications.
Most recently, the brewery won the Gold Medal in the gluten-free category at the Great American BeerFest and was selected by the Colorado Sun Editor’s Choice as the best up-and-coming brewery in 2019.
For building the largest dedicated, gluten-free brewery in the United States and leading the gluten-free beer category with innovation, Karen has been named a Titan of industry.
Karen used to swim with the sharks and clean the tanks at the Denver aquarium. I enjoy living in Golden with my husband, twin daughters and chocolate lab and taking advantage of all that Colorado has to offer.