Published: Sept. 1, 2016 By

Karen Hertz

Alumni beer makers to pour their favorites 

After surviving melanoma and thyroid cancers in her early 30s, Karen Hertz (Psych’99; MBA’05) adopted a gluten-free diet as part of her treatment plan. That meant a lot of beers were off the menu.

“Beer is meant for certain occasions,” said Hertz, who worked for Miller-Coors for a decade. “Being a social person, I felt there just weren’t many gluten-free options.”

So she started making her own, and earlier this year founded Colorado’s first gluten-free brewery, Holidaily Brewing Co., in Golden. 

Hertz will be one of at least half-a-dozen CU brewers serving samples at Homecoming Weekend 2016. She’ll join alumni from Sanitas, West Flanders, Fate, Ratio Beerworks, Upslope and Bootstrap at Buffs on Tap, a beer tasting by and for alumni in the Koenig Alumni Center’s backyard. The Oct. 14 event includes a barbecue meal and costs $15. 

The event is one of many festivities scheduled for the Oct. 13-15 reunion weekend. Others include the Buffs Bash at the Lazy Dog and the annual parade and pep rally on Pearl Street. On game-day, the free, family-friendly Ralphie’s Corral tailgate will take place three hours before the CU versus Arizona State matchup at Folsom Field. 

In all, 17 reunions are planned, including those of the 50-Year and Golden Anniversary Club and the Silver Buffaloes Alumni Band. For Hertz, participating in Buffs on Tap will be a reunion of its own: She attended last year, just as she was getting started. 

A year later, she’s in business, offering seven beers in her Golden taproom, including Holidaily’s flagship Favorite Blonde Ale. 

“Buffs on Tap was the first time I really served a beer to somebody,” she said. “It’s where I feel like we started.” 

Register for Buffs on Tap and other Homecoming-related events at

Photo courtesy Karen Hertz.