beer collage

To be honest, there’s always something brewing here at Zen Planner… Whether it’s a new product release, feature enhancements or helpful resources for fitness business owners, we’re always busy working away on the next big thing for our valued customers. This time though, there really is something brewing here at the Zen Planner headquarters, and it’s beer!

On Friday, September 9th, our company will be featuring our favorite homemade suds at the Colorado Startup Brews Competition. Over 1,000 people will sample and vote for the best brew, with all proceeds benefiting the Dear Jack Foundation. Get to know about our featured beer, as well as the brewers who perfected this potential award-winning recipe.

Meet Our Brewers

Megan Moratorio is an Onboarding Coach at Zen Planner and an avid homebrewer in her spare time. She and her husband Fed have been brewing since her days as a student at the University of South Florida. As many college students can relate, purchasing beer can be quite expensive. In an effort to make this college staple more affordable, Fed became interested in brewing his own beer.

meg and fedThe Brewer’s Resume

Remember the days of drinking Keystone Light? Well at first, beer was simply beer hopsto these college-aged brewers. 2010 marked their first year of brewing, which consisted of them utilizing pre-made recipes from Hoggetowne Ale Works in Gainesville, FL. For their first brew, they went with a simple IPA mainly to mask any mistakes they might have made during the brewing process. They continued to solely brew IPAs their first two years, focusing on perfecting the original recipe in an effort to master the brewing process.

According to Megan, through hard work and dedication, their “okay” homebrews quickly started transforming into “better than okay beers”. After perfecting their IPA, Fed decided to branch out and create his own recipes. Soon after, the Charlie Boy Bourbon Ale was born.

brewing setupThe Legendary Charlie Boy Bourbon Ale

Megan and Fed are proud owners of Charlie Boy, a beloved Beagle Shepard mix. When naming their first original homebrew, it just made sense to name it after their favorite dog. They were looking to make a beer that was completely different from the IPAs they had perfected. Right around this time, the Jim Beam Devil’s Cut Bourbon commercials had captured Fed’s imagination…

dog of zpFed wanted to brew a bourbon ale with a strong devil’s cut flavor fit for their college friends. Their first batch was a huge success among friends and colleagues and boasted a 9% ABV with a strong bourbon and oak barrel flavor.

Over the years, the recipe has evolved, removing the strong bourbon flavor that overtook the flavor of beer and bringing the ABV down by 2%. Another key improvement? The oak stave that was only soaked in bourbon is now included during the entire fermentation process.

Brewing for Zen Planner

Fed and Megan moved to Sarasota, FL in 2012 and found it difficult to find time for brewing. The two moved to Colorado in 2015 and that began to change. While working with Zen Planner who, like Colorado in general, boasts a friendly beer community, Megan and Fed were able to reintroduce brewing into their lives.

They began brewing every two weeks for three months! When Zen Planner asked if some of their colleagues would like to brew for the Colorado Start Up Brews Competition, several hands went up including Megan’s. The office held an in-house competition to determine whose brew would be submitted into the competition and though the applicants all did a fantastic job, Megan and Fed’s Charlie Boy Bourbon Ale made the cut!

Megan and Fed are happy to brew on behalf of Zen Planner and are ecstatic to be working with the Dear Jack Foundation and Colorado Startup Brews. Cheers to our first year in the competition!