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Coordinates: 40°35′35.12″N 105°4′8.51″W / 40.5930889°N 105.0690306°W / 40.5930889; -105.0690306

New Belgium Brewing Company
Founded 1991
Headquarters Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Products Beer
Production output 437,000 US barrels
Owner(s) Employee-owned

New Belgium Brewing Company is a regional brewery located in Fort Collins, Colorado. It opened in 1991 after Jeff Lebesch, the brewery's founder, took his home-brewing passion commmercial. In 2006, it produced approximately 436,000 barrels of its various labels.[1]. And in 2008 their beers were distributed to 19 different states.

Fat Tire, an amber ale, is the company's flagship beer.



The Fat Tire recipe originates from a co-founder's bicycle trip through Belgium from brewery to brewery. The company promotes its Fat Tire ale locally by the public placement of colorful vintage bicycles outside its brewery, which is located adjacent to the public bike path along the Cache La Poudre River.

In 2006 NBB changed its logo. They did so because the company realized that beer drinkers could identify the Fat Tire label, but "didn't recognize the brewery label, or make the connection that New Belgium brewed Fat Tire and other best-selling brands, such as Sunshine Wheat."[2] The company's new logo "pays homage to the well-known Fat Tire brand bicycle" drawn by Anne Fitch.[2]


Before 2006, New Belgium distributed in only 15 states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Colorado). In spring 2006, the brewery began to distribute some of their beers in other markets. Bottles of Fat Tire distributed in Chicago claim "Chicago Inaugural: The 1st Fat Tire Ale served (legally) in the second city." In June 2007 Fat Tire, Skinny Dip, 1554 and Mothership Wit became available in Illinois. By the summer of 2007, New Belgium expanded distribution again to include select areas of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota metro area and Iowa. As of July 2008, Fat Tire, 1554, Mothership Wit, and seasonal brews are also served in Tennessee. In March 2009, these beers also became available in North Carolina.[3]. In April of 2009, in response to huge demand, Fat Tire became available in Indiana.[4] In May of 2009 Fat Tire became available in Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Label design

Fat Tire Amber Ale

New Belgium beer labels are designed by Anne Fitch, a watercolorist.[2]

Kim Jordan, the President of New Belgium Brewery, credits the success of New Belgium Brewery in part on Anne's artwork, "Our beers were good, our labels were interesting to people, and we pretty quickly had a fairly robust following."[5] In 2006, her artwork appeared on each of the over 125 million bottles sold by New Belgium;[6] the company's new brewery will allow the company to double production.[7]

Business and energy practices

The brewery was founded by husband-and-wife team Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan in 1991 and emphasizes eco-friendly practices and employee ownership in its marketing materials. It is located in northeast Fort Collins near the Cache la Poudre River on the grounds of the former Great Western Sugar plant.

In 2008, New Belgium Brewing Company was named the place to work in America by Outside Magazine. This could be attributed to the brewery's efforts to ensure the "wellness" of their employees. Once a month the brewery's Wellness Committee meets to discuss activities, such as bike tours, for employees to participate in. [8]

New Belgium Brewery has made it a goal to be entirely wind-powered.[9] Rather than directly using wind-generated power, the brewery elects to pay an increased rate for their electrical energy, which is supplied by the City of Fort Collins Utilities in order to ensure it comes from the cleanest source possible.[10][11] About 10% of the brewery's power comes from methane gas created as a byproduct of their on-site water treatment plant.[12]

The brewery also uses an energy-efficient kettle for the brewing process. The Steinecker Merlin kettle heats twice as quickly by boiling thin sheets of wort in the entire kettle at once. This provides significant savings in natural gas consumption.[13]

Tour de Fat

A vaudeville nouveau troupe prepares to juggle chainsaws, bowling balls and eggs at the Tour de Fat in Boise, Idaho.

Tour de Fat is a bicycle parade and festival sponsored by New Belgium. The events, which take place annually in various large- and medium-sized cities around the West, include music, New Belgium beer, circus- and -vaudeville type acts, bicycle dance troupes, and the main activist spectacle, a giant group bike ride/parade wherein the participants, many of whom are in fanciful costume, ride through town. [14] The actual activist climax of the tour, however, is the bike trade, in which a local participant transfers the keys and title of their motor vehicle to New Belgium in exchange for a new commuter bike and trailer in order to promote bike riding and sustainability.[15] The "Fat Tire" bike is so strongly associated with New Belgium Breweries that employees of the brewery are given a 'cruiser bike' "like the one pictured on its Fat Tire Amber Ale label" on their one -year anniversary with the company.[16]


New Belgium Brewery
  1. ^ "Colorado Rides on Fat Tire to Beer Heights;". Retrieved November 26, 2007.  
  2. ^ a b c New Belgium Brewing rolls out icon tied to Fat Tire beer Denver Business Journal. Amy Bryer. Jul7 7, 2006. Accessed Mar 21, 2008
  3. ^ "New Belgium Brewing Is Coming to the East Coast for the First Time as Three Brews Roll Into North Carolina;". Retrieved February 3, 2009.  
  4. ^
  5. ^ Interview with Kim Jordan Accessed 3/21/08
  6. ^ Living on Earth: Green Brewery Accessed March 21, 2008
  7. ^ New Belgium Brewing's new plant adds capacity Tom McGhee. 06/19/2007. Accessed March 21, 2008
  8. ^
  9. ^ "New Belgium, Sustainability". Retrieved April 28, 2006.  
  10. ^ "City of Fort Collins, Wind Power Program". Retrieved April 28, 2006.  
  11. ^ "City of Fort Collins, Commercial Subscribers". Retrieved April 28, 2006.  
  12. ^ "New Belgium, Process Water Treatment Facility". Retrieved April 28, 2006.  
  13. ^ "New Belgium Saves Gas, Water with Closed-Loop Brew Kettle". Retrieved May 25, 2009.  
  14. ^ "2009 Tour de Fat". Retrieved April 11, 2009.  
  15. ^ "Trade your car for a bike". Retrieved April 11, 2009.  
  16. ^ "Brewing up Fun in the Workplace". Accessed 21 March 2008

External links

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