New Belgium Brewing
On a fabled bicycle ride in 1989 through European villages famous for beer, Jeff Lebesch was discovering the joys of classic Old World beers. He then returned to Fort Collins, Colo., and set about brewing two beers of his own—a Belgian Dubbel-style beer, and a terrifically balanced amber beer he named Fat Tire, after the bike he rode in Europe. These were the beginnings of New Belgium Brewing.
To say “the rest was history,” however, overlooks his wife's involvement. Kim Jordan was New Belgium's first bottler, sales representative, distributor, marketer and financial planner, and she’s now the CEO.
Originally, Jeff was an electrical engineer by day and tinkerer by nature, while Kim was a social worker by day and mother of two always. Jeff built a home brewing kit in his basement out of repurposed dairy equipment, and after his Belgium-inspired brews gained praise from friends, the success encouraged Jeff and Kim to take their basement brewery commercial in 1991. Kim began the marketing process by knocking on their neighbor's door. That neighbor was Anne Fitch whose watercolor artwork graces New Belgium’s labels to this day. With labeled bottles and local encouragement, the first Belgian-style beers brewed in the United States were officially for sale, and they continue their beer-making innovations.
Notably, with a brewery culture that includes environmental interest, New Belgium’s employee owners voted unanimously in 1998 to switch the brewery to wind power—also the first in the United States—to generate the energy to support production of their wide variety of seasonal and year-round selections.
Beer/Cheese New Belgium 1554
Beer/Ice Cream New Belguim 1554
Beer/Sandwiches New Belgium Shift