New Belgium Joins Sierra Nevada Brewing and Selects North Carolina for Growth
The makers of the Colorado craft beer Fat Tire Amber Ale have announced that they will build a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. Construction of the new brewery is expected to begin in early 2013 and will begin brewing by 2015, over a seven year period The New Belgium Brewing Company is expected to create 154 jobs.
The New Belgium Brewing is based in Fort Collins, Colorado and besides the Award-winning ‘cult’ classic flagship brand, Fat Tire, their portfolio includes Ranger IPA, Belgo IPA, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, and some other seasonal releases.
The Asheville area seems to be on the radar for craft beer aficionados as well as the top producers. North Carolina is home to more than 20 brewpubs and 28 breweries, making it the most active of any Southern state, and in January 2012 the California-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced their move to an East Coast facility in Mills River, NC about 20 miles south of Asheville.
New Belgium is an American success story that began long before the brewery open in 1991. The Fat Tire story and recipe originated from a bicycle trip through Belgium from brewery to brewery. It was Jeff Lebesch, the brewery’s founder, who took his home-brewing passion commercial. By 2009, he produced 582,000 barrels of various brews and in 2010 was the third-largest craft brewery and seventh-largest overall brewery in the US.
Jeff Lebesch founded the brewery with his then wife Kim Jordan, who along with Lebesch credits the success of New Belgium Brewery in part on the artistry of the labels, designed by watercolorist Anne Fitch. Kim Jordan is the CEO and President of New Belgium Brewery. Kim Jordan was New Belgium’s first bottler, first sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner. Together Lebesch and Jordan grew the company and until 2006 was only available in 15 states.
Currently available in 29 states, they recently built a canning line in Fort Collins and in early 2012 Fat Tire Amber Ale was selected by Esquire Magazine as one of the “Best Canned Beers to Drink Now”.
The brewery has won awards not only for their beers, but also for their energy efficiency in brewing and as Outside Magazine’s 2008 ” Best Place to work in America”.
New Belgium Brewery has made it a goal to be entirely wind-powered, and elects to pay an increased rate for their electrical energy, which is supplied by the City of Fort Collins Utilities to ensure it comes from the cleanest source possible. In addition, about 10% of the brewery’s power comes from methane gas created as a byproduct of their on-site water treatment plant. The brewery also uses an energy-efficient Steinecker Merlin kettle that heats twice as fast and provides significant savings in natural gas consumption.