Thursday, November 26, 2015

New Belgium Brewing Company

In 1989 New Belgium Brewing Company co-founder Jeff Lebesch traveled to Europe and toured around on his" fat tire" bicycle trying various beers. He particularly liked the Belgian style ales and asked the monks at an abbey if they would teach him how to brew. He was headed home soon and the monks had a busy schedule. But he didn't give up and went back to the abbey where they spent the day teaching him about their brewing process. Which he brought home to the United States - Fort Collins, Colorado to be exact - and with his ex-wife Kim, started New Belgium Brewing Company.

Though tours of New Belgium are free, reservations are required. And book as soon as you know you want to go because they are booked months in advance. We drove up to Fort Collins from Denver. New Belgium has outdoor tables overlooking their spot on the Cache du Poudrer River. We hung out a bit in the bar/store of the brewing company while awaiting our tour. You can order a beer or buy souvenirs or mail a postcard home - New Belgium picks up the postage

There were about 40 people in our tour group. Your tour guide picks five beers for you to sample at stops along the way in the brewer - and they are regular small glasses of beer not a shot glass size.. We saw the manufacturing process and sampled beers including a "sour" beer which are quite popular, and  supposedly expensive.

Outside Magazine has regularly picked New Belgium as one of it's top companies to work for in the USA. They have a "wellness committee" which meets regularly to plan activities for employees to participate in such as bike tours. They also have a "fun director" who placed a climbing wall in their facility.( Employees are also able to drink beer at the bar if they would like to during working hours) They emphasize eco-friendly power and hope to be entirely wind powered in the future.And employee ownership is offered. Due to all of the perks, employee turnover is incredibly low.

I'd read that you would receive a fat tire bicycle if you became an employee owner, but I think our tour guide told us that you received your fat tire bike after one year of working there.

At the end of the tour, you can slide down the elementary school style twisty slide to head back to the bar and order your favorite of the beers you tried. Our tour guide was fantastic and I enjoyed learning about New Belgium and it's manufacturing of Fat Tire and it's other ales.

I'm linking up with : Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner!

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