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New Belgium Brewing Company

Founded: 
1991
Brief History and Information: 

We'll set the scene.

1989. Belgium. Boy on bike. (Ok, make that a young man of 32.)

As our aspiring young homebrewer rides his mountain bike with "fat tires" through European villages famous for beer, New Belgium Brewing Company was but a glimmer in his eye. Or basement. For Jeff Lebesch would return to Fort Collins with an imagination full of recipes and a handful of ingredients ready to embark on a whole new journey.

And then there was beer.
Jeff's first two basement-brewed creations? A brown dubbel with earthy undertones named Abbey and a remarkably well-balanced amber he named Fat Tire. To say the rest was history would be to overlook his wife's involvement. Kim Jordan was New Belgium's first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner.

And now, she's our CEO.

Electrical engineer meets social worker; ideals flourish

The other side of the New Belgium story might not seem as romantic as bicycling through Europe; but it gives testament to our dedication, hard work and continuous push for invention. It goes like this:

Jeff’s Belgian inspired brews garnered enough praise from friends and neighbors that Jeff and Kim took their basement brewery commercial in 1991. Kim, social worker by day and mother to two always, began the marketing process by knocking on their neighbor's door. Artist Anne Fitch was that neighbor, whose watercolors came to help craft the New Belgium brand for 23 years, including the original Fat Tire label. Our new Fat Tire cruiser is still handcrafted by a painter, Leah Giberson, but this time it's photorealism instead of a watercolor.

Bringing on Peter Bouckaert, a Belgian Brewmaster previously working at Rodenbach, in 1996 helped influence our love of sour beers. Moving forward, Peter would take the brewing reins as Jeff began pursuing other interests. In 2009, Jeff moved on completely and we have continued to flourish with Kim, Peter, and a team of dedicated employee-owners at the helm. (Description provided by brewery)

Location: 
Fort Collins, CO
Map: 
Tap Room Hours: 

Winter Hours:
Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Tours will start at 11:30 a.m. and leave every half hour until 4:30 p.m.

What They Brew...

  • Belgian Dark Ale
    Looks:
    4
    Smell:
    3.5
    Taste:
    3.5
    Overall:
    3.5

    Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale uses a lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood...

  • Fruit / Vegetable Beer
    Looks:
    4
    Smell:
    2
    Taste:
    3
    Overall:
    3

    Hot summer nights, jam out to the cooling waves of Heavy Melon Ale, our newest seasonal track. Brewed with juicy watermelon and zesty lime peel, this crushable ale rips with a blast of melon notes...

  • American Blonde Ale
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    Five hops and four malts make Hoptober Golden Ale a veritable cornucopia of the earth. Pale and wheat malt are mashed with rye and oats to create a medium-bodied ale with a creamy mouthfeel....

  • Flanders Oud Bruin
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    La Folie Wood Aged Beer is our original wood-conditioned beer, resting in French Oak barrels between one and three years before being bottled. Peter Bouckaert came to us from Rodenbach, home of...

  • Belgian IPA
    Looks:
    4
    Smell:
    5
    Taste:
    4
    Overall:
    4

    This winter, IBUs start accumulating like snow in Colorado with our new ACCUMULATION WHITE IPA . Brewing a white IPA was not only a way to salute the white beauty falling from the sky, but a...

  • American IPA
    Looks:
    2
    Smell:
    4
    Taste:
    3
    Overall:
    3

    Tune in and hop out with New Belgium Citradelic. Set adrift on a kaleidoscopic wave of hoppiness brought to you by a mystical marriage of Citra hops and tangerine peel, which elevates each sip...

  • American Amber / Red Ale
    Looks:
    3.5
    Smell:
    3
    Taste:
    3.5
    Overall:
    3.5

    Named in honor of our co-founder's bike trip through Europe, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer's home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of...

  • American Porter
    Looks:
    4
    Smell:
    5
    Taste:
    5
    Overall:
    5

    A great porter just feels right in your hand. And carrying a glass of Portage Porter is no different. An opaque, brown pour, this beer presents with coffee and chocolate aromas, with hints of...

  • American Double / Imperial IPA
    Looks:
    4
    Smell:
    4
    Taste:
    5
    Overall:
    4

    A burly and bitter Imperial IPA, Rampant pours a pure copper and carries the sheen of a rightly hopped beer. The Mosaic and Calypso hops bring stonefruit to the front seat, and the addition of...

  • American IPA
    Looks:
    4
    Smell:
    3.5
    Taste:
    3.5
    Overall:
    3.5

    Ever met a New Belgium Beer Ranger? They are our beloved folks out in the field. Spanning all 29 of our states from the Pacific to the Atlantic, our Beer Rangers do their best to protect, to pour...

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