New Belgium Brewery

plenty of samples – our guide, Marie

Time for a brewery tour.  Thursday afternoon, daughter scheduled a tour at the New Belgium Brewery Company.  The tour is free and provides plenty of samples along the way.  Colorado is home to lots of breweries and micro-breweries.  Even Governor John Hickenlooper is an entrepreneur in the brewery industry.

New Belgium Brewery started in a basement in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the early 90’s.  They remain headquartered in Fort Collins and are now building a second facility in Ashville, NC, allowing for expanded distribution.

We arrive a bit early for the tour and start the sampling in the “tasting room”.  This is their retail center and samples are $2 with the proceeds going to a local charitable cause.  The proceeds that day were going to help a local elderly gentleman whom had fallen on hard times.  The staff seems very knowledgable and passionate about this cause.

The tour takes about an hour with plenty of samples offered along the way.  Although I’m not much of a beer drinker, I prefer wine, I find myself sampling along with everyone else.  One of my favorites is in the Lips of Faith category…Tart Lychee.  It’s actually barrel-aged in old wine barrels collected

daughter and Al enjoy a sample of Tart Lychee

from around the world.  It’s on the citrus side….bit sweet, bit sour.  Our guide, Marie, is very knowledgeable about the company and about all the beer.

As a matter of fact, ALL the employees are extremely friendly, helpful, knowledgable and happy.  You get the feeling they want to be there and love what they do.  New Belgium Brewery has a corporate philosophy to have FUN and it shows.  They are environmentally conscious and community oriented.  I wish more corporations shared their values.

The tour ends in the retail “tasting room” and although I said the tour was free, we did not leave without dropping a ‘Ben Franklin’.  I’m a sucker for cute T-shirts.  We also purchase a couple of pints of beer sampled on the tour, as well as some old-fashioned bicycle bells for our bikes.

All in all, the tour was fun and worth doing.  It was low-keyed, informative, and enjoyable.  Oh, and it didn’t smell, which surprised me.