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 24 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.
What else continues today?
The Core Values and Beliefs on which Kim and Jeff built New Belgium Brewing Company. Before they ever sold a bottle of beer, they hiked into Rocky Mountain National Park with a jug of home brew in one hand and a pen and pad in the other. Together, they wrote down what they wanted to instill into this business dream of theirs.
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 onto a plane of pure tropical, fruity pleasure. Citradelic’s namesake hop and fruit combine to jam with visions of additional hops like citrusy Mandarina Bavaria, tropical Azzaca, and fruity Galaxy for a colorful explosion that’s grounded by just a touch of malty sweetness. Bored by the status quo? Expand your palate with a pour of Citradelic. Launching January 2016
Rampant Imperial IPA
New Belgium Heavy Mellon
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. Ripened fruit aromas of melon, papaya and citrus climax with an enticing aroma, and set up an invigorating wash of fruity sweetness, grassy bitterness and the slightest touch of tartness. Super crisp and refreshing from start to finish, Heavy Melon Ale shreds through the summer heat.
YEAST: Ale yeast
MALTS: Pale and Caramel-80
FRUITS/SPICES: Watermelon and lime peel
The lime peel is best added in the boil to extract all those essential oils. The watermelon is added in fermentation to capture the delicate fruit flavors, and to ferment all those sugars.
Accumulation White IPA
Apple Felix Ale
Sour ale aged in apple flavored whiskey barrels
Ale with cocoa and spices
Belgian-style ale brewed with coriander
PASSIONFRUIT SOUR ALE
A new spin on the classic tart Berliner weisse. Fruit Fly is a kettle-soured, quaffable ale brewed with tropical passionfruit and fruity Citra hops.
Hop Kitchen Hop Stout
ABV: 8% Category: Ale Seasonal Availability: Year Round Beverage Type: Ale
Brace yourself. The latest release in our Hop Kitchen series crafts the best of the brewing worlds with one of the most brawny, bitter beers in New Belgium history. Eight different grains converge for a deep blend of dark chocolate, roasted coffee and toasted bread, while generous additions of six hop varieties, like Equinox, Chinook and Willamette, accent the richness with citrusy, woodsy pops. Just as you get lost in Hop Stout’s malty depth, a wicked rush of bitterness attacks with the combined force of an imperial stout and IPA. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is for malt and hop lovers alike.
Hop Kitchen Juicy Mandarina IPA
YEAST: American hefeweizen yeast
HOPS: Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso, Galaxy and Bravo
MALTS: Pale malt, white wheat, red wheat, dark wheat
SPECIAL PROCESSING: Dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso and Galaxy, and spiced with coriander.
Take a trip to the tropics with the ultra-smooth Juicy Mandarina IPA. For our summer Hop Kitchen release, we’re cashing in our ticket to paradise and mellowing out with a wave of exotic hop flavors. Juicy Mandarina IPA sports a full array of island hop vibes courtesy of citrusy Mandarina Bavaria, breezy floral and fruity Calypso and tropical Galaxy. Fruity hybrid yeast accentuates the burst of hops, while soft wheat malts float each sip across the tongue with ease. Close your eyes, take a sip, and take a liquid vacation.
Hop Kitchen Botanical Imperial IPA
YEAST: Ale yeast
HOPS: Brave, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette
MALTS: Pale, Caramel-120
FRUITS/SPICES:Basil, Sage, Juniper
Cascade, Sterling and Willamette hops are added after fermentation (cold side) so there is no aromatic essential oil loss due to heat and ‘on yeast’ to bring more of the citrus, floral, herbal, spicy and dank piney aromas forward. We also add basil, sage and juniper in the kettle to add a little of those complementary essential aromatics to their hop counterparts. The result is not a herbal or spicy IPA, but rather an IPA with a bouquet so big you don’t have to put your nose in the glass—it’ll jump right outta the glass and in your face.
From the garden to your glass, Botanical Imperial IPA bounds with springtime flavor. This season we looked to the fresh aroma of our awakening landscape to find inspiration for our next Hop Kitchen release. This big imperial IPA packs an equally potent hop punch courtesy of Cascade, Sterling and Willamette varieties. Then we intensified the citrusy, herbal and spicy hop flavors with a blast of essential oils from backyard botanicals basil, sage and juniper to create the freshest IPA around. A touch of dark caramel malt adds a nice cushiony bed to the sip before the beer transitions into a warming, dry finish. Taste the bounty of Botanical Imperial IPA
Follow the rules, keep on the straight and narrow, play it safe—isn’t it time you shook things up a bit? Life’s too exotic to stick to the familiar, so hop on the wild side with Bretta IPA. This Hop Kitchen release dares to cross wickedly wild Brettanomyces yeast with some of our favorite fruity hop varieties. Conditioned on two strains of Brettanomyces for a month, the IPA’s citrusy, piney hop notes courtesy of Equinox, Galaxy and Warrior riff off the yeast’s pineapple flavors, while rustic undertones emphasize a wild streak. Bring the funk and mix it up with Bretta IPA.
Le Terroir Dry-Hopper Sour Ale
Le Terroir: French, meaning ‘from the terrain, soil, land, ground, earth.’ You may have heard it as a wine term speaking of the environmental conditions of the vineyard, the pH of the soil, even the slope of the land. But beer has it too, especially a New Belgium sour beer, which oozes terroir from the pores of the wooden foeders we age it in. Le Terroir is a complex blend of sour Felix, and then dry-hopped with Amarillo and, for 2016, Crystal hops. The result is a fruity, citrusy, winelike drink with a huge hop nose.
HOF TEN DORMAAL
For our latest Lips of Faith collaboration, we teamed up with friends Hof Ten Dormaal from the small village of Tildonk, Belgium. Like New Belgium, Hof Ten Dormaal blurs the line between tradition and innovation: The charming family-owned farm and brewery produces everything from classic Belgian blonds to sours fermented by ambient flora to forward-thinking hoppy saisons. In that spirit, we’ve joined forces to craft a deliciously uncommon springtime golden ale, which blends Old World ingredients with modern flavors. Spelt, malted sunflower seeds, and wild carrot herbs swell for a nutty, bready, grassy wash, while Saaz and Mosaic hops lend spicy, tropical accents to the sip. Kick off your winter boots and welcome in the fresh flavors of spring.
For the new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, NBB teamed up with Allagash Brewing from Portland, Maine.
Who wants the funk? Fat Tire wants the funk. Our New England friends at Allagash brought it, taking Fat Tire back to its Belgian roots with a De Dolle house Belgian yeast strain that adds classic pear, banana and spice to Fat Tire’s malty goodness. They then bottle-conditioned the beer with Brettanomyces Allagagensis for a spicy finish. Get your funk on.
Collaboration Fat Wild Ale
For the new Fat Tire & Friends CollaBEERation Pack, NBB teamed up with Avery Brewing from Boulder, Colo.
Go wild for Fat. Thanks to Boulder’s finest for this unabashedly tropic take on Fat Tire. Avery took a healthy dose of Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Drie to create a Fat Tire spin with a sturdy malt backbone, fruity hop aroma and a tropical pineapple layer. Heed the call of the wild Fat Tire.
Collaboration Friestone Walker Fat Hoppy Ale
For the new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, NBB teamed up with Firestone Walker from Paso Robles, Calif.
A happily hopified Fat Tire thanks to our California friends. First, they created an assertive hop presence and then they added a lager yeast to the Fat Tire recipe. The result? A hoppy amber lager version of Fat Tire with an amplified American hop aroma and flavor. Time for you to hop on this Fat, too.
Collaboration Rhinegeist Fat Pale
For the new Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration Pack, NBB teamed up with Rhinegeist Brewing form Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fat Tire to the XP and A. The innovative folks at Rhinegeist went all new-style on Fat Tire. The result is a Belgian-style XPA. A combination of fruity Belgian yeast, bready-sweet European and Colorado malts and a healthy dose of fruity, vinous hops. Perfect for hopheads, wine lovers, beer fanatics and even whiskey quaffers.