Sustainability stories

Thanks for taking the time to familiarize yourself with our heart-felt approach to business here at New Belgium. On this page, you'll find some stories which illustrate who we are, and why we do what we do. Our commitment towards sustainability began on day one of New Belgium’s history when environmental stewardship made it into the first draft of the company’s Core Values and Beliefs, and carries through to today. Happy reading!

Driving trucks and breaking hearts

So we just did a photo shoot at the brewery. And this isn’t for your typical tasty beer pic; this photo shoot featured some very handsome men and some very sexy, fuel-efficient vehicles. What’s more, it was done in the name of greenhouse gas reductions. Random yet intriguing, no?! Both the fellas and the wheels in this particular photo shoot happened to be from our Brewery Direct Service (BDS) team, which is the group of New Belgium coworkers who deliver our beer to bars, restaurants & liquor stores all over our hometown turf of Fort Collins. Not only do these hard-working folks sling countless kegs up narrow staircases and down dark alleys day in and day out, but they are also environment...
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Tour de Fat and People for Bikes

Over Memorial Day weekend, as the country celebrated the unofficial kickoff of summer, we celebrated our very own kickoff of the 2014 Tour de Fat season. The Tour de Fat  is our favorite holiday. It combines the joy of Christmas morning, the costumed creativity of Halloween, the togetherness of Thanksgiving, and the gorgeous weather and freedom of the 4th of July. And what’s more? It does all of this on bikes. If that doesn’t sound festive, then we just don’t know what does. For those of you who are not already acquainted with Tour de Fat, it is our travelling philanthropic bicycle carnival. The event includes a costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, unconventional entertainment and m...
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Bluegrass, Blue Skies & Beer

With warmer weather – and the release of our summer seasonal beer – upon us, we’re getting jazzed about longer days spent outside under blue skies. We’re excited about floating down the river in our rafts, zipping down our favorite single track on our bikes, lazing in our hammocks, telling tall tales around a fire, cooking out, camping out, and chilling out. Arguably one of the best ways to celebrate the season is a good old-fashioned festival. Live music on a gorgeous outdoor stage just seems to shout that summer has indeed arrived. Some long-time friends of ours are the Zen masters of music festivals, and we would like to take a moment to tell you about these great folks and the beer we br...
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Packaging Reduction Goals

We mentioned back in January that we would be posting packaging goals later this year, and we are happy to report that they are ready for your viewing pleasure. Please check them out! Our packaging goals fall into four general categories. We dive into each in the linked document, but in general we are focused upon Source Reduction, Sustainable Material Selection & Design, Optimizing Efficiency, and Recovery & Recycling Advocacy.  As we looked to the future in setting these objectives, it was pretty enjoyable to take stock of the past and celebrate what we have accomplished & learned on the sustainable packaging journey. A few highlights from recent years: We have light-weighted our bot...
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A Snapshot of our Footprint

As you may have heard, our #SnapshotWheat Tour is hitting the road this week, travelling the countryside like a modern-day Woody Guthrie. This brings to mind the fact that sometimes our beer also has to trek across the country in order to find its way to your home. Shipping of finished product is one piece of our carbon footprint pie, and that is one pie that we spend a lot of time thinking about. (Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout pecan pie is probably a close second). Over the years we have worked to measure and manage our carbon footprint. Back in the 90s we started with an environmental audit of the brewery itself, and then in 2006 we took the leap into the world of holistic greenhouse ...
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A Few Good Coworkers: The Beer Scouts

Beer brings people together, and New Belgium coworkers love coming together to drink good beer. We also love coming together to support good causes. We’ve been known to combine the two through philanthropic beer-enjoyment events like Tour de Fat and the Clips Beer and Film Tour, but it just so happens that we also enjoy supporting good causes without a pint in hand. This may or may not stem from the fact that Kim (our CEO and co-founder) comes from a social work background and instilled a spirit in us that the greatest gift we can give is our own time. To illustrate this warm, fuzzy concept, let’s shine a spotlight on the New Belgium Beer Scouts. The Beer Scouts are a group of coworkers wh...
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A New Year’s Resolution to Slim Down: Packaging Sustainability

Greetings, and a belated Happy New Year from the sustainability crew here at New Belgium. As 2013 came to a close, we found ourselves toying with an idea we never dreamed that we’d seriously entertain… making a new year’s resolution to lose some weight. What a cliché, right?! In all seriousness, minimizing our environmental impact is a resolution that we are always working toward, and slimming down our packaging is one piece of that puzzle. So starting right now, we’re going to forego dessert (except for a nice glass of Le Terroir) and commit to losing a few tons in 2014. First off, we’re looking at dropping some weight from our 24-packs of bottles by doing away with the packages’ paperboa...
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New Belgium Brewing Becomes 100% Employee-Owned Company

New Belgium Brewing is excited to announce that the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) has purchased the balance of company shares, making it 100% employee-owned. New Belgium, brewer of a wide variety of award-winning beers including Fat Tire Amber Ale, has been a partial ESOP since 2000 with a controlling interest held by co-founder Kim Jordan and her family. This transition will put the company on a path to control their destiny into the foreseeable future. “There are few times in life where you get to make choices that will have multi-generational impact - this is one of those times.  We have an opportunity to write the next chapter of this incredible story and we’re real...
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Developing an Internal Electricity Tax

On January 1, 2013 New Belgium Brewing will redirect money, previously utilized to pay for our participation in the Fort Collins Green Energy Program, to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects directly within our Fort Collins and Asheville breweries.  Fort Collins Utility’s Green Energy Program has been dear to our hearts since we were founding subscribers in 1999, so we are sentimental about parting ways. We came to this decision after much consideration, and feel that it will help us drive sustainability and innovation.  New Belgium is honored to have enjoyed such a fruitful partnership with the City of Fort Collins Utilities. We commend the City for being progressiv...
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WHAT IS WASTE, ANYWAY?

If you were to put all the ants in the world in one pile and all the humans in the world in another pile, which pile would be bigger? The pile of ants- duh! And yet, surprisingly, our shovels aren’t colliding with any underground ant landfills and we don’t find ourselves stubbing our toes on tiny ant smokestacks. In nature, one creature’s waste is another’s food.   At New Belgium, we think that’s a smart and classy idea so we work hard to find a home for brewery byproducts. This means that we’ve been able to divert 99.9% of our waste from the landfill! And the cherry on top? Our Waste Diversion program actually generates revenue by the end of the day. Our full-time Waste Diversion Speciali...
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