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!

Brewing beer to Protect Our Winters

Jeremy Jones knows snow. A veteran pro snowboarder, ten times voted Big Mountain Rider of the Year by Snowboarding magazine, star of more than twenty snowboarding films, Jeremy began noticing something very troubling a few years back. Places that had been ripe for shredding much of his twenty-year career were running out of the only thing a rider really needs: snow.   GRASS, ROCKS, SLUSH The trend is unmistakable. An increasing number of ski resorts and ski/snowboarding areas have been closing early or even shutting down for a while mid-season due to a lack of snow. More and more mountains have had to rely on snowmaking to extend or merely salvage their season. And in some areas, tempera...
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Q&A With Our Director of Sustainability & Strategy, Jenn Vervier

A couple weeks from now, all of us at New Belgium will be taking part in one of the greatest things about working here: our annual company retreat. Over the course of a week, we will all converge for a family reunion involving strategic planning and educational sessions, volleyball tournaments and good food, ownership ceremonies amongst the best co-workers on Earth, and - of course - plenty of great beer. So, this time of year always has us feeling pretty reflective and inspired.   Our Director of Sustainability & Strategy, Jenn Vervier, recently got a chance to do some reflecting & inspiring of her own in an interview with the Outdoor Industry Association, and we couldn’t pass up the opp...
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Minute 319

Here at our brewery in Fort Collins, roughly half of the water we use to make that delicious nectar we call beer comes from the Colorado River. As a critical water source for over 30 million people across seven U.S. states and Mexico, and home to eleven national parks, this incredible resource benefits a whole lot of folks! Unfortunately, much like a cold 12-pack of Fat Tire at a summer BBQ, there’s often not enough of the Colorado to go around, resulting in the river running dry long before it reaches the ocean. As a result, the once thriving and vibrant Colorado River Delta in Mexico has become an arid landscape. While stories of water conflict and shortage seem all-too-common, there are ...
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Waterkeeper and Skinny Dip Unite for Swimmable Waters

Water’s kind of a big deal to brewers. Sure, so are hops and grains, but since water makes up about 95% of beer, it’s safe to say that clean water is the base for great beer. But our passion for clean water extends beyond the kettle: We like to dip our toes in a clean stream during a spring hike, go skinny dipping in lakes during the summer, and visit our favorite ice-fishing spots in the winter…while enjoying a beer, of course. Yep, we’re pretty serious about keeping our waterways clean. Here at New Belgium, our sustainability department’s always on the lookout for new ways we can lend a hand. We’re connecting with the Wetlands Initiative, an organization that’s dedicated to protecting “t...
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The Wetlands Initiative

Beer is a water-based agricultural product. Its three main ingredients are water, barley, and hops, and we are acutely aware that we need healthy, flowing rivers and thriving farmland in order to keep making this sweet, sweet nectar. For this reason, water stewardship and sustainable agriculture are two of the main areas of focus of our philanthropy program. We greatly admire all of the folks working toward a sustainable future for water and agriculture, and we want to highlight one of our recent water stewardship grant recipients here on the blog today.  The Wetlands Initiative was founded in 1994 and is dedicated to restoring the wetland resources of the Midwest to improve water quality,...
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Good Day, Sunshine

We love sunshine here at the brewery - both the beer that we named after it* and actual sunshine. We love it because it’s delicious (the beer), because it boosts your mood and makes you feel warm inside & out (the beer and actual sunshine), and because it’s a renewable, infinite source of energy. In fact, all of the energy stored in Planet Earth's reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas is matched by the energy from just 20 days of sunshine. Whoa. Here at the brewery, we are getting ready to install some new solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to capitalize on this abundant energy source. The new PV panels will be installed on the roof of our packaging hall, right next to our existing PV panels, a...
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A Buck a Barrel for More Bikes. Boom.

As you probably know by now, the bicycle is very near and dear to our New Belgium hearts. What you may not know, however, is that Tour de Fat isn’t the only way we get the word out about our love of the two-wheeled human-powered awesomeness machine. Through our Environmental Stewardship Grant program -- aka $1 per Barrel program -- we donate $1 for every barrel of beer we sell to non-profits and causes that resonate with us. The causes that we focus upon fall into a few big categories, and one of those categories is bicycle advocacy and sensible transportation. In 2014, we are allocating $105,000 to support local organizations around the country who are working to make the bike a viable form...
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We support policies that protect clean water, and here's why

Hey everyone, Nic here. This is a special guest post from New Belgium coworker Andrew Lemley, who's been working hard for quite a while now with legislators, authorities and concerned citizens on a proposed rule change to what are considered "Waters of the United States." Clean water is an important issue to us here at New Belgium, and the foundation on which great beer is brewed — but I'll let Andrew explain further: What’s a WOTUS? (read woah-tus) WOTUS is an acronym for “Waters of the United States.” It’s the definition of which surface water (lakes, rivers, etc.) can be federally protected to make sure our country has a top notch water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EP...
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We like beer. But do you know what we love more?

You. *blush*  Yes, brewing and bottling a perfect beer is one of our favorite things in the whole world. But it isn’t actually the ultimate reason for our existence (though it is darn fun and ain’t nobody here complainin’). New Belgium is on this big blue planet because we care about life (check your pulse - that includes you!) and we want to do our part to make living on Earth crazy awesome. If Michael Jackson just started singing “Heal the world, make it a better place” inside your head… just know you’re not the only one, okay? NBB’s Company Purpose: To manifest our love and talent by crafting our customers' favorite brands and proving business can be a force for good. All the fine...
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Live Long and Report Stuff

Did you know that scientists have proven you can live longer if you set goals for yourself? For real, just set some goals, give yourself a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and you’ll live to be at least 106.* Speaking of goals, we set a number of them here at the brewery. Not only do these goals help keep us young and healthy, but they also keep the New Belgium Mothership steered in the right direction. What are these goals, you ask? Well, they run the gamut, covering every area of our operations and values. Some of our goals are about making world class beers, and some are about making the Tour de Fat the most wondrous bicycle carnival you’ll ever ride into. Some of our goals are...
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