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!

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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 opportunity to share it with you ...

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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 some great examples ...

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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 (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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  • 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 environmental ninjas who have ...

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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 ...

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  • More for the conversation on cans and bottles.

     
    As a craft brewer who fills both glass bottles and aluminum cans with delicious beers, we inevitably receive questions (and have our own) regarding the environmental impact of each container. A comprehensive, unbiased study comparing the total environmental impact of glass bottles to that of aluminum cans does not exist. So we see a lot of guessing going on out there and many of those guesses are being stated as though they were ultimate facts. Below are some questions we hear often along with answers based on the research we’ve done. Remember, though, that since a comprehensive study has never been conducted, we don’t really know which container is ultimately environmentally superior.
    Which container is sustainable? Neither! Both containers have a net negative impact ...

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  • Sourcing local ingredients at New Belgium

    Have you ever wondered what your favorite companies are doing to support your favorite local communities?  It is a common question in this growing era of conscious consumerism.  Skye, a beer fan in Colorado, recently posted her question on Facebook in an effort to find out what New Belgium was doing to support our local community.  We thought you might be interested in this topic as well, so we are reposting it here on our blog.  Read on!   Skye:  An interesting point was brought to my attention lately: New Belgium does not use any local ingredients. Being the "localest" of our local beers, I strongly urge New Belgium to at least look into buying locally grown grains for at least part of their ...

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  • 2008 Water Data

    We're happy to report a reduction in our water use ratio during 2008.  Down to 3.8 barrels of water for every barrel of beer we make.  2005-2009 water use ratio2005-2009 water use So, if one barrel ends up in the beer, what happens to the other 2.8?  Well, approximately 2 are cleaned at our on-site process water treatment plant.  That water is then further cleaned by the City and returned to the Poudre River, our watershed, for downstream users.  The 0.8 is lost to evaporation and spent grain. Why the improvement in 2008?  Optimized cleaning regimes, fixed water usage spread over more barrels, and less irrigation, we think.  We don't actually have all of the uses inside the building submetered, so our strategy to date has been to design equipment and processes well ...

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