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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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 brewed in their honor. May we present: Planet Bluegrass and our Summer Helles Lager.


We have had the good fortune to work with Planet Bluegrass as the official beer sponsor of their festivals (Telluride Bluegrass, RockyGrass, and Rocky Mountain Folks Festival), for about 12 years now. Throughout that time, we’re not afraid to admit that we’ve developed a serious crush on them. They have set the bar high for festival sustainability & responsibility, and we think that’s pretty dreamy. From local and organic food served backstage, to robust composting and waste reduction programs, to reusable beer cups and the elimination of plastic bottled water, to incentivizing alternative power sources for vendors and offsetting the festivals’ GHG emissions, they truly walk the walk and inspire their attendees to do the same. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the iconic Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and we helped Planet Bluegrass mark the occasion by brewing a special beer for the event. We loved the beer so much that we decided to bring it back this year as our newest summer seasonal: Summer Helles.

In addition to partnering with Planet Bluegrass on festivals, we have also had the good fortune to hold our annual summertime retreat at their property in Lyons, Colorado for a number of years. Planet Bluegrass Ranch is located along the shores of the St. Vrain River, with beautiful grounds and an amazingly crafted stage nestled up against red rock outcroppings. The space is nothing short of magical and has been a perfect place to get good juju flowing and make meaningful connections with coworkers. We spend the entire day outside, taking breaks to dip our feet in the river, and we never fail to come away inspired and energized. Unfortunately, Planet Bluegrass and the entire community of Lyons were devastated by a powerful flood on September 12, 2013, following 17 inches of rainfall over the course of a few short days. The grounds, like much of the town, experienced significant structural, civil and ecological damage. While we escaped the flood relatively unscathed at the brewery, our hearts ached for our dear friends down the road in Lyons. The path to rebuilding is a long one, and work is currently underway. In solidarity with our friends, we’ve elected to donate a portion of the proceeds of Summer Helles sales to rebuilding efforts at Planet Bluegrass, in order to help them bring life back to this magical space which has brought so much life to our brewery. No doubt some of our coworkers will also be embracing the summer weather through some upcoming volunteer days at Planet Bluegrass as they continue their clean-up and rebuild efforts.

We know that we are incredibly lucky to do what we do, and we know that we would not be where we are without the support of our community and our partners. If you’re interested in learning more about what’s going on at Planet Bluegrass, please visit them here. If you are interested in learning about volunteering and fundraising opportunities for Lyons, please visit Lyons Fights Back. Three cheers for community, and three cheers for bluegrass! Thank you for your support!

Hugs and kisses -- Ginger