Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Belgium Brewery Tour

Fort Collins is home to the New Belgium Brewery, makers of the famous beer Fat Tire. Founded by an engineer (Jeff) and his wife Kim, a social worker, the owners became interested in brewing beer on a trip to Europe. During their travels, they learned that some of the best beers they had were in Belgium. So they brought back what they learned in Belgium and began brewing beer in the basement of their house. After brewing three different beers and spreading them to their friends, the beer became such a demand that their home brewery overtook the family house. Eventually Jeff bought some land in Fort Collins and opened the brewery we toured.

New Belgium Brewery is known for their amber ale Fat Tire, named because people in Europe had never seen a mountain bike and wondered what was up with the fat tire. They also have Abbey, a Belgian Ale, Skinny Dip, another Belgian Ale, and about 12 other beers.

Our tour was incredible. The place is filled with neat trinkets and old style bicycles. The bicycles are given to employees on their year anniversary as a way of promoting being green and riding to work. The tour gave us a chance to see the brewery, sample lots of beers, and purchase NBB merchandies. During the tour, our tour guide asked if anyone wanted to pour samples. Me, being the fan of beer I am, jumped behind the bar and poured away. It was a very cool experience. I felt like I worked for the place!

If you are ever in Fort Collins, definitely check out New Belgium Brewery. You will go home happy, drunk, and with great beer for cheap. (A new growler is 9 bucks and to fill its only $3.50.)

Pictures include me in front of the sign on the signature bike, all of the tappers, me pouring beer, and some cool art around the place.

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