As an aspiring young homebrewer rides his mountain bike with "fat tires" through European villages famous for beer, New Belgium Brewing Company
was but a glimmer in his eye. Or basement. For Jeff Lebesch would return to Fort Collins with a handful of ingredients and an imagination full of recipes.
Jeff's first two basement-brewed creations? A brown dubbel with earthy undertones named Abbey and a remarkably well-balanced amber he named Fat Tire.
To say the rest was history would be to overlook his wife's involvement. Kim Jordan was New Belgium's first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner and is now the CEO.
|ABBEY BELGIAN STYLE ALE||BELGIAN/ABBEY|
|ABBEY GRAND CRU||STRONG ALE|
|BELGO IPA||INDIA PALE ALE|
|BIERE DE MARS ALE||BELGIAN/ABBEY|
|COCOA MOLE ALE||BROWN ALE|
|DIG PALE ALE||PALE ALE|
|FAT TIRE||AMBER ALE|
|FRESH HOP IPA||INDIA PALE ALE|
|LA FOLIE||AMERICAN ALE|
|LE FLEUR MISSEUR||PALE ALE|
|LE TERROIR||AMERICAN ALE|
|RANGER IPA||INDIA PALE ALE|
|SOMERSAULT ALE||PALE ALE|
|SUPER CRU||PALE ALE|
|TART LYCHEE AMERICAN WILD ALE||AMERICAN ALE|
|TRIPPEL BELGIAN STYLE ALE||BELGIAN/ABBEY|
The other side of the New Belgium story isn't as romantic as bicycling through Europe, but it gives testament to our dedication and hard work. And it goes like this: Jeff,an electrical engineer by day and tinkerer by nature, builds a homebrewing kit in his basement out of repurposed dairy equipment. His Belgian inspired brews garnered enough praise from friends and neighbors that Jeff and Kim take their basement brewery commercial in 1991.
Kim, social worker by day and mother to two always, began the marketing process by knocking on their neighbor's door. Anne Fitch was that neighbor and her watercolors are the artwork we continue to use on our labels today. With labeled bottles and local encouragement, the first Belgian-style beers brewed in the United States were officially for sale.
Bringing Peter Bouckaert, a Belgian Brewmaster working at Rodenbach, on in 1996 helped influence our love of sour beers. Moving forward, Peter would take the brewing reins as Jeff began pursuing other interests. In 2009, Jeff moved on completely and we have continued to flourish with Kim, Peter, and a team of dedicated employee-owners at the helm.
The Core Values and Beliefs that Kim and Jeff built New Belgium Brewing Company on. Before they ever sold a bottle of beer, they hiked into Rocky Mountain National Park with a jug of home brew in one hand and pen and pad in the other. Together, they wrote down what they wanted to instill into this business dream of theirs.