Warmth from alcohol is present but not conspicuous. Nice dry finish from carbonation and glass full of bitter hops.
|1989. Belgium. Boy on bike. (Ok, make that a young man of 32).
As our 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.
And then there was beer.
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 now, she's our CEO.
Electrical engineer meets social worker; ideals flourish
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.