Late last week while visiting family in Denver, I took a side trip to Ft Collins and had the pleasure of touring the New Belgium Brewing Co facilities there.I've always enjoyed their beers, but knowing the backstory, I will now enjoy them even more! This is one pretty cool business; employees get full medical/dental, profit sharing, a voice in how the business is run, a "fat tire" bicycle at the end of their first year (and options to buy each years collectors version thereafter), a trip to Belgium to tour the breweries there after 5 years, plus stock options and who knows what else. Looked like a lot of happy employees FWICT!Plus, the beer just tasted good - despite having to do the wine-thing; taste & spit.. :-(They get their electricity from a wind farm in Wyoming and have their own water treatment plant, using the methane generated from it to power onsite vehicles. Too, local farms(ers) get the spent grains for feed, so they are 99% waste free. A energy-responsible company that treats its employees well - what a concept! As for Fat Tire, seems the founder was one of the first folks to do a bicycle tour of Belgium on a new-fangled mountain bike - everyone kept asking what's with the bike with the fat tires... When he got back, he & his wife started up the business in their basement, even putting their home phone number on some early labels, before going deep into debt to move into an abandoned train station after their first child was born (in a de facto brewery..).Neat place, nice people, good beer (and the fact they gave me a t-shirt and a bottle of La Follie - for free - has nothing to do with it!).
Them, please send the La Follie my way for product testing. Unless you like sour belgian ales ala Rodenbach's Alexander you will most likely hate it. I, otoh, will e very happy to share tyour pain as I have sought that beer out for years. Wow, what a parting gift!
Too bad they aren't on the stock market, as I would buy their stock in a second. They are such a great company!
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