Page Buttons

Home About Me Food Sponsor Blog Love

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Belgium Brewery Tour!

When Steve and I planned our Colorado trip, we knew there would be lots of beer. Both Steve and Matt are avid home brewers and I knew they wanted to geek out over beer. When Matt suggested we spend a full day in Fort Collins drinking all sorts of tasty brews and touring local breweries, how could we say no? So Saturday we headed out bright and early to the New Belgium Brewery. The tours book up way in advance and we didn't have tickets, but we were told if we got there early and waited around, we could get on a tour. We got to the tap room just before 12, gave our names to the hostess and ordered a taster from the bar. Before I even took my first sip we were informed that there was a cancellation and we could jump on the 12:30 tour. Talk about good timing! Also, the tour is free. And filled with LOTS of free beer.
New Belgium is now entirely 100% employee owned and it seems like one of the best places to work. All of the staff were not only friendly to us, but really good friends with each other. Every employee gets a special bike on their one year anniversary so the brewery is filled with assorted bicycles. For their fifth anniversary employees get to a trip to Belgium with their brew-master to try tons of beers. For their 10 year anniversary they get a 6-week paid sabbatical to do whatever the hell they want. That is my kind of company!
 photo NB1_zpsa41c819b.jpg
Doesn't this look like a church that worships beer? The pointed ceiling, bright lights and mosaic floors made this the prettiest mash tun I've ever seen.
 photo NB2_zps2c79064e.jpg
 photo NB3_zps64c5a81c.jpg
Throughout the tour we got to taste lots of beer. LOTS OF BEER. They were handing it out so frequently that I had barely any time to finish my little tasting glass before they were giving me another.
 photo NB4_zpsefc0a12e.jpg
This is the room where they make all their special barrel aged beers. But look closely at the back wall. Notice something? It is actually an employee rock climbing wall. The story goes that when their first employee hit the 10 year mark they asked him what he wanted and he asked for a rock wall. This person now has the official title of Director of Fun.
 photo NB5_zps47c5f399.jpg
This beer is made by Satan.
 photo NB6_zps7b4dd5b6.jpg
Oh hello, I'm just another glass of some fancy-pants barrel aged beer.
 photo NB7_zps1430d91a.jpg
I can't even comprehend how much beer is inside of these silos. I would like to get all Scrooge McDuck on them and put on my bathing suit and go for a dip. If I take a shower first I won't contaminate the beer, right? ;-)
 photo NB8_zpsbca78ffb.jpg
 photo NB11_zps4837c6eb.jpg
The decor of the brewery was pretty neat. I especially liked all the lighting fixtures that were made out of bottles and cans. This is possibly the classiest dorm decor I have ever seen. Frat boys, be jealous.
 photo NB9_zps7a2cf292.jpg
Just look at that bottling line. I feel like I could watch factories in process for hours. Perhaps that's why I always get sucked into Unwrapped on the Food Network.
 photo NB15_zpsf004a373.jpg
And the best part/most random moment was the celebration of "Jean Shorts January." This event is celebrated by the staff in the tap room who were all wearing jean shorts. If a visitor chose to participate and cut their jeans to shorts right then and there, they would take home some free tasty beer. This poor fellow is loosing his pants for some suds. The jeans weren't doing much for his shape or butt so I think he made a wise choice.
If you are ever in the area, go on the New Belgium tour. It is the best brewery tour I have been on and has the best ending. SPOILER: you go down a giant spiral slide.


  1. There's a slide?! wow!
    I've only gotten to tour small Texas breweries, this a huge one in comparison to the ones i've been to.
    I seriously love everything about this post.
    All those perks for the employees? What an amazing company!

    1. I've been a few really small brewery tours as well and this was vastly different. New Belgium makes me want to start a company just so I can be the most kick ass boss ever!

  2. I'd cut my jeans in a heartbeat if it meant I'd take home some Fat Tire. When the local beer joint across the street finally got Fat Tire on tap they literally had a whole weekend celebration for it. Amazing!

  3. Gah! I love Fort Collins so much! We couldn't get in the brewery during our visit *sad face* but we did drink lots of good beer regardless.

    Oh, and we brew our own beer too so I'd love to hear any tidbits about the techniques/brews that others have tried...if you feel like sharing. :)

    1. I'm so sorry you missed out on the tour. I know that we got very lucky in being able to just jump right on.

      I'm not the brewer, Steve is. I should get you in touch with him- he loves to talk beer and brewing. I just kind of stand around and watch things boil.

  4. That sounds fairly incredible. I am now inspired to make a lighting fixture out of empty beer bottles, but I know it would NEVER turn out non trashy looking.

    1. ps. I am not a huge beer fan but I love brewery tours. My friend is a distiller for COllier & McKeel so I love touring and tasting whiskey. YOu and steve should totally do that sometime if you are a fan of dark liquor!

    2. Don't make a lighting fixture out of beer bottles. We are too old and classy for that business.

      I love some good whiskey. Where is this place?

  5. That looks like the coolest place to work EVER!

    1. I know! I totally have job envy. Everyone there seems just so happy and positive about EVERYTHING.

      I think more businesses should take a cue from New Belgium

  6. Those are some awesome employee perks...AND a slide!!!

    1. The slide was AMAZING. I think every office needs a slide.

  7. To be called New Belgium, they don't seem to have a lot of Belgian beer...


Blogging tips