Friday, June 27, 2008

Vacation: New Belgium Brewing Company

OK, it's come to my attention that some members of my family have read some of my posts and gone, "Uh, what is he talking about ?" I promise this blog post will be a little more straight-forward than some in the past.

I've been in Colorado all of this week. I'd made the decision to take next week off to drive out here to see my aunt and uncle in Longmont, but as luck would have it, my job took me to Colorado Springs a week early. So I was able to get a plane ticket out on company expense and spend time with family/friends after escaping Colorado Springs (and not a moment too soon, either. If I'd seen one more reference to the Focus on the Family Visitors' Center in CS, I'd have lost my temper.) Anyway, I talked Dick and Isabel into going to the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, just up I-25, with me yesterday. To put it mildly, a good time was had by all...

The logo of NBB with all the employees' signatures. This is the new wallpaper on my cell phone.

A shot of the golden soda inside one of the ultra-high-tech, state-of-the-art, uber-spiffy brewing vats.

These are actually hand-blown glass fixtures for a chandelier in the staircase leading up to the balcony overlooking the packaging plant.

My Uncle Dick, Aunt Isabel, me, and 4-oz. samplers of Mothership Wit. (part 2)...

Some facts about NBB: They are the 8th-largest brewery in the United States, yet they only distribute to 18 States. Wrap your mind around THAT for a minute.

They are the only brewery in the US powered completely by wind turbines.

They have their own water treatment and methane-recycling facilities, much to the relief of the city of Fort Collins.

They are not publicly traded, but you start getting employee-owner stock options after ONE YEAR on the freaking job.

All new employees get a key to the brewery on their FIRST DAY, and they get a six-pack of beer per week. ON THE HONOR SYSTEM.

They put on a Tour de Fat festival every year in several major cities. Our tour guide said they had something like 7,000 people for the one in Fort Collins last year, and ended up taking a grand total of TWO bags of garbage to the landfill. When was the last time you could say that about your family picnic? These people REALLY know their stuff about environmental conservation.

I ended up getting some goods at the souvenir shop, including a cycling jersey with the logo for Fat Tire Amber Ale on it, but I did not leave with what I really wanted.

A job application.

What a cool place.

Up next: a test ride of a Moots in Boulder (and maybe a tour of their factory in Steamboat Springs).

Spin easy, friends.


Its dangerous business walking... said...

i'm SO jealous...
so jealous.

Grootveld said...

Isn't that a cool place? I love their attitude regarding environmental stewardship... They aren't enviro-whacko-hippies (I hate those types) but they do think and care about their impact on this planet. I think a lot of businesses would do well to take a close look at the way they treat their employees and what they get out of their employees in return. What's the Lips of Faith brew right now? What was your lineup for the sampler? Did you go down the slide? Tell, tell!

Cycle Ninja said...

No, I didn't go down the slide, they didn't give us the option, and I'm a bit old for that sort of thing.

I forget what my order was, but I had the Sunshine Wheat, Abby Ale, the Skinny Dip, the Blue Paddle, and the Mothership Wit (Yeah, I sneaked one in before the tour.) I also left with a Fat Tire jersey and t-shirt, plus I picked up the set of the 12 x 16 posters of each beer's label. I'm going to hang them above the kitchen nook in my living room. I also bought a set for my nephew, who's re-doing his basement with a full bar. Very cool.

M said...

please let us know when the new bar is open so we can visit and christen it properly

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering as well, did you get a job application!? HA Sounds just like your kind of place. Thanks for the postcard, too, loved it!

hug hug HK