New Belgium’s Folly Packs to rotate “Throwback” beers

New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a wide variety of award-winning beers, is bringing back fan favorites from the proverbial “past”. Starting in 2013, each Folly Pack (mixed 12-pack of New Belgium beers) will have a beloved former seasonal release from the archive.

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“We’ve been rotating out seasonal releases every two years to keep things fresh for the beer drinker,” said New Belgium Spokes Model, Bryan Simpson. “We get a lot of requests for classics like Loft, Springboard and Giddy Up, so this allows us to revisit some old faves while keeping the seasonal program progressive and dynamic.”

The following beers will be packed for folly: 
Q1: Fat Tire, Ranger, Trippel, and Springboard*
Q2: Fat Tire, Ranger, Shift, Blue Paddle* and Loft*
Q3: Fat Tire, Ranger, Rampant, Shift and Giddy Up*
Q4: Fat Tire, Ranger, 1554, Rampant and 2 Below*

The *asterisks represent the “throwback” beers that aren’t available outside of the Folly Pack.

In other news, New Belgium’s spring seasonal Dig Pale Ale will soon hit the shelves. Dig will be the focus of New Belgium’s upcoming BeerStream, a live video feed hosted by New Belgium that gives fans an opportunity to engage with brewers and assorted brewery folks in a virtual tasting and Q&A. The next BeerStream event is February 12 at 6:00 p.m. mountain time. To learn more, go to http://bit.ly/Wykqim.

To find New Belgium beers in your area, you can use the New Belgium Libation Location tool:http://www.newbelgium.com/beer.aspx. Pricing varies by location. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/newbelgium and Twitter @NewBelgium.

Still can’t wait for the day that we can get New Belgium Beer in Cincinnati!

Asheville council unanimously approves New Belgium brewery

From the Asheville Citizen Times:

Asheville’s City Council approved 6-0 New Belgium Brewing’s plans for a new brewery in the town on Tuesday night.

Council heard from area residents who said the brewery will be a major economic boost and neighbors of the project worried about truck traffic the brewery is expected to bring to Haywood Road.

But, several who raised the traffic issue did not oppose the project but simply pushed the city to continue to seek alternate routes for trucks.

Many area residents strongly encouraged approval, saying New Belgium will have a tremendous positive impact on areas along the French Broad River that have already seen an upswing in activity in recent years.

The brewery is proposed for a nearly 20-acre site on Craven Street just west of the French Broad River and a little north of Haywood Road. It is projected to employ 154 people and open in 2015.

“Adopt this as proposed, because this is just an amazing project,” said Emma resident Stuart Greene.

The proposed brewery “fits all requirements of what the city … wanted for that area,” said Rod Huggins on behalf of the Council of Independent Business Owners.

West Asheville resident Ava Carr’s message was more mixed.

“We’re excited to have New Belgium, but we can’t have a slew of trucks on Haywood Road,” she said.

A traffic engineer who studied traffic patterns in the area told council trucks will make up 1.2 percent of Haywood Road traffic near the Interstate 240 interchange in 2022 and 1.7 percent at Riverview Drive.

That was too many for West Asheville resident Jonathan Wainscott.

“This is folly. It’s not good for the type of growth, the slow, steady growth, we’ve seen in West Asheville over the past few decades,” he said.

Greene, however, said worries about truck traffic are overblown.

“Haywood Road is what it is. It’s a business route,” he said. “The river is what it is. It’s zoned commercial. It’s been so ever since I can remember.”

City Council members were enthusiastic about New Belgium’s plans.

“If it weren’t so late at night, I would go on and on about how great New Belgium is,” said Councilman Gordon Smith.

Council directed staff to continue to look at ways to make Riverside Drive the primary route for truck traffic to and from the brewery.

A lack of clearance for large trucks under a railway bridge and a lack of turning radius at the Craven Street/Riverside Drive intersection are the main obstacles to that route, Public Works Director Cathy Ball told council.

Council’s meeting began at 5 p.m. and continued until 11:30 p.m. because of a heavy agenda and a lengthy debate over zoning for property near the future site of a Harris Teeter supermarket on Merrimon Avenue.

Mayor Terry Bellamy was absent Tuesday because of illness.

Oskar Blues Brewery celebrates 2012 with ten-year anniversary of Dale’s Pale Ale, 52 % increase in sales and new brewery

Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, the first craft brewery in the country to brew and can craft beer in November 2002, continued its explosive growth posting a 52 percent increase in sales/depletions and 49 percent increase in revenue in 2012, outpacing industry growth by nearly 40 percent.

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Oskar Blues’ continued growth is a result of $4+ million in improvements to its Longmont, CO facility in 2012.  The expansion included 14 additional 200-barrel fermenters and two 400-barrel bright beer tanks which allowed the brewery to go from 59,000 barrels of beer in 2011 to 85,750 BBLs in 2012.  In addition, the Tasty Weasel taproom (Best Taproom: 5280 & Westword Magazines) in Longmont, CO underwent extensive renovations earlier in 2012 resulting in a new patio and additional production space.

The increased capacity catapulted Oskar Blues to one of the three “Biggest Momentum Gainers” on the Brewers Association annual Top 50 Craft Brewers List this past spring and grabbed them the Denver Business Journal’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies” in August.  It also allowed Oskar Blues to expand distribution to new markets for the first time in four years.  The markets: Chicago, Ohio, Northern Kentucky and founder Dale Katechis’ home state of Alabama each established the largest craft beer launch in territory history topped with 14,000+ case equivalents during the first week in Ohio.

The Colorado brewery also installed a new canning line capable of filling 300 cans per minute.  This allowed the company to introduce 16oz cans of Deviant Dale’s IPA and G’Knight Imperial Red IPA while being the first American brewery to offer beer drinkers a 19.2oz. Imperial Pint can.  Oskar Blues celebrated the 10 year CANiversary of Dale’s Pale Ale by launching the original craft beer in-a-can in the 19.2 oz. Imperial Pint can package during this year’s Great American Beer Festival.  The package is available across the country for 2013.

In addition, Oskar Blues became the first craft brewer to introduce Ball Corporation’s 16oz. Alumi-tek resealable can this year at the Craft Brewers Conference by debuting “CHAKA Belgian-Style Ale”, a CANlaboration with Sun King Brewery from Indianapolis.  Since that debut, they have used the Alumi-tek can for another CANlaboration with Sun King, a hoppy brown ale called “The Deuce”.  They are also canning and distributing their own B.Stiff and Sons Old Fashioned Root Beer in the innovative package.

Oskar Blues keeps employees healthy with an “In the Core” workout program 3 times a week with a personal trainer, massage twice a week and Yoga once a week.  The outdoor centric company also hosts a running club and group bike rides throughout the year.  In 2012, Oskar Blues instituted a 6% matching 401K program and provided employees 100% health care coverage, offerings that earned them the Denver Post “Top Workplaces Award”.

The accomplishments of 2012 became a springboard for 2013 when, in December, Oskar Blues began brewing at its new brewery and taproom in Brevard, NC.  The brewery plans to include a separate restaurant and live music venue in the small town as well.  The addition of the 30,000 sq. foot Brevard brewery will expand overall brewing capacity to nearly 130,000 barrels in 2013 and allow the brewery to enter additional markets.

“We continue to have as much fun as we CAN to enjoy this ride” said Katechis. “I am proud of our team as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Dale’s Pale Ale and we look to include Pisgah, NC singletrack as part of the Oskar Blues backyard.”  The fun includes two award winning Colorado restaurant locations (Grill & Brew, Home Made Liquids & Solids), Bonewagon food truck, Hops & Heifers Farm, REEB Cycles www.reebcycles.com (Outside Magazine’s Top 9 Mountain Bikes of Spring 2012) and the upcoming March opening of CHUBurger www.CHUBurger.com in Longmont, CO.

New Belgium’s “Clips” Tour is Seeking Submissions

New Belgium LogoNew Belgium Brewing is taking its beer and film festival on the road again and has put out the call for inspired short films to bring along. Now simply called “Clips,” the roving film festival wants your filmmaking prowess for its 2013 show. To enter, upload your film to www.newbelgiumclips.com. The window for submissions is January 15-April 15 and New Belgium selects approximately 20 films each season. Clips will kick off in Bloomington, Indiana on Friday, May 31.

Clips is a nationwide beer and film tour that brings people together to try beers from New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series, along with some popular classics, view amateur films and raise money for philanthropic organizations. Now in its fourth year, Clips has raised nearly $118,000 for local nonprofits in the cities where it has held screenings.

“We are asking people to harness their creativity and send it our way,” said Christie Catania, Clips Manager-at-Large. “Our growing beer and film festival has become a great showcase and rallying point for filmmakers, volunteers and community members. Clips marries some of our more rare beers with independent filmmaking, all while raising funds for deserving nonprofits.”

Over the last three seasons, the Clips Beer and Film Tour selection team has received hundreds of film submissions from people with a wide variety of skill levels and backgrounds. All chosen entries for the 2013 season will receive a custom gift from New Belgium and screenings along the entire tour. Approximately 16,400 attendees viewed the films last year alone.

The guidelines include:

  • The film must be no more than five minutes.
  • Filmmakers must be at least 21 years old.
  • The film can cover any subject/genre, but extra points go to films that include a New Belgium folly: craft beer, sustainability, whimsy, adventure or culture.
  • Keep it clean.
  • Filmmakers must secure rights for all elements included in the film.

Since 2010, selected plotlines include a documentary about controversial water rights, a tale of lizard wrangling in Wisconsin, and a piece of art entirely created with old school theater trickery, puppeteering and black light. Film genres ranged from comedic shorts, animation and environmental documentaries to accounts about the world’s best invention: the bike.

For the latest information on Clips, go to www.newbelgiumclips.com; stay tuned for a 2013 Clips schedule. For more information on New Belgium Brewing, visit www.newbelgium.com.

U.S. added a brewery a day in 2012

From The Brewers Association:

The Brewers Association makes a count on the last day of each month of number of operating U.S. breweries, Brewers Association members and breweries-in-planning. The growth has been fast and steady over the past year. The December 31, 2012 count came in at 2,336 breweries–an increase of 387 more than the year-end 2011 count of 1,949. That’s more than one new brewery for all 366 days in the calendar year. Happy New Year!

The Brewers Association also has reached out recently to principals connected to our brewery-in-planning list to ascertain whether the plans are still moving along and/or when the expected opening date is for the new brewery. As a result of our ability to inactivate some of those brewery-in-planning records and convert many to operational brewery status, our brewery-in-planning count has declined to 1,254 from a high of 1,381 at the end of October. Thanks to Erin Glass, Sarah White and Tami the Temp for their efforts to clarify the intentions of some of these people/entities.

A couple months ago, Beer Institute’s Lester Jones publicized the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB’s) count of active brewery notices of 2,751. What is the difference in the two numbers? The TTB number is of brewers notices. Brewers who operate as alternating proprietors have brewers notices. Multiple brewers may have notices but use the same brick-and-mortar brewery to make their beers in that alternating proprietor relationship. Contract brewing companies do not have brewers notices and are not in either the TTB or Brewers Association count.  Also, the TTB tends not to quickly inactivate notices from brewers that have closed in the past couple of years, in hopes that they may revive and pay excise taxes again. So the number of breweries in the U.S. is 2,336 until the count gets updated at the end of January.

The count of operating U.S. breweries who are Brewers Association members is now at 1,650, up almost 300 breweries and 22 percent from the year before, and up from 1,000 four years ago. Seventy-one percent of U.S. breweries are members, up from 69 percent the year before. On the brewery-in-planning rolls, we have 995 members, up from 582 the year before. So the wave of openings appears that it will continue. Other membership numbers we have include 154 international breweries, 64 contract brewing companies, 7 companies that function only as alternating proprietors, 580 allied trade companies, 432 craft beer distributors and 704 individuals. American Homebrewers Association membership has climbed over 35,000.

Current counts by market segment are 24 breweries that are part of the two large brewers, 109 regional brewing companies, 1,084 microbreweries and 1,119 brewpubs. These numbers are a snapshot in time. Note that when we compile the 2012 brewery numbers as part of our Beer Industry Production Survey, the totals will be different because they will also include companies that closed during the year (because they did operate in 2012) as well as new information on openings and closings that come my way during the research and number crunching parts of the project. Final numbers will be presented at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, DC on March 27, 2013 and in the May/June issue of The New Brewer. You can also expect a growth press release in March and the top 50 craft breweries and top 50 U.S. breweries lists to come out in April.

New Belgium Brewing Becomes 100% Employee-Owned Company

New Belgium LogoNew Belgium Brewing is excited to announce that the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) has purchased the balance of company shares, making it 100% employee-owned. New Belgium, brewer of a wide variety of award-winning beers including Fat Tire Amber Ale, has been a partial ESOP since 2000 with a controlling interest held by co-founder Kim Jordan and her family. This transition will put the company on a path to control their destiny into the foreseeable future.

“There are few times in life where you get to make choices that will have multi-generational impact – this is one of those times.  We have an opportunity to write the next chapter of this incredible story and we’re really excited about that,” said New Belgium CEO and co-founder, Kim Jordan. “We have always had a high involvement ownership culture and this allows us to take that to the next logical level. It will provide an elegant succession framework that keeps the executive team in tact ensuring our vision stays true going forward.”

Jordan plans to remain CEO for the long-term and the executive team at New Belgium will continue in its current form. The Fort Collins brewer is currently building a second facility in Asheville, North Carolina that will begin beer production in 2015. More than 150 additional hires are expected by full build out in Asheville.

New Belgium was advised by Eureka Capital Markets, a middle market investment-banking firm with expertise in both the food & beverage sector and ESOP transactions, which assisted in structuring and completing the second stage ESOP buyout transaction.

“It was an honor to work with a craft brewing leader like New Belgium and help them transition the ownership of the business to its tight culture of employee owners,” said Michael Harden, Managing Director.  “Given all of the consolidation occurring in the craft brew sector, we expect that many other craft brewers will investigate how using an ESOP might help them achieve their transition goals while enabling them to remain independent companies.”

The Fort Collins brewer is currently building a second facility in Asheville, North Carolina that will begin beer production in 2015. The transition to 100% ownership will enable New Belgium to include their future co-workers in Asheville, NC in the plan and will drive an even deeper commitment to progressive business practices for the company.  More than 150 additional hires are expected by full build out in Asheville.

The deal was completed on the 28th of December with a companywide announcement made during New Belgium’s annual winter retreat on the 14th of January.  All 456 employee-owners were present for the celebration.  Prior to this deal, New Belgium co-workers held 41% of the company’s shares.

New Belgium’s construction plans in Asheville conditionally approved by council

New Belgium Brewery’s constructions plans for their new Asheville, NC facility were approved by city council on Friday, both not without some protest from council members and residents that live near the proposed site.

According to brewery plans, about a dozen 18-wheelers will travel to and from the brewery every day once it opens, and the number could grow as high as 52 trucks per day when the brewery reaches full capacity. Tourist activity could also stress local roads, as New Belgium officials estimate beer tourists could number about 100,000 a year.

Council member Paul Smith expressed concerns about the plan saying that funneling all the trucks onto one road was “a recipe for disaster.” He urged the exploration of alternate routes and said he couldn’t vote for the conditional use permit because the commission didn’t have enough information.

Jay Richardson, the newly named general manager of the Asheville brewery, promised to work together with the city to address residents’ worries about the trucks.

Blank Slate announces plans for 2013

On the Blank Slate Brewing Company blog, Scott talks about the 2013 plans for beer releases, distribution, bottling and more.

It looks like they plan to have 4 “classes” of beer available at any given time. These are broken down into “Round and Round” (a rotating session beer), a Travelling IPA, a “Gastronome” beer (incorporating food influences and designed for pairing) and Carte Blanche (catch all).

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They expect to be putting bottles on the shelves by April, though it seems that they are still deciding on whether to go with 4 or 6 packs.

Last but not least, a taproom looks to be on hold for now. He has limited space and funds available, so the focus will be on the beer. Makes sense to me.

New Belgium Releases First Lips of Faith Beers of 2013

Heavenly_Feijoa_Tripel_Poster 2Coffee cherries, dates, feijoa and hibiscus are just a few of the creative ingredients found in the first round of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith beer series for 2013. The Lips of Faith series, which features New Belgium’s more esoteric and palate-elevating creations, will introduce two new selections per quarter throughout the year. Heavenly Feijoa Tripel is a collaboration beer with Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel! brewery and Cascara Quad is an ale that channels the Trappist tradition. The beers will be available in 22 oz. bottles in select markets now through March, or while supplies last.

Cascara Quad is a dark, strong and surprisingly Cascara_Quad_Posterdelicate ale made with dates and coffee cherries. Channeling the Trappist tradition, it’s brewed with an ethereal malt bill, and spiced with the fruit of the coffee bean (cascara). The aroma brings dates, cherries and pipe tobacco right to the nose and builds layers with hints of spice and fruity Belgian yeast. Once on the palate, Cascara Quad starts swinging clove, fig and molasses. Each sip offers sweet warmth, deep complexity and fleeting dryness. Alcohol by volume is 10 percent.

Heavenly Feijoa Tripel combines Dieu du Ciel!’s love of hibiscus flowers with New Belgium’s passion for strange and worldly fruit. Feijoa, also known as pineapple guava, has a sweet, aromatic flavor, which makes the aroma of Heavenly Feijoa Tripel luscious and tropical. The beer has Belgian yeast and Nelson Sauvin hops, combining to make a sweet fruit taste, mild spicy tones and a sharp bite. Hibiscus adds a cranberry tartness and an ambrosial quality to the color. Alcohol by volume is nine percent.

“These two beers kick off the New Year with creativity and warmth,” said New Belgium brewer Grady Hull. “Collaboration has become an important element of many Lips of Faith selections and Heavenly Feijoa Tripel is just divine.”

To find New Belgium beers in your area, you can use the New Belgium Libation Location tool:http://www.newbelgium.com/beer.aspx. Pricing varies by location. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/newbelgium and Twitter @NewBelgium.