New Belgium announces revised construction timeline for Asheville brewery

New Belgium Brewing announced today that it has nearly completed deconstruction at the site of its future Asheville facility and will continue site development and building construction later in 2014. The adjusted construction timeline is the result of increased capacity coming online in Fort Collins this year. With 70,000 barrels of capacity recently added, the Fort Collins brewery can produce up to 920,000 barrels, which will take New Belgium through 2015 sales projections.

“We’re in a good situation as far as capacity in Fort Collins right now,” said New Belgium Spokesman, Bryan Simpson. “With deconstruction in Asheville wrapping up, our plan is to operate at maximum efficiency in Fort Collins and bring Asheville online at just the right moment. Along with our construction partners and the City of Asheville, we look forward to using the additional time to balance the many elements of such a dynamic project.”

Current estimates are for about an 8-month adjustment to the construction timeline. Once underway, the construction phase will take place over 22 months as originally projected. The scope and physical attributes of the project remain the same. In the meantime, New Belgium will continue to work with the community to develop bike and pedestrian infrastructure in the area. All recovered materials slated for repurposing have been down-streamed to contractors or put into storage for future use. Once construction is complete, the brewery is expected to create more than 150 jobs in the area.

New Belgium Launches Summer “Pairs Well With People” Campaign

New Belgium Brewing launches their summer campaign, “Pairs Well With People,” this week with a focus on Fat Tire and the Millennial Drinker. A dynamic media mix including digital, social, web and television will shine a light on Fat Tire Amber Ale while introducing a whole new audience to New Belgium’s flagship beer. Skateboard legend-turned-documentary-film-director, Stacy Peralta (“Dogtown and Z Boys”, “Riding Giants”, “Bones Brigade”), directed a cast of New Belgium co-workers in the :30-second broadcast spots available for viewing here: Slated to run in 12 television markets, those spots will also run alongside a series of :15-second shorts in a 30-state digital overlay covering New Belgium’s area of distribution.

“We believe there is huge opportunity to introduce beer drinkers to the friendly shores of the craft brewing community and to New Belgium and Fat Tire as well,” said New Belgium Brewing Branding Director, Josh Holmstrom. “There is such a wide variety of new and interesting media to engage with them including social, mobile and Digital Video.”

The commercial spots were shot over three days in Fort Collins, CO this spring featuring brewery co-workers and a soundtrack by long-time New Belgium musical collaborators, March Fourth Marching Band. Cultivator Ads of Denver developed the creative with New Belgium, and Peralta assembled his crew through his commercial production company home, Nonfiction Unlimited.

“One of the most fun productions I’ve been on,” said Peralta. “The company is populated with a large number of wild personalities who work very hard and who take crafting beer very seriously, yet they are very accessible and open – we had access to every physical aspect of the brewery and we were free to set shots up in whatever fashion we chose.”

The campaign’s social elements will feature a Facebook app that allows users to insert a photo into a sharable New Belgium-themed frame, which enters them into weekly drawings to win a custom cruiser bike. There will be opportunities to win a bike on Twitter and Instagram as well.  On premise promotions will include beer and food pairings, bike giveaways and postcoaster contests (details at

New Belgium’s “Pairs Well With People” campaign will run through Labor Day, 2013.

Oskar Blues Burning Can Beer Festival grows with Lyons Outdoor Games and Colorado Brewer’s Guild

The Oskar Blues Burning Can Beer Fest ( ) is back (June 1st) for the second year as part of the Lyons Outdoor Games (5/31 to 6/2) to bring you everything craft beer in a CAN offers: fresh, earth-friendly beer in a portable container that takes you to your next soul-saving outdoor adventure.

Oskar Blues Brewery invites all beer lovers to celebrate the REVOLUTION of big-flavored craft beers served up in cans in their hometown of Lyons, CO.  Set amidst the backdrop of beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park in Bohn Park on June 1st, 2013, Burning Can adds a national craft beer influence to the world class events of the Lyons Outdoor Games (May 31st to June 2nd).

Last year Burning Can Beer Fest joined Lyons Outdoor Games and raised $18,000 for beneficiaries while exposing over 2,300 people to canned craft beer, some of which is not for sale in Colorado.  Burning Can offers samples (4pm to 7pm, VIP 3pm to 7pm) of canned craft beer from 35+ innovative canning craft breweries from across the country in the middle of live music by Chain Station (, food trucks, Lyons Outdoor Games 5K, Rugby, and the BMX/Mountain Bike dirt-jump & best trick bike competition (followed by DJ Chronz) as world class kayakers are running the river.

The Lyons Outdoor Games kick off Friday Night (May 31st) with a FREE live concert featuring New Orleans Dumpstaphunk ( and local band Interstate Stash Express set to the backdrop of Bohn Park.  Now in its 12th year, the multi-sport competition of Lyons Outdoor Games has grown into a world-class celebration of mountain sports drawing heavy hitters from the outdoor industry over three days from May 31st to June 2nd.

“The Lyons Outdoor Games attract world-class athletes but also offer many opportunities for beginner and intermediate athletes to learn and develop skills under the downhome, grassroots feel of Lyons, CO.” says Dave Cosgrove, Lyons Park and Recreation Director.   The South Saint Vrain creek is the definition of steep, manky, roadside class V+  for boaters in Colorado and has become the stage for the renowned Adam Barron Memorial Creek race.

What would a CANNED beer festival at an outdoor-sports celebration be without RECYCLING?  Ball Corporation, Novelis Inc. and Alcoa Inc. have stepped up to focus on recycling initiatives.  All money raised from Lyons Outdoor Games recycled cans will be donated to American Whitewater.  American Whitewater is a national non-profit organization with a mission “to conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.”   Canned craft beer has many benefits including defending beer from the damages of sunlight, an air-tight seal that allows less oxygen into the beer creating a fresher tasting beverage. Not only are cans good for the beer, they are also good for the environment.  Aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable and are lighter to ship, reducing the ecological impact. Last, but not least, you can take CANNED beers where your next soul-saving adventure takes you….including places where glass isn’t allowed and where you need to “pack it in, pack it out.”

All proceeds from the 2013 Burning Can event go to the Lyons Department of Parks and Recreation and the Colorado Brewers Guild, two groups that embody the soul of Oskar Blues. The Colorado Brewers Guild is a key player in the continued growth and celebration of Colorado’s craft beer industry.  Lyons Outdoor Games is a tribute to the outdoor sports that helped inspire Oskar Blues to can Dale’s Pale Ale over ten years ago.

For a full list of events at the 2013 Lyons Outdoor Games visit:  Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of for 4pm to 7pm event.  $35 VIP Tickets are available for an early 3pm entrance and come with a commemorative Burning Can glass, no day of purchase available.  Receive $5 off of the day-of ticket price if you ride your bike to the festival as Bicycle Longmont will be providing bike valet.  Tickets are available at:

LODGING – There is ample camping at Bohn Park and Meadow Park in Lyons and More information about lodging is available at

TRANSPORTATION – The Oskar Blues trolley will run from Longmont to Lyons all weekend, stay tuned at  for a schedule and pick up info.  RTD buses run from Boulder & Longmont to Lyons all weekend as well.

SPONSORS of Burning Can Beer Festival are:

  • PRESENTING RECYCLING SPONSORS:  Ball Corporation, Novelis Inc., Alcoa Inc.
  • SUPPORTING SPONSORS:  Boulder Business Products, Go West, Westword, Draft Magazine, Mobile Canning, Wild Goose Canning, High Country Beverage.

CANNING BREWERIES ATTENDING (Some not available in Colorado):

  • Bootstrap Brewing
  • Breckenridge Brewery
  • Eddyline Brewing
  • NOLA Brewing Co
  • Crazy Mountain Brewery
  • Aspen Brewing Co
  • Bonfire Brewing
  • Big Choice Brewing
  • Moab Brewery
  • Dry Dock Brewing
  • Crystal Springs Brewing
  • Telluride Brewing Co
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing
  • Asher Brewing C0
  • Sun King Brewing
  • Ska Brewing Co
  • Renegade Brewing Co
  • Pateros Creek Brewing
  • Twisted Pine Brewing
  • High Noon Saloon & Brewery
  • New Belgium Brewing Co
  • Golden Road Brewing
  • Maui Brewing Co
  • Left Hand Brewing Co
  • Boulder Beer Co
  • Avery Brewing Co
  • Upslope Brewing Co
  • Great River Brewing
  • Santa Fe Brewing
  • San Tan Brewing
  • 21st Amendment
  • Uinta Brewing Co
  • Sam Adams Brewing Co
  • Kona Brewing Co
  • Redhook Brewery
  • and yours truly, Oskar Blues.

New Belgium Announces Newest Lips of Faith Selections

New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a wide variety of award-winning beers, has two new quarterly Lips of Faith offerings now available: Paardebloem, which is the newest collaboration with Red Rock Brewing in Salt Lake City, and Pluot.

Paardebloem_poster copyPaardebloem is the sixth collaboration beer with Red Rock Brewing. The beer brings together a diverse set of ingredients ranging from peach juice to dandelion greens. It blends funky brettanomyces with New Belgium’s house Belgian ale yeast, and includes a touch of wood-aged sour beer and Grains of Paradise. Paardebloem pours a light, hazy gold and is 9 percent ABV.


Pluot_poster copyPluot is a subtly sweet ale made from pluot juice, which is a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. Pluot is light golden, delivering fruity aromas and distinct esters. It is also created with house Belgian ale yeast and brettanomyces, bringing a hint of spice and a malty backbone. ABV is 10 percent. Both of these Lips of Faith selections will be available through July or until supplies run out.

“All three of these selections are bold statements of Belgian tradition, offering imagination in every pour,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “The Lips of Faith series was created for those wanting to push their palate.”

As you begin your annual festival and beer-tasting planning, don’t forget to see if either New Belgium’s Tour de Fat ( or Clips Beer and Film Tour ( is coming to your area.

To find New Belgium beers near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool: Pricing varies by location. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at and Twitter @NewBelgium.

Ohio governor signs bill that benefits craft brewers

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a controversial brewery bill Tuesday afternoon that benefits craft brewers and was blasted by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The legislation creates a new liquor permit for breweries that make less than 31 million gallons a year. The new permit, called an A-1c, will replace the A-1 permit for small brewers and reduce their annual licensing fee from $3,906 to $1,000.

Craft brewers have praised the legislation, saying it will allow them to invest more money into their breweries.

Only two breweries in Ohio definitely make more than 31 million gallons annually: Anheuser-Busch in Columbus and MillerCoors in Trenton. Boston Beer Co. has declined to say how much it produces at its Samuel Adams Brewery in Cincinnati.

The legislation, called Senate Bill 48, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate, but Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, protested a provision inserted at the last minute that bars large brewers from owning or having a financial stake in wholesale distributors. Anheuser-Busch, which owns a distributorship in Canton and will be allowed to continue to run that business, complained heavily and met with the governor and lawmakers to outline its stance.

“We are very disappointed that this legislation will now become law, and remain concerned about the manner in which this anti free market legislation was introduced and passed,” Anheuser-Busch said Tuesday in a statement. “We have, however, had productive and constructive discussions with policymakers, and our concerns about the lack of transparency in the legislative process were heard and acknowledged. Positive assurances were made to address the issues that significantly impact our investments in the state. We are pleased with the open-mindedness demonstrated by the governor and legislators to working towards a more equitable solution.

“Anheuser-Busch is proud of its long-standing roots in Ohio, employing almost 800 people statewide in our Columbus brewery and the Canton wholesale operation. We are hopeful that the final resolution will maintain consumer choice and the free market principles that have made Ohio a great place to do business.”

The legislation also allows liquor permits to be transferred easier as part of economic development projects and permits brewers to open a tasting room within a half-mile of their production facilities.

Stella Artois bringing cider to the U.S. market

Stella Artois does not sell a cider in Belgium, but given the growing U.S. market for the beverage, parent company Anheuser-Busch is introduced using Stella’s cache to roll out a European-style variant. 

Stella Artois, the best-selling Belgian beer in the world, is introducing Stella Artois Cidre to the surging U.S. cider market.

Stella Artois Cidre is a crisp, distinctive European-style cider made with apples hand-picked from wine growing regions. Initially it will be available in 26 U.S. states, with further expansion possible in 2014. Sales to retailers begin on May 13.

Adam Oakley, vice president of import, craft and specialty brands at Anheuser-Busch, said the cider category is seeing 110 percent growth in the United States, and this new brand helps to meet the growing demand for premium ciders with a more complex taste profile.

“Stella Artois Cidre is designed to be savored and is very different from sweeter, domestic U.S. ciders,” Oakley said. “Stella Artois Cidre has the potential to change people’s perceptions of cider here, offering a refreshing alternative to white wine.”

With the U.S. cider market seeing triple-digit growth, it has become one of the fastest-growing beverage categories in the United States. Early growth in the category was driven primarily by sweeter domestic ciders; this has been balanced of late by a consumer demand for drier, premium European-style ciders. Stella Artois Cidre represents the finest of the latter category.

“Cider drinkers are now approaching cider with a sophistication similar to that of wine drinkers,” said Marc Stroobandt, a Belgian master sommelier. “To capture their interest, ciders certainly need to be refreshing and savory, but people also want something a little more complex and distinct, which Stella Artois Cidre offers.”

Stroobant said that similar to white wines, drier ciders such as Stella Artois Cidre are designed to be savored and pair well with chicken, fish and a broad selection of cheeses, including Camembert-style cheeses, English cheddars, semi-firm cheeses such as Gruyere and washed-rind cheeses. Stella Artois Cidre’s tart profile also balances well with Asian and spicy foods and light salads.

Stella Artois Cidre will be fermented in Baldwinsville, NY, using apples picked from wine-growing regions in North and South America. At 4.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), Stella Artois Cidre is available in two packaging configurations: four-packs of 12-ounce bottles and single, 24-ounce bottles.

International Federation of Beer Rides (FIMB) cracks down on Lance Armstrong

After a failed attempt last month to participate in a Master’s Swimming competition, Lance Armstrong has once again run afoul of international sporting authorities after announcing his participation in a Shiner Beer Ride on Saturday, May 5th.

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The Fédération Internationale des Manèges de la Bière (FIMB), also known as the International Federation of Beer Rides swiftly responded, issuing a statement that in conjunction with United States Beer Rides (USBR),their American affiliate, unequivocally banning the disgraced cyclist from Beer Rides:

Lance Armstrong is ineligible to participate in sanctioned beer rides.

The former competitive cyclist has been a member of USBR  for several years. The spirit and purpose of USBR is to encourage adults to enjoy a cold one (or two. Cheers!) after a healthy bike ride.

USBR is affiliated with FIMB (Fédération Internationale des Manèges de la Bière) through United States Beer Sports.

When we became aware that Mr. Armstrong entered the Shiner Bock Ride in Austin, Texas on May 5th, a local event sanctioned by USBR, we contacted United States Beer Sports and FIMB to clarify our responsibilities in this case. The event in question is conducted on the roads of Austin and in the parking lot of a local bike shop known as Mellow Johnny’s, a non-Olympic course not contested on the international stage.

After discussion with United States Beer Sports and FIMB, it was agreed that although Mr. Armstrong is eligible for membership in U.S. Beer Rides, he is not currently eligible to compete in sanctioned beer rides, regardless of the type of course.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has banned Mr. Armstrong from competition. FIMB accepts the WADA Code and USBR, as a member of United States Beer Sports, recognizes and respects adjudications under the Code.

Mr. Armstrong was contacted via his Facebook page, but as of this writing, has yet to respond.

Beer rides are known as friendly competitions in which a number of compatriots participate in a bike ride, then convene at a local watering hole to enjoy a beer or two, often with pizza or hamburgers. Town line sprints, also known as primes, determine who is responsible for buying rounds of beer for the other participants.

Check back with Bike World News for updates as this story develops.

New Belgium Brewery expands capacity to 920,000 barrels with latest project

New Belgium Brewing is nearing completion on a 140,000-barrel expansion project at its Fort Collins brewery to accommodate growth while building a second facility in Asheville, NC. Added features include: 400 metric tons of additional malt capacity; four 2200 hectoliter bright beer tanks, twelve 2200 hectoliter fermentation vessels, a 30% expansion to the process water treatment facility, additional filtration capacity and 32 new oaken foeders for wood beer conditioning.  The expansion is designed to meet demand through 2015 when New Belgium’s Asheville facility is slated to come online.

“This gives us the ability to grow brands in existing markets while adding additional territories through 2015,” said New Belgium Brewing Sales Director Joe Menetre. “We’ll be in 31 states plus DC this summer so we’ve got a lot of potential geography out there still. We’re excited about opening the Asheville brewery and this will get us there while meeting demand.”

New Belgium is currently deconstructing existing buildings at the Asheville site and will break ground this summer. The Asheville brewery will begin beer production in 2015 with a capacity of 400,000 barrels.