New Belgium Brewery – Beer, Culture and Values Lead to Growth

May 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

Fat Tire Amber Ale is one of my favorite micro beers. I decided to do some research on Fat Tire to find out what the company and brand was all about. What I found was a company that has a great story, a collaborative culture, a genuine interest in the welfare of associates and a commitment to sustainable business practices. This approach has enabled the company to be very successful.

Fat Tire is brewed by the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is the seventh largest brewery in the United States. The brewery was founded in 1991 by husband and wife team (now divorced) Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan who began brewing beer in their basement. Kim is now the CEO. She is one of the few female CEO’s of a major brewery.


The Fat Tire recipe originates from Jeff’s bicycle trip through Belgium where he traveled from brewery to brewery. Sounds like a fun trip. The bike on the label symbolizes his trip as well a commitment to run a sustainable business. Their mission statement is to:

“Operate a profitable company which is socially, ethically and environmentally responsible, that produces high quality beer true to the Belgian brewing styles.”

The company is a leader in sustainable manufacturing. The culture is guided by strong values, a sense of purpose and leadership that recognizes employee contributions. Year after year, New Belgium is voted one of the best places to work in the United States. New Belgium believes that their dedication to a high involvement culture and a loving, high performing workforce sets them apart. It also donates a lot of money to charity and recently announced that it is 100% employee owned. New Belgium’s purpose reads as follows:

“Operate a Profitable Brewery which makes our love and talent manifest.”

New Belgium is very successful and continues to grow. New Belgium is building a brewery in Asheville, N.C., that will enable the company to expand its distribution to the East Coast.

New Belgium is another example of a successful company which balances profits with doing the right thing.

Have you tried Fat Tire Amber Ale?


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