Pros: Overall Excellent Company and Product
Cons: Can't think of any
Being a native Coloradan, I was there shortly after the inception of New Belgium Brewing Company and as far as Colorado Microbreweries go, this is one of the best. Not only does Jeffery Lebesch, the founder of New Belgium, continue to put out a fine, quality product, but he also promotes innovative and environmentally conscience brewing, manufacturing and engineering practice. I also cannot forget to mention that this is an employee owned company that gives back to its supporting communities year after year.
First, I must rave about their brews. In college, Fat Tire was the first microbrew I tried and, needless to say, the flavor and body of that beer weaned me off of every wanting drink another mass-produced lager or pilsner again. Fat Tire may have been New Belgium's first, but it was not their only. They now produce brews for a variety of palettes. Everything from a light, citrus wheat to black ale to a clear pilsner to a fruity, winter festive brew. I am looking forward to the day when New Belgium introduces a hearty stout or porter.
Next, Let's talk about the brewery and the company. I have had the pleasure of visiting New Belgium on two occasions. I was fully impressed with the care and pride put into their product, the factory and the community. Lebesch cut no corners in the design of the brewery and this fact is reflected in the quality of the product. New Belgium custom designed the brewery to specific engineering specifications that included several energy efficient facilities. Quite an investment!
As the web page will tell you, this is a company that cares about their environment. It is the first wind powered brewery in America. Plus, by giving employees a new red fat tire to ride they promote commuting by bicycle. They also return some of their profits to non-profit community programs in each of the states that their beer is distributed. However, as an engineer, I am most impressed with the efficient operation. They have cut their use of electricity and they use an energy condenser to convert steam from brewing to energy for brewing. It is an amazing and spectacular operation.
I strongly suggest when you are out west to pick up a New Belgium brew. If you make it to the Fort Collins area, sample them all at a brewery tour and be wowed by the facility. If you can't do either, see www.newbelgium.com!