New Belgium Brewing

fat tire

New Belgium Brewing Company is a regional brewery located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The brewery was founded by husband-and-wife team Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan in 1991 and emphasizes eco-friendly practices and employee ownership in its marketing materials. Fat Tire, an amber ale, is the company’s flagship beer. Its recipe originates from a co-founder’s bicycle trip through Belgium from brewery to brewery. The company promotes its Fat Tire ale locally by the public placement of colorful vintage bicycles outside its brewery, which is located adjacent to the public bike path along the Cache La Poudre River. New Belgium beer labels are designed by Anne Fitch, a watercolorist. Kim Jordan, the President of New Belgium Brewery, credits the success of New Belgium Brewery in part on Anne’s artwork, ‘Our beers were good, our labels were interesting to people, and we pretty quickly had a fairly robust following.’ In 2006, her artwork appeared on each of the over 125 million bottles sold by New Belgium.

Tour de Fat is a bicycle parade and festival sponsored by New Belgium. The events, which take place annually in various large- and medium-sized cities around the West, include music, New Belgium beer, circus- and -vaudeville type acts, bicycle dance troupes, and the main activist spectacle, a giant group bike ride/parade wherein the participants, many of whom are in fanciful costume, ride through town. The actual activist climax of the tour, however, is the bike trade, in which a local participant transfers the keys and title of their motor vehicle to New Belgium in exchange for a new commuter bike and trailer in order to promote bike riding and sustainability. The ‘Fat Tire’ bike is so strongly associated with New Belgium Breweries that employees of the brewery are given a ‘cruiser bike’ ‘like the one pictured on its Fat Tire Amber Ale label’ on their one -year anniversary with the company.

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