Feb 152006
Authors: Ryan Skeels

A visit to the tasting room on a Friday afternoon is sure to prove to you that New Belgium knows what they're doing when it comes to making beer.

Donnie Richards, Fort Collins resident of three years and now a brewery regular said, "I moved from the East Coast where the only chance for anything like this is brew pubs, but you can't buy any of their beer in the store."

However, good beer isn't the only thing the employee-owned business is concerned with; the process and its effects on the planet are just as much of a concern.

Liquid Center Representative Matt Jones talks of a few of the steps taken to keep the company sustainable.

"Our delivery trucks run on Biodiesel," Jones said. "We manage to divert 98 percent of our waste to places other then the land fill, and the brewery is powered almost completely with wind power."

Energy used that's not from wind does not come from the power plant though. Instead, the company captures methane released from organisms in its wastewater treatment ponds and locally converts it into usable electricity.

Not only is it concerned with the local environment, New Belgium is also conscious socially and donates quite a bit of money to various local charities.

Last year the brewery held its second annual summer bike-in movie series with all profits from beer sales going toward the Fort Collins Arts Alive program; a charity devoted toward promoting the arts on a local scale on levels such as education and economic growth.

The brewery plans to continue the movie series this year.

All environmental concerns aside, New Belgium still mainly focuses on creating the best-tasting, highest quality beer it can to local customers, even if that means experimenting with special brews.

"The test beers are special brews concocted by the brewers giving them a chance to showcase their beer making creativity," said Tyler Foos, New Belgium liquid center representative. "We just want to have something fun you have to come to the tasting room to try."

Ryan Skeels can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com


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