New Belgium plans $7M expansion, launches new beer and improves employee health care

Megan Braa

New Belgium Brewing Company is planning exciting things for the next coming year, including a $7 million expansion of the Fort Collins Property, the emergence of a second brewery location and a partnership that involves the unlikely combination of ice cream and beer. 

New Belgium bartender pours thirsy vistors a nice pale ale Thursday afternoon. Brewery employees, Fort Collins residents, and the like are all eagerly looking forward to the annual Tour de Fat taking place this Saturday.
A New Belgium bartender pours thirsty visitors a pale ale Thursday afternoon. (Photo Credit: Madison Brandt).

New Belgium releases three new beers every quarter. New Belgium recently released their new beer that was brought to life through a collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s. The new beer is called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. 

Ad

The proceeds from sales of the beer will be donated to non-profit organization Protect Our Winters, which focuses on climate change awareness and was founded by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones.

There will be a kickoff event in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to help launch the new beer and raise money for POW. According to the New Belgium website, the event will include a benefit concert with Galactic and Dr. Dog, along with keynote speakers from POW, Greenpeace, 350.org, Sierra Club and more.

On top of the Ben & Jerry’s partnership, New Belgium is planning to open their second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, Aug. 27, 2016, said New Belgium Media Relations Director Bryan Simpson. The opening of the new brewery will help celebrate New Belgium’s 25th anniversary.

In addition to these events, New Belgium is planning a $7 million expansion to their property in Fort Collins.

The expansion includes an additional “1,600 (square feet) to accommodate increased visitor numbers,” reconstruction of the current front parking lot to add a beer garden and grassy lawn and an increase in office space by 13,400 square feet, said Simpson.

On top of all of these renovations, the expansion will also include a 1,500-square-foot, full-service health clinic.

A couple enjoys New Belgium beer in the tasting room on a Tuesday afternoon. New Belgium will be opening a new clinic for employees next April.
A couple enjoys New Belgium beer in the tasting room on a Tuesday afternoon. New Belgium will be opening a new clinic for employees next April. (Photo credit: Emma Brokaw.)

“We wanted to make sure our co-workers had access to easy and efficient health care, for themselves and their family,” Simpson said. “Their comfort level is important.”

The clinic will provide primary health and wellness care, chronic disease management and urgent and infant care. However, the clinic will not provide prenatal, OB or emergency care, Simpson said.

New Belgium has employed an in-house board-certified licensed physician of family medicine, Dr. Patti Palagi. 

“So far, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive,” Palagi said. “My co-workers have welcomed me with open arms. I feel lucky to be a part of this company. It is a privilege to take care of co-workers and their families.”

Ad

Palagi has been employed with New Belgium since February of this year and is currently working with New Belgium families and employees at a temporary location until the new clinic is finished. Palagi has lived in Fort Collins since 1995, and said she has watched New Belgium grow as “a great company.”

“New Belgium has given me the opportunity to work with a defined number of patients, allowing me to focus on providing them with the time and care they need, never having to feel the pressures of seeing large numbers of patients in short time slots,” Palagi said. “In addition, they have included co-worker’s families, if (they are) on the company insurance, giving me a unique perspective on their lives, both at home and at work. This often provides increased insight into their overall health and well-being.”

The clinic is scheduled to be finished by May 2016, Simpson said. He said employees have been enjoying the convenient health care.

“I’ve never found a clinic in Fort Collins, but now I know the doctor,” Simpson said. “Morale is up, everyone is super excited and has been using the clinic. Building a relationship with a caregiver is very important, and we’ve known Patti for a while now and she is great.”

New Belgium has an employee retention rate of about 97 percent, and a great health care plan is just one of the benefits of working for the company, Simpson said.

“Working for New Belgium is really a dream come true,” Palagi said.

Collegian Reporter Megan Braa can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MeganBraa.