Best of CSU: Good Beer for the Community

A Liquid Center Representative serves tasters to beer enthusiasts during the Great American Beer Festival. New Belgium recently won Best of CSU for the 12th time.
A Liquid Center Representative serves tasters to beer enthusiasts during the Great American Beer Festival. New Belgium recently won Best of CSU for the 12th time.

Voted the best local brewery by CSU students for the 12th year, New Belgium is wildly popular on campus and around town. It is the beer carried by all of the local bars and restaurants and the beer students know to suggest when they want to impress visiting parents. But the beer is not the only source of our towns love for New Belgium.

Bree Fenner, a Viticulture and Enology Major at CSU, works in a temporary position in the New Belgium tasting room. She hopes to become a full time employee one day.

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“New belgium is a great company to represent, even though I’m not fully employed by them, yet,” Fenner said. “Some of the employees have said it takes two to three years to get fully hired through New Belgium. There is a lady who works 40-plus hours a week as a temp and is still on the waiting list to be hired.”

Since its founding in 1991, New Belgium has been centered around its employees and the community. Now, 21 years later, the local brewery is doing more than ever to be a good neighbor.

“New Belgium is completely employee owned, so when you become an employee with New Belgium they give you a little bit of stock in the company,” Fenner said. “They are so involved with the community. They represent Fort Collins in a certain way, being more sustainable and one of the most sustainable breweries. I think that draws a lot of people in.”

New Belgium has committed to many green energy initiatives as well as sustainable water, waste, and greenhouse gas policies. They have also chosen to sustainably source all of the raw materials they use in the beer making process, and to support many local charities.

“They are really conscious of their water usage and try to re-use water as much as they can, I know they re-use many materials and are able to compost a lot” Fenner said. “I love that all the tips go to non-profit organizations, if you choose to tip.”

New Belgium diverts almost 95 percent of their waste from landfills and plans to reduce the water used in making a barrel of beer from 4.22 barrels of water to 3.5 by 2015. They also have philanthropic programs focused on youth environmental education, sustainable agriculture, water conservation and restoration, and sensible transportation and bicycle advocacy.

Through its great beer, strong sustainability practices and community oriented event planning, New Belgium has been a CSU favorite for years, and likely will be for years to come.

College Avenue photo editor John Sheesley can be reached at collegeavenue@collegian.com.