Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fat Tire Rolling Into DC Area

Until just a few years ago, New Belgium Brewing's beer wasn't available east of the Mississippi River. It's been creeping slowly towards Virginia for several years, but now New Belgium is making a big move, expanding into the entire DC region:
New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, announced plans today to expand their market territory along the eastern seaboard. The Colorado brewer will open Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. in September of 2011. The added territory will bring the nation’s third-largest craft brewer to 29 states.
But New Belgium isn't just coming to DC to sell beer. It'll also be pushing for clean energy & climate action:
New Belgium Brewing, the nation’s third largest craft brewery, today announced it is joining the fast-growing Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) coalition, a group of major American businesses pushing for passage of comprehensive energy and climate legislation in the U.S.

“New Belgium has long strived to be a sustainable business role model, but we also recognize that legislative advocacy is vital to creating the conditions for widespread sustainable business practices,” said Jenn Orgolini, Sustainability Director at New Belgium. “We view BICEP as our ally in D.C., giving us the opportunity to join other business voices in advocating for aggressive energy and climate policies that address the tremendous challenges and opportunities facing our country.”

New Belgium Brewing, based in Fort Collins, CO, is considered a leader in sustainable business practices in the craft beer industry. In 1998, New Belgium became the first brewery in America to subscribe to wind energy for its electrical needs. The brewery currently produces 15 percent of its electricity onsite, by harvesting methane from its process water treatment facility to fire a co-generation engine. New Belgium recently installed the largest private solar array in Colorado at 200kW and boasts one of the lowest water-to-beer production rates in the industry.
New Belgium may not focus on using organic ingredients, but their clean energy leadership is far more critical. And don't discount the water factor out West, where the climate crisis is worsening droughts just as it is here in the Southeast.

The Green Miles has been rooting for New Belgium's Fat Tire to come to DC since he first tried a pint more than three years ago in California. It's as tasty as a craft brew, but drinkable enough that on a hot summer night you could have a couple and not feel like Mr. Creosote.
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