New Belgium Brewing Company
NBB was established in 1991 by the husband and wife team of Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan. They are the principles, but every employee with one year’s service becomes a stakeholder in the brewery. Before starting the brewery, Jeff’s background was in electrical engineering, and Kim’s was in social work. In its present structure, Kim is the CEO. “Jeff is semi-retired. He’s on the board of directors, and provides big picture consultation for energy efficiency and plant engineering,” Kim said.
They chose Ft Collins, CO as the site for their brewery for the simple reason they live there. Jeff added, “Of course we looked at important issues like water quality and local demographics, and we were quite happy that those factors were favorable for opening the brewery in the city where we had lived for a number of years.”
The brewery is in its third location. When asked if they’d expanded the brewery since founding it, Jim replied, “Yes, a bit”.” To which Kim replied, “I think Jeff’s being funny here. We started out brewing 400ish barrels in 300 square feet. We’re in our third location where we now have 70,000sq ft. We anticipate production of 230,000bbl in 2001. Expansion is a way of life around here.”
But why brew Belgian ales? Jeff replied: “I became fascinated with the quality and unique variety of beers available in Belgium, and worked to develop similar beers that I brewed at home. With the relative success of the homebrewing efforts, we decided that there was an opportunity to introduce these world beer styles to the American craft-brew scene, where previously there was little representation of Belgian beer styles at all.”
New Glarus Brewery
Located in Wisconsin’s dairy country, this brewery is known for the authentic European beers it produces, most notably, but by no means limited to, its Belgian-style cherry and raspberry beers.
Their motto is: “Life’s too short to drink cheap beer.” This should the standard to which every beer-drinker holds himself.
In June 1993, Daniel and Deborah Carey founded their brewery in New Glarus a town with a strong Swiss heritage. Their first brew was unveiled in November of that year. Deb’s background is in marketing and graphics, which she studied at college. She raised the capital for the start-up as a gift to her husband, establishing herself as the first woman to found and operate a brewery in the United States.
Daniel studied brewing at University of California, Davis, where he earned a BS degree. He was also valedictorian of the Siebel Institute’s course in brewing science and technology. In 1993, he passed the Institute of Brewing Diploma Master Brewer Examination, and served his apprenticeship at a small Bavarian brewery. He has operated and constructed numerous breweries throughout the US.