Belgium is home of the finest ales and have been known to brew for centuries. So when Jeff Lebesch, an electrical engineer from Fort Collins, Colorado took a bicycle trip through Belgium it made him realize there may be a market back home to sell Belgian-style ale. Jeff returned home with hopes to experiment and brew his own beer in his basement from the various ingredients he received on his trip. When his friends approved of the ales he started marketing them to the local town. He later opened New Belgium Brewing Company in 1991. His wife, Kim Jordan was the company’s marketing director. They named their first brew “Fat Tire Amber Ale” after Jeff’s mountain bike in Belgium. The company outgrew basement operations and opened up in a custom built facility in 1995 (New Belgium). Since then, the company offers a variety of ales and pilsners such as, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, Abbey Ale, Trippel Ale, 1554 Black Ale, and Fat Tire Amber Ale. They also market two types of specialty beers on a seasonal basis. They are distributed in one third of the United States and until 2005 their most effective form of advertising was word of mouth. In search of an advertising agency they found Amalgamated, independent New York advertising agency that created a brand identity for the company.
Before their success, Jeff and his wife Kim made sure that they established the company’s core purpose on a hike into the Rocky Mountains. Their purpose remains with them until today and is well recognized and respected within their work environment. Their core values and beliefs reflect the culture that the company maintains and sets an example to competitors such as, Grand Teton, Goose Island, and Stone brewing company. The company benefits include health, dental, and retirement plans. They also provide employees a free lunch every other week and a free massage once a...