socially responsible firms are large corporations, it is the social responsibility initiatives
of small businesses that often have the greatest impact on local communities and
neighborhoods. These businesses create jobs and provide goods and services for
customers in smaller markets that larger corporations often are not interested in serving.
Moreover, they also contribute money, resources, and volunteer time to local causes.
Their owners often serve as community and neighborhood leaders, and many choose to
apply their skills and some of the fruits of their success to tackling local problems and
issues that benefit everyone in the community. Managers and employees become role
models for ethical and socially responsible actions. One such small business is the New
Belgium Brewing Company, Inc., based in Fort Collins, Colorado.
History of the New Belgium Brewing Company
The idea for the New Belgium Brewing Company began with a bicycling trip
through Belgium. Belgium is arguably the home of some of the world’s finest ales, some
of which have been brewed for centuries in that country’s monasteries. As Jeff Lebesch,
an American electrical engineer, cruised around that country on his fat-tired mountain
bike, he wondered if he could produce such high-quality beers back home in Colorado.
After acquiring the special strain of yeast used to brew Belgian-style ales, Lebesch
returned home and began to experiment in his Colorado basement. When his beers earned
thumbs up from friends, Lebesch decided to market them.
The New Belgium Brewing Company (NBB) opened for business in 1991 as a
tiny basement operation in Lebesch’s home in Fort Collins. Lebesch’s wife, Kim Jordan,
became the firm’s marketing director. They named their first brew Fat Tire Amber Ale in
honor of Lebesch’s bike ride through Belgium. New Belgium beers quickly developed a
small but devoted customer base, first... [continues]
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