Wednesday, July 05, 2006

New Belgium

We had a relaxed fourth of July. Here's Greg taking it easy at a park yesterday afternoon.

Though we didn't ride today, I have to post some shots of our tour of the New Belgium brewery here in Ft. Collins. The girls have been sponsored by New Belgium for their tour on bicycles, and as it turns out, this company is a model of efficiency and environmental responsibility. I've never seen anything like this before.

From Wikipedia:

"The brewery was founded by husband-and-wife team Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan in 1991 and emphasizes eco-friendly practices and employee ownership in its marketing materials. It is located in northeast Fort Collins near the Cache La Poudre River on the grounds of the former Great Western sugar plant.

New Belgium Brewery has made it a goal to be entirely wind-powered. Rather than directly using wind-generated power, the brewery elects to pay an increased rate for their electrical energy, which is supplied by the City of Fort Collins Utilities in order to ensure it comes from the cleanest source possible. About 10% of the brewery's powers comes from methane gas created as a by product of their on-site water treatment plant."

Check out New Belgium's web-site HERE.

Ft. Collins is a very bike-friendly town. I'm sure many of New Belgiums employees ride their bikes to work. There were lots of younger folks here today in the tasting room.

A truck full of art bikes ready for the Tour de Fat.

I can hardly make sense of all this.

Extendo-bike? (I got to ride this one)

Sitting at the Drum Bike.

Inside the brewery, I think this area is where bottling and packing happens.

This building is really attractive and well designed.

Amanda cracks up after her second time down the slide.

A laboratory.. oooh.

Some tasters, and a shrine to the beer gods.

Lots of pipes..


The beginnings of New Belgium brewery, from the founder's garage.

The building has many large windows and light tubes, lots of natural light.

Supposedly, this bike was built to carry ice and beer in the back.

I only saw two rooms that had any flourescent lighting, and was told that it's only because they couldn't reach those spots with light tubes.

It's pretty overwhelming to see how complex this place is, and on what a large scale it's happening.

One of our fearless tour guides, Chris. He explains to us that part of the brewery's power comes from methane gas (or yeast farts, as he put it)

On the second floor, next to these tanks they have yoga classes, and there's lots of cool artwork through-out the building.

This is Todd. New Belgium's resident mad-scientist.

A heap of parts he uses to create art bikes and other oddities.

A real fat tire bike.

Massage cycle.

One of Todd's sculptures at rest and in motion.

Now we're headed up to see the big tanks outside, this junction made me think of Charlie and the chocolate factory.

Walking a cat-walk above the smaller tanks. It's a long way down.

These tanks are huge.

Meredith is responsible for the brewery's support of the bike tour. These guys have given us a wonderful tour of their amazing facility.

Some of the ingredients used to brew beer on display.


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