Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Belgium Brewery

 Michael and I have been waiting a long time to go on a tour of the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins. Before today we had only tried their "Fat Tire" an amber ale, "Snow Day" a winter ale and "Blue Paddle" a pilsner. We love all 3 of these, but most of all we love Fat Tire. It's one of their most popular choices- if you try it you'll understand why. By the way, their beers are vegan friendly!

The brewery itself is a work of art- not just the architecture but they have quirky and tasteful pieces of art and little exhibits throughout the brewery. They also have a rock climbing wall, ping pong tables and pool tables for the employees. The people who work there are super fun and obviously love what they do. Heck, I'd quit my job in a second if I had a chance to work there!

If you want to tour New Belgium be sure to sign up well in advance for a tour. Weekend tours are hard to come by and you might have a one to two month wait. Weekday tours are much easier to get. We signed up for our tour the beginning of January just to be sure we could get it for this weekend. It was so well worth the wait! The tour is about 90 minutes long and is fun and informative. It was especially interesting to learn about all the sustainability practices followed by the brewery. Oh, did I mention you get 5 free samples on the tour!?

OK. Here is what we tried on the tour: 

1. "Abbey", a Belgian Style Ale. This was really good. I'm not great at describing beer so you should just go there yourself and try it.

2. "Biere de Mars", an ale brewed with spices. I liked this one a lot- it was earthy tasting and refreshing and also interesting.

3. We got to pour our own. I chose their springtime seasonal Pale Ale "Dig" and Michael tried the "1554" "Enlightened Black Ale". "Dig" was good but not great- but I'm comparing it to all their other beers that are all also really good. I think I was also comparing it too much to their winter seasonal beer "Snow Day" and they are not even in the same category really.

4. "Fat Tire" was next and Michael and I both remembered again how much we love this one. It's just really good.

5. "La Folie" was the last one on tour. This was one of the most interesting beers I've ever had. It's a sour beer- and not sour like it's gone bad but sour in a good way like a sour apple candy. I'd definitely get one of these again. It's not necessarily a beer I'd like to have with food but it's just great on its own.

After the tour (and all the time that they're open) you can order samples and normal sized beers at the bar. Sooo of course we tried a few more samples before heading to dinner:) It was really nice to sit for an hour or so at the bar and enjoy the atmosphere of the place.

Michael got the "Belgo" Belgian Style IPA and I ordered the "Trippel" which is a Belgian Style Ale brewed with coriander and I really really liked it. After that I ordered "Frambozen", a Raspberry Brown Ale. Sooo yummy. Now, I like all kinds of beers and not necessarily fruity beers but this was just so tasty. I could really see myself sitting outside enjoying a Frambozen on a warm summer evening. Apparently they don't always have this one in so I might just have to pick up a 6 pack to have on hand.

Oh! I forgot to mention that they have a slide at the end of the tour. Yes, an adult-friendly slide. Be sure to lift up your feet or you might scrape your elbow like I did:( I don't know, a slide seems kind of dangerous after 5 samples... Nah, it was just fun!

Before! All smiles!

After: I skinned my elbow:(

For a Valentine's Day present, Michael had me pick out a pair of earrings which are made out of a recycled can of Fat Tire. Coooool! If you don't know me, I collect jewelry from places I visit and I have a really nice (in my opinion!) collection of jewelry from all over and I try to get pieces that remind me of the places. So for example, I was in Nice, France and I picked up a pair of beaded earrings that look like palm trees and I was at the Oregon Coast and I got some Agate earrings because my favorite restaurant in Eugene, Oregon is the Agate Alley Bistro. I could keep going on and on about my jewelry from places but it's really not that exciting for anyone else out there. Anyways. These will be my official Fort Collins, Colorado earrings!

"i once was a beer can now i'm a pretty pair of earrings"


  1. So glad you guys enjoyed it! I still think it's one of the best brewery tours around. Would love to host a sour tasting for you guys sometime!