Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan founded the
New Belgium Brewing Company
(“NBB”), with a mission “to operate a profitable company which is socially, ethically, and
environmentally responsible, and that produces high quality beer true to Belgian styles.”
this initial vision, they developed a set of “core values and beliefs” that guided the company
through its early, fast paced growth.
Fueled by the success of their flagship beer,
Belgium Brewing Company’s growth greatly outpaced that of regional competition in a highly
competitive industry that exploded on the Colorado scene in the early 1990s.
NBB was able to
withstand intense pricing pressures and maintain continuous growth, becoming the 6
specialty brewer in the United States by 2002, and winning numerous awards along the way at
the industry’s most prestigious events.
The company’s focus on energy efficient brewing processes and environmentally friendly
technologies and practices were reflected in their mission statement and core values. By holding
true to these beliefs, NBB has set new standards for efficient brewing operations, environmental
stewardship, and employee happiness for the industry.
The 1995 design of a new brewery and
operations facility, which became the industry paradigm for energy efficiency, indicated the
company’s level of commitment to minimizing environmental impact.
In 1999, NBB became
the first brewery to purchase 100% of their electricity from wind-generated power. The latest
expansion, which was completed in 2002, displayed the intent of NBB to continue growing in a
way that is environmentally sustainable and their commitment to maintain the quality of their
products as batch sizes increased to help supply a wider range of distribution and greater overall
The Brewing Industry
The brewing industry in the United States had evolved from an industry dominated by
numerous small local breweries (pre-Prohibition), into one dominated by few very large
companies that had survived Prohibition. From the 1930s, until the late 1980s, large domestic
brewers dominated the market, and beer drinkers did not have many options on the shelf. Then
the introduction of
, by the Boston Beer Company, in the early 1990s helped spur a
microbrew craze that spawned over a thousand breweries in the United States in the next decade.
The Boston Beer Company used clever radio advertisements featuring the company’s founder,
James Koch, to help educate beer drinkers about the difference between all-malt craft brews and
the mass-produced domestic beers made with only about 60% barley malt and 40% rice, or corn
(as a cheap substitute). In the following 20 years the craft brew market matured, with many
breweries going out of business, and others consolidating operations or merging with other small