Founded in 1991 by social worker Kim Jordan and her husband, electrical engineer and homebrewer Jeff Lebesch, New Belgium Brewing is the leader in eco-beer production. Its array of top-quality brews, including Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsener-Lager and Abbey Belgian Style Ale, are produced with water-, energy- and resource-conserving methods. New Belgium has been 100 percent wind-powered since 1999. It also generates electric power from its onsite waste-water treatment plant. In addition, the company uses heat exchangers to capture heat created in the brewing process and reuse it to heat water for the next batch. Timers and motion detectors turn lights on and off.
New Belgium sells nearly half a million barrels of beer each year. Though transportation remains an environmental challenge, New Belgium’s sales fleet is comprised of 23 hybrid electric vehicles. Forty percent of the company’s sales ship in kegs, which are reusable. And if you live in the Fort Collins, Colorado, area, you can tour the facility and pick up a refillable, half-gallon “growler” to use again and again. This year the company launched its first organic beer, Mothership Wit. Bottoms up!