Last week, New Belgium Brewing kicked off a raucous three days of fun and excitement to simultaneously celebrate their 25th year anniversary and the official grand opening of their sleek new $140 million state-of-the-art brewery.
Events kicked off on Thursday, with the brewery hosting Brewbound.com’s “Brew Talks,” a craft beer symposium with selected panelists from New Belgium, Hi-Wire Brewing, and Highland Brewing. Attendees heard from Asheville area brewing professionals about the local market, what it’s like to start a brewery (large and small), and the rapid changes that have taken place in the industry the last few years. Kim Jordan, co-founder of New Belgium Brewing, also talked with Brewbound.com staff about what it takes to run a brewery for 25 years, and the unique experiences the veteran brewery has faced in a changing and dynamic market.
On Friday, “Clips of Faith,” New Belgium’s popular beer and short film festival, was held at Roger McGuire Green in Downtown Asheville raising money for Asheville on Bikes. The weekend’s events culminated in the Grand Opening and 25th Anniversay event at the brewery on Saturday, showcasing acts from NBB’s popular summer travelling festival Tour de Fat, unique beer offerings, all kinds of amazing eats and treats from some of Asheville’s favorite restaurants, and exciting live music.
With the exception of a brief mid-afternoon shower, the weather was picture perfect for Saturday’s Anniversary celebration. In addition to all the great New Belgium signatures brews like Fat Tire, the new Citradelic, Shift, and 1554, New Belgium offered up a series of collaborations brews from craft beer notables such as Allagash, Avery, Hopworks, and Rhinegeist, all of which were various spins on the original Fat Tire beer.
It’s not a birthday party without without speeches and reminiscences, and just after dusk, New Belgium co-founder, Kim Jordan, took to the stage to lead a festival-wide toast reflecting on the company’s amazing journey these last 25 years, and expressing well-warranted optimism future the brewery’s future. Birthday treats were plentiful, with local sweet shops Short Street Cakes, The Hop Ice Cream, and French Broad Chocolates all bringing goodies for festival goers to enjoy. New Belgium also had a special 25th Anniversary Carolina Brewed beer that was brewed at new Asheville brewery and just for the celebration, which will remain on tap at the Brewery’s Liquid Center until it runs out.
Public tours of the Asheville brewery start Friday, September 2, and we’ll have a follow-up article featuring more information on the tour experience, making reservations and what you can expect to find on this latest and greatest new stop along the Asheville Ale Trail.