New Belgium Beers Launch in Alberta

New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins, Colorado, launched their products in Alberta for the first time on Monday. The importer Horrizon Wines hosted an event at Craft Beer Market attended by a crowd of hundreds including 4 beer enthusiasts from our store: Marty, Andrew, Hunter and Shawn.

New Belgium Brewery was opened in 1991 after Jeff Lebesch, the brewery’s founder, decide to turn his passion for home brewing into the commercial venture. The first beers brewed were the Fat Tire Amber and the Abbey Dubbel, inspired by Jeff’s mountain bike tour (hence the fat tire) of European villages famous for their beer. Demand for the beet prompted the the hiring of Peter Bouckaert, a Belgian Brewmaster who’d previously worked at Rodenbach. As of 2013, New Belgium is the third largest craft brewer in the USA and the eighth largest brewer overall! They distribute to 36 states, British Columbia and now Alberta. New Belgium is currently building a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, expected to open in the winter of 2015.

While there were 14 different New Belgium beers on offer at Craft on Monday, the brand will be starting out in Alberta with just two of their core expressions:

  1. Fat Tire Amber – One of the first two beers brewed by the founder, Fat Tire’s appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it, except the name. Fat Tire won fans from its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavours coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness. - $17.79/6pack
  2. Ranger IPA – Bring out the hops! This clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavour. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavour from start to finish, Ranger is a sessionable splendor for all you hopinistas. – $17.79/6pack

Both of these New Belgium beers will be available at KWM beginning tomorrow!

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