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Brewtastic – Follow Your Folly!

September 2, 2011



In honor of Localism month, and tonights Tour De Fat, I am dedicating this post to some of the best Colorado has to offer: Beer.

Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than ANY OTHER STATE. Fort Collins is host to a number of them, as well as internationally known breweries as well. To name a few, we have:

New Belgium
Fort Collins Brewery
Odell Brewing Co.
Hops & Berries (Brew your own)
CB Potts

Did I mention you can get to *almost* all of these on a bike tour alone. If you are willing to go a bit of distance for Anheuser-Busch, you can hit all of them with ease. They are generally located in Old Town, the heart of the city, and make for a fun tour (especially New Belgium!) while visiting, with friends, or just for a fun bike tour. People often take a day and just visit each brewery via bike, drink the beer and enjoy the weather. Most tours are free, they offer a few free drinks, and insight into exactly how each brew is made and what kind of company they are.

New Belgium, the pride and joy of Fort Collins produced Fat Tire, pictured above. This beer has been taking the country by storm. In fact, this company has been taking the nation by storm. Just a few weeks ago I saw a menu in Minneapolis with more brews by New Belgium than all Minnesota and well-known national brands (like Coors or Budweiser) combined! They have a variety of beers, a fun loving environment, happy employees, and you can tell that all of that fun and love goes into what they produce. They brewery has a slide, is largely sustainable (one feature they talk about a lot on the tour) and plays a large part in the local community.

“Tour de Fat, put on by New Belgium Brewery, is one of the most prominent bike parades across the country. Every year the tour makes its stop in the Brewery’s home town of Fort Collins. The Tour de Fat was started by New Belgium Brewery as a way to advocate and celebrate beer and bicyclist culture. The tour includes musical acts, as well as performers from the Blue Man Group and circus performers from Cirque du Soleil. “Adding and building in music to the tour came pretty naturally,” Kowal said. “We would use the music to create an atmosphere for the times when we would set up people trading in their cars for bikes along the tour. One time we did a Blues Brothers revival style song for the person who was trading in their car for a bike. It really makes it a moment for that person and the people who see it.” The tour has grown since then, and it will have three stages at the Fort Collins stop this year.
As if locals needed any other reason to dress up, ride bikes and drink beer, the Tour de Fat is yet another excuse.

One of New Belgium’s main concerns is the eco-friendliness of their business. The company was started on the back of a bicycle in Belgium (hence the name and logo of their most recognizable beer – Fat Tire) and since then tried to maintain that image. It’s only natural that a company that is environmentally-friendly and got its start on a bike would create a bike tour that celebrates exactly those things. That, and beer. One of the newer parts of the Tour de Fat –– called the Car For Bike Trade –– is where someone from the tour gets selected to turn their car over to New Belgium. In return for this favor, the participant gets a brand new cruiser bike made special for the event.

Another point the Tour de Fat tries to make is spreading the good name of New Belgium and the beer they make. “The tour gives people a chance to see what New Belgium is all about first hand,” Kowal said. “It also gives us a chance to go out in the community and meet artists and musicians who we might want to include in the next Tour de Fat. Not to mention, it puts us in touch with much of our beer drinking community.”

Along with being sustainable, New Belgium does a lot of giving back to the community. The
Tour de Fat is one way that they make that happen. The tour gives back to the communities it travels through by taking a lot of the money it makes and donating it to local nonprofit stores and companies. Local shops like bike co-ops and Bike Fort Collins are a few of the recipients, and these companies take the money from the Tour de Fat and make biking more accessible to the community. The Tour de Fat has been raising money for these local shops since the beginning, and it has almost raised $2 million for nonprofits.”

New Belgium Brewery has had an amazing impact on the city of Fort Collins, the cities surrounding it, and is making its way to impacting the nation as a whole. The work they do and the beer they brew really stand out. They make a difference, a visible impact on the community, and they LOVE doing it and THAT is why this city LOVES New Belgium!

Happy Tour de Fat!



Ben Blonder

Owner/Managing Broker, Kapital Real Estate LLC

Office: 970-797-2190

Cell: 970-420-6166

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