New Belgium celebrated their 25th anniversary this past weekend with a huge bash at their new North Carolina brewery. Before the party, they let a handful of journalists to take the first guided tours of the new 200-hectoliter brew house. Public tours begin today (Monday, August 29). We were fortunate enough to be included in one of the inaugural press tours. Peruse the gallery for a pictorial guide through the new brew house.
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There she is. New Belgium's fully functional North Carolina brew house. The tanks were shipped from Germany, and it took a month to get them from the port in Charleston to the site in Asheville, because New Belgium was only allowed to drive them on the interstate on weekend during certain hours of the day.
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Guests enter on a top floor where the brew tanks poke through the floor. You can peek into the tanks and see the magic happening. Fun fact: They set the tanks in place, then build the building around the vessels.
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Everyone on the tour loved the hop lamps hanging above the bar.
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They're currently brewing Fat Tire, Ranger and Citradelic in North Carolina and will start brewing Accumulation soon.
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This is the "employee slide." Because stairs are boring.
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The brewers spend most of their time in this room full of computers staring at screens with number charts. They also have a TV with a live cam feed from Alaska so they can see salmon jumping upriver and the occasional grizzly bear.
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The brewery was built on a site that used to house the city's stockyards. It also housed some of the city's finest graffiti. New Belgium saved a little and repurposed it.
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They recreated the Belgian bar that helped inspire New Belgium's founders. It's in the hallway between the brew tanks and the quality assurance lab. I like that even the hallway has a bar.
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EBEER: Short for "employee beer." This is the cooler where employees get to snag free beer.
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In addition to the stockyards, the site was also hosted the circus each year. Photos along the hallway commemorate each stage of the brewery's site throughout the last 100 years.