In what is sure to qualify as the most glorious, unexpected, beer-related news of the day, New Belgium Brewing Company confirmed today that they will be expanding their operations to the DC, Maryland, Virginia area. Previously available only west of the Mississippi River and in North Carolina, the Fort Collins, Colorado-based brewer will begin retail operations in the DC area in September. According to the New Belgium Company public relations department:
FORT COLLINS – New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, announced plans today to expand their market territory along the eastern seaboard. The Colorado brewer will open Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. in September of 2011. The added territory will bring the nation’s third-largest craft brewer to 29 states.
We had significant expansion in 2009 when we added five states,” said New Belgium Sales Director, Joe Menetre. “We wanted to make sure we had the capacity to keep up with that demand, so we expanded our fermentation cellar to address future growth as well. We’re looking forward to selling our beers in and around the nation’s capitol.[sic]
New Belgium features a lineup of craft-brewed beers that include Ranger IPA, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, and their flagship Fat Tire Ale, a malty amber ale, which boasts an impressive cult following around the country. I myself have made the drive to North Carolina just to pick up a case or two (and some Cheerwine). According to BeerAdvocate.com, “This beer is now of cult status in the US, such an uncomplicated amber ale … so easy to knock back a few, whether at a pub with friends or after a hard days work.” In addition to their year-round lineup, New Belgium often releases seasonal brews, such as Hoptober, Skinny Dip, Might Arrow, Frambozen, and 2 Below. In May, we were excited when The Black Squirrel managed to grab a few cases, but now it looks like New Belgium beers will be available in your local grocery cooler in a few months.
Word from the Editor: Thanks much to our friends at DC Beer who passed along this tip.
I can’t wait to get continued access to their Lips of Faith series! (hopefully)
@Chris: Could not agree more!
Almost everything in the Lips of Faith series is solid-to-good, some of it really good. The Transatlantique Kriek, Le Fleur Misseur, Biere de Mars… These are the New Belgium offerings people should be excited about.
Much of the rest of New Belgium the line is pretty boring. I like the Mothership Wit and the Trippel well enough; the Frambozen is one of the worst beers I have ever had.
I am not against a quality session beer at a reasonable price (and Fat Tire did go for something like $20 for 12 cans at my old California Costco), but that is not what I go out of my way to get or hotly anticipate arriving.
If I wanted to opt for something locally-produced along Fat Tire lines, I would probably go with Flying Dog’s Old Scratch Amber or, if that was too hoppy, maybe Dogfish Head’s Indian Brown.
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Virgina? Where is that and can I Google map it?
Fixed the typo, DKB.
I’ve got to say that this really doesn’t excite me. Like Chris and Brittany, I think that the Lips of Faith series would be great to have, but Fat Tire? Don’t care. On our trip to CO last year we shipped the LoF beers and others home via UPS, but not Fat Tire
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