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.