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Fat TIRE !!! New Belgium is Coming, New Belgium is Coming

New Belgium Brewery will Start Selling in Michigan!!

I am going to drag out my Fat Tire cycling jersey and wear it around for days on end in celebration of some news. I have confirmed - and it's possible you heard it here first - that New Belgium Brewing Co. will begin distributing in Michigan sometime next year. So what, you say? To beer nerds like myself, this is the equivalent of that halcyon day when you found out that Starbucks was going to locate in town before they became ubiquitous strip mall fare. Holy Crap a Starbucks!

New Belgium, of Fort Collins, Colo. is a favorite son among beeristas. Most of its reputation is built around Fat Tire, their signature amber ale, with a picture of a old-style red bike leaning against a tree. The brewery has many other beers, of course, but I suspect they will start slow with Fat Tire and a few others when they enter the market. As it stands, the closest place with New Beligium beers is Chicago. A sad travesty. But for small breweries, deciding to tackle a new state is no easy task. They have to pick a distributor and guarantee a certain volume of deliveries. There's beauracractic nonsense and hoopjumping to go through. This year, the brewery is expanding in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

How, you ask, did I find out? Well, a friend posted it on his Facebook page and his brother works at the brewery. He didn't know the details, so I called the number listed on the Internet and spoke with the receptionist, who also happens to be a minority owner because all employees are part owners. With a laugh, she confirmed that sometime next year the brewery will be entering Michigan. Her husband is from Livonia and also works at the brewery. There is a very strong Michigan connection there, apparently.

Prior to making this call, I called and asked when the beer would show up. The surprised answerer - who may have been the owner because she mentioned buying the store with her husband (more on that in a minute) - said it would probably not be available in the near future. She was right. She then went on to say that her husband - presumably the other owner - had New Beligium posters in his "Man Cave" since before they bought the place. Confirmation of the beer nerd power of New Belgium. Welcome to Michigan!

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dave bourgeois July 19, 2011 at 04:53 PM
yeah - i was introduced to New Belgium around 1995 when a group of friends all moved out to Fort Collins,Colorado.. At the time, New Belgium was only in about 4 surrounding states. A friend (brewery employed) - Andy - led us on a behind the scenes tour of the leading "green" brewery as well as a visit into the employee cooler! This tour, lasting well into the evening, solidified my love for this truly unique brewery. Their quest to bring great beer to market without an effect on the well being of nature is to be commended and the employee bike rack filled with "fat tire" bikes and the annual Tour de Fat also shape this brewery's image, lending much to the allure. .. Hopefully this rumor is correct and that the distributor responsible is up for the challenge.
Mike Ramsey July 19, 2011 at 08:06 PM
Cool Dave, I know that Sierra Nevada also has a very green process. They use a hydrogen fuel cell to power their operations.
Chuck Schifsky July 19, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Mike, I wonder if any car companies have a fuel cell electric car on the road? Something like this? http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/ Signed your friendly neighborhood Honda PR guy
Mike Ramsey July 21, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Chuck - you are cracking me up! These people don't know my alter ego!
Chuck Schifsky July 21, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Mike, Yes, you are correct. Let's keep it to beer. As you know, I'm a Merchants Fine Wine shopper, so I'll be stopping in there tonight to see what kind of cold beer they have to help battle the heat. Maybe a cold 6-pack of Paulaner Hefeweizen? See you soon! Chuck
dave bourgeois July 22, 2011 at 01:01 PM
Mike - Any chance you are going to the Michigan Brewers Guild Beer Festival in Ypsilanti this weekend. Should be a blast as always.. I will be there both days..!
Mike Ramsey July 22, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Dave - I'm going on Saturday. My plan is to photograph some of my favorites during the first hour when I still have my wits about me and post them on the site. I was going to put together a "Mike's Greatest Hits" for the blog. I have the "enthusiast" membership so I can get in early before the crowds hit. Have fun tonight!
dave bourgeois July 22, 2011 at 04:02 PM
i will keep an eye out for you.. i don't have an enthusiasts membership, but will be going in also around 12Noon tomorrow as well. Maybe we can meet up.
Mike White July 23, 2011 at 08:58 PM
I figured Yuengling would beat them here! BUT THIS IS GREAT NEWS IF IT IS TRUE...AND FORGET FAT TIRE! It's not even there best beer. That distinction goes to 1554! I'm calling all my old contacts now to get more info on this rumor!!! On a sort of related note, just had Short's Brewing Summer Hefe. Not bad, not bad at all!
Mike White July 23, 2011 at 09:01 PM
baby duty has prevented me from going...wish I was hitting the Right Brain, Brewery Vivant, New Holland and OG tents right now!!! 440 Pepper Smoker!!!! YUM
Mike White July 23, 2011 at 09:05 PM
As always, beernews.org comes through. http://beernews.org/2011/05/new-belgium-hunting-for-east-brewery-location/
Mike White July 23, 2011 at 09:07 PM
HERE IT IS!!! http://beernews.org/2011/07/beer-notes-new-belgium-brooklyn-flying-dog-brewdog-heavy-seas-and-more/
Dean James August 08, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Champanes wines cellars,Warren, Mi. is hosting a New Belguim Brewing Co tasting .on AUGUST 27,20 12. From 6-7 pm.All there beers will be tasted.

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