Young and Hungry

New Belgium is Coming to Town

We reported earlier this summer that brewery founder Kim Jordan publicly promised D.C. would be the next market New Belgium Brewing Company would expand to. Yesterday the official announcement came in the form of a press release from the Ft. Collins, Colorado based brewery.

District beer fans have had a few tastes from bootleggers, but starting in September (that means many months from now so keep your pants on) Fat Tire, Sunshine Wheat, La Folie, and a number of other popular New Belgium beers will be distributed across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

From the press release:

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.” No decisions have been made regarding distributor partners, brands or package for the new markets.

New Belgium began making beer in 1991 when I was too young to partake...legally. I like to believe that growing up in Colorado gave me the chance to learn what good beer was earlier than most. So I am looking forward to seeing those red cruiser-clad labels on taps and bottles alongside their Colorado brethren Avery, Great Divide, Oskar Blues, and more recently Boulder and Left Hand. Now if only I could find some Odell out here (but founder Doug Odell said there was little to no chance of that happening when asked during a salon at last year's SAVOR).

Let's just hope the market will support all the local brew due to be produced in 2011 as well as beer from out-of-towners.

  • Dani

    As a recent Colorado transplant, I was completely distressed to find out that New Belgium didn't distribute out here. I have a small stash in my apartment of beer that I and visitors have brought back to DC, but I'm very conservative about drinking it since I never know where my next Mothership Wit or Fat Tire will come from. I can't tell you how excited I am to see the Colorado beer market move to Washington!

  • Tammy Tuck

    I feel your pain. When I first got to D.C. in 2001 I was delighted the Brickskeller stocked New Belgium, but almost immediately the brewery pulled back distribution. We get a lot of Colorado beer in D.C. but New Belgium is the one that most reminds me of home, so I'm glad it will be available.

    Just heard that we might not see much Lips of Faith series beers out here, though, at least at first. Those are the ones I tend to like for much more than nostalgia.

  • washingtonydc

    I moved to the district from Ft Collins nearly seven years ago, so seeing NB on the shelves here in town will certainly send my heart aflutter. Hopefully they'll be able to supply us with plenty of Lips of Faith eventually--NB is solid all around, but they really shine with their wild ales. But I agree, if we could get Odell I'd be ecstatic--they're the best brewery in Colorado as far as I'm concerned. (Though I'm excited to try the new Ft Collins brewery Funkwerks at this year's Savor!)

  • Tammy Tuck

    Yes on Odell. And yes, very excited about Funkwerks! Will be posting about them soon.