Before fully committing to high transportation expenses, extended confinement in small spaces, a guaranteed lack of sleep, and the many other stresses that coincide with traveling, you should always first evaluate what you want out of your vacation. This past spring break, my priorities included an affordable out-of-state experience and sampling new brews galore. Fortunately, the relatively nearby city of Fort Collins, Colorado provided me with just that — a visit to New Belgium Brewery equated perfectly.
Over this past spring break, I was lucky enough to visit the New Belgium Brewery, home of “Fat Tire.” An additional bonus: I was able to book a spot in one of their 90-minute tours. While we all know that Albuquerque is filled with endless brewery choices, the New Belgium experience is truly non-comparable. Here are just a few reasons why the New Belgium Brewery tour needs to be added to your bucket list.
First of all, walking into the brewery, you are greeted by some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet.
#SpoonTip: If you schedule a tour, when you receive your tickets, complete the survey listed on the ticket for a special secret reward.
After you’ve entered, it instantly becomes clear that the local franchise is a hub for fun-lovin’ craft beer aficionados that are both customers and workers alike. This is not surprising, due to the fact that New Belgium is a completely employee-owned business. So, feel free to bring your significant other, your best friend, and even your dog (who, if you’re like me, may also be your best friend) to hang out in the easy vibe Liquid Center.
The smells, oh yes, the smells. For those that aren’t fans of the traditional beer smell, you will be pleasantly surprised. The sweet and flavorful aroma of hops and barley, comparable to the smell of a freshly brewed cup of herbal tea, will have your nose working overtime.
Alright, now to the good part: the samples. Over the course of the tour, the wonderful guide will provide you with 3+ taster-sized glasses of various New Belgium beers. You’ll even get a lesson on how to pour the perfect draft with just the right amount of foam.
Throughout the samplings, you’ll have an opportunity to try New Belgium’s newest drinks and even provide feedback to help produce future brews. One of their leading brews, Citradelic, was influenced by the ideas of such customers. During my tour, the newest sample to try was La Folie, this year’s featured sour beer. I have to say, sour beers are here to stay.
Finally, New Belgium tour guides are pros on delivering their groups historical facts on the origins of the company and their recipes. The guide also spends some time explaining the complex brewing process. Along with this explanation, you get to see each step. Warning: this part of the tour will leave you in a Snapchat frenzy trying to make your friends jealous.
#SpoonTip: Brush up on your craft beer trivia to score some free brews.
Overall, a visit to New Belgium will leave you satisfied. Whether you go on a tour or just pop in for a couple pints with the buds, New Belgium’s quality staff and delicious brews will have you finding excuses to return. Although I’ve listed several reasons as to why New Belgium is killin’ it in its craft, it really is just something you have to experience for yourself.