"I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet
In one of my classes today, New Belgium's director of Media Relations, Bryan Simpson, came in for a presentation. Although he spoke highly of New Belgium's commitment to being green and environmentally conscious, what I left with was a bittersweet feeling. He mentioned that their 5 year plan consists of them becoming a national brand, with distribution in all 50 states, as well as adding another brewery to the eastern seaboard. Currently they produce 700,000 barrels annually, but he even hinted that that number is a low estimate. All he cared to talk about was the money they have spent on 'new, green technologies' that set them apart from other breweries. And while that may be appealing to some, its not to me.
He mentioned nothing about a passion for brewing, he seemed to not care at all about the quality of the products produced. I came out of his presentation with the conclusions that New Belgium only cares about: quantity produces, the bottom line, and the crazed growth.
Now looking at these factors in a pure business sense, there is nothing wrong on the surface. But from a consumer standpoint much has gone wrong. New Belgium has resorted to a basic core of beers, and doesn't seem to have the passion to create new beers, they don't seem to want to experiment anymore. I loved Bew Belgium when they had a new beer for every season, and when their staples were phenomenal beers. But now, across the board it really seems they are just totally set on the bottom line and are just churning out beers without questioning quality.
New Belgium is destined to be the next Boston Brewing Company (fwiw).
I'm still trying to piece together what was said today, I got no feeling of a passion for beer from the speaker, just a passion for the bottom line. Which in my eyes, is no way for a craft brewer to operate. I don't see Sam Calagione penny pinching to make a profit, I see a man passionate and crazy coming out with beers that people never thought were possible. New Belgium could use some crazy, some innovation, and some great new products. But if they want to go abroad, and be in 50 states, then that's their choice, and I am sure there will be no shortage of followers; I just don't think I'll be one of them.
Last edited by moose; 09-21-2011 at 20:58.
Time to start a Fall thread.
Interesting link. I'm pretty sure I'll never get to try any of these.
Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur