Pit Stop: New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colorado
This is easily the best brewery visit and tour we have ever been on. New Belgium is the 4th largest craft brewer in the USA, but rather than runiing a faceless corproation, they have a welcoming, friendly style that charms you at their first hello. Their tours are insanely popular and you need to book up well in advance. We booked several weeks in advance and still only found one day that had any avaialbel slots. Don't just show up, you may be disappointed.
The tour was great for many reasons, our guide was fun and knowledgeable. She was especially excited because it was her 1 year anniversary as an employee which means she was now a part owner (NBBC is employee owned) she also received a free bike, which every employee gets on on completion of their first year.
The samples were plentiful and we got to drink a bottle of Fat Tire that was bottled just an hour earlier and also some fresh cans that were also canned that day. We toured the sours room and also got the chance to pour a draft beer of our own choosing. It took me back to my bar tender days that helped finance my college years.
It goes without saying that their beers are good, but the way they run their company is a model to be admired