New Belgium Brewing
Beer produced in 2012: 765,000 barrels
Yes, New Belgium is opening a facility near Asheville, too, but there's been a lot more going on with this brewery than even that $120 million expansion in 2015 would suggest.
As we discussed with chief executive and founder Kim Jordan last year, the company's Employee Stock Ownership Program gave New Belgium's workers in Fort Collins, Colo., full ownership of the company in 2012. A portfolio of beers that once lined up behind the company's flagship Fat Tire amber ale has grown more diverse through both its Lips Of Faith collaborative series and a continually rotating mix of seasonal and barrel-aged beers.
The brewery's distribution has expanded from just 14 states in 2006 to 36, with Ohio joining the mix at the end of 2013 and Alabama and its recently revised beer laws coming aboard in late January. By transitioning some of its more popular styles to cans and introducing simple, palatable varieties including Blue Paddle pilsner and the mild Snapshot Wheat, New Belgium has taken its complex, German style offerings and reintroduced them in a form that a much broader audience can enjoy.
While that doesn't mean they'll put down a few million for a Super Bowl commercial, it does mean that they'll at least give commercials some consideration. New Belgium spots have shown up on Hulu and elsewhere in recent months and have given the already quirky, bike-loving, scavenger-hunt-organizing brewery a voice to match its identity.
Whether it could turn those mostly 15-second clips into a 30-second Super Bowl ad is still a mystery, but the last few years of growth and change at New Belgium haven't left anything out of the question.