The New Belgium Brewery was started by Jeff Lebesch and his wife Kim Jordan at their home in Colorado selling to friends, neighbors and local pubs. Jeff came up with the idea while he was bike riding though the Belgian countryside in 1989. He had a thought that American beers lacked flavor to their counterparts in Europe, and decided to make his own in-home brewery. Upon his return back to America, he thought he would introduce American beer drinkers to the unique flavors and traditions of the Belgium brews. The first ale they brewed and perfected was the Fat Tire Amber Ale. In 1991 they moved their brewery from their house to a commercial production. The NBB was a very unique brewing company the founding story is the commitment to a set of values that were adopted from the beginning and it was all about sustainability and the internal motivators is what keeps the company sustainable today. Both Jeff and Kim set up the core values that made a commitment to the quality of beer and its culture, as well as making a business that can produce this beer while paying attention to environmental and social concerns. They have made many efforts to become and stay sustainable. To cut down on their electricity costs, they voted by all 90 employees to source their electricity from 100 percent renewable, carbon-free wind sources. Thus becoming the first wind powered brewery. They have done other efforts with the water and waste and recycling as well. The NBB has become the third largest craft brewery in the United States and 7th in the overall industry and is recognized as a brewing company that is very concerned with corporate sustainability.
Despite all the efforts in sustainability for the NBB including water, electricity and waste there has been one downfall for the almost complete sustainable company. This one downfall consists of the encouraging of recycling the bottled beer and the downstream factors of the company. Because beer products take a great deal in packaging by nature, most of it is ending up in landfills meaning that consumers are not recycling the bottles. The NBB, as well as the rest of the brewing companies, realize that it must do what it can to encourage recycling. Since the bottles are harder to recycle than cans, the NBB has come up with an idea called the “bottle bill.” This bottle bill would require consumers to pay a refundable deposit on glass bottles. So when they return their empty bottles to recycling centers they would get their deposit back, giving an incentive to recycle. Which seems to be a good incentive but most consumers would not want to pay an extra dollar at the time of purchase and so these companies that would adopt this bottle bill will lose customers as well as money. Consumers as well as the brewing and packaging industries feel that this bottle bill is more like a tax more than an incentive to actually recycle. The other problem they face is that since cans are more easily recyclable by consumers, why don’t they just used canned beer instead of beer that is bottled? The consumers feel that the beer that comes in the can is not nearly as tasty and plentiful as the beer in the bottles due to the actual can, so what can they do about making the beer in the can taste as good as the beer in the bottles? Their problem is that they want to try and get people to recycle but this bottle bill is…