New Belgium Brewing is poised to enter six new markets by the end of summer; North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
“It’s a fairly aggressive program for 2009,” said New Belgium Sales Director Joe Menetre. “We’re reaching the eastern seaboard for the first time, we’ve got a very dynamic portfolio, and we’ve expanded our capacity to meet demand.”
The brewery will also be expanding their portfolio; in addition to seven year round beers and four seasonal releases, New Belgium will produce four small batch Lips of Faith beers, four collaborative beers with Elysian brewing in Seattle (collectively known as The Trip series) and four new Loose Lips beers for internal and tasting room consumption only.
The new beer brands will focus on more esoteric styles and collaborative creativity. The Lips of Faith program launched in February will feature fruit, spiced or wood beers in 22-oz. packages. The brewery has released a Dark Kriek (cherry) beer to date with plans for Biere de Mars and a beer brewed with dandelion leaves slated through spring.
“Lips of Faith will allow us to tap the creative root that is Belgian brewing,” said Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “The collaboration with Elysian is a new source of inspiration and the Loose Lips beers are a complete free-for-all, so the energy is high around all these programs.”
In addition to the Lips of Faith program, New Belgium is collaborating with Elysian of Seattle on The Trip series. The first in the series of four brews to be released throughout 2009 is Trippel IPA — a Belgian twist on a northwest version of India Pale Ale. The two breweries joined forces in 2008 to share facilities, inspire creativity, and reduce environmental impact.