Oral history interview with Alex Dwoinen and Mike Craft, 2019

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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0:15 - Interview introduction

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Partial Transcript: So to start could you please say and spell your names?

0:55 - Biographical information, working at New Belgium, and current roles

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Partial Transcript: If we could start, could you please tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss how they came to work with New Belgium, how long they've been working there, and their current roles.

Keywords: Brian Callahan

8:23 - History of New Belgium

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Partial Transcript: Speaking of longevity, let's step back and talk about the history of New Belgium for a bit.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the history of New Belgium and why the company is named New Belgium.

Keywords: 1990s; Ann Finch; Jeff Lebesch; Kim Jordan

12:20 - Craft brewing industry in the 1990s

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Partial Transcript: I was going to talk about this later but you dove right into it. So far as the time. Ok so we're talking about the early 90's at this point. So when fat tire showed up what was it like at the time?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the craft brewing industry in the 1990s.

Keywords: 1990s; sierra nevada brewing company

16:42 - Mission of New Belgium

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Partial Transcript: So if someone were to walk into the liquid center to do a tour or they were asking one of you guys, what would you all say is the main mission or theme of New Belgium?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the main mission of New Belgium.

17:44 - Growth of New Belgium

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Partial Transcript: This is sort of a two pronged question.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the growth of New Belgium.

23:40 - Choosing Asheville

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Partial Transcript: What led you all to select Asheville as the location for the second brewery that eventually opened in 2016?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss why the company chose to build their second location in Asheville, North Carolina.

28:20 - Challenges opening New Belgium

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Partial Transcript: What challenges did you face opening the brewery here?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the challenges of opening New Belgium in 2016.

Keywords: community; community engagement; equinox environmental; penland creek

36:14 - Being a 100% employee owned company

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Partial Transcript: As, I think I insinuated earlier, in December of 2012 New Belgium because a 100% employee owned company. How did that come about, what does it really mean, and does it bring any with unique opportunity and challenges?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss when New Belgium became a 100% employee owned company and what it means to be employee owned.

Keywords: Christine Perich; kim jordan

41:57 - Resources

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Partial Transcript: In each of you current roles here are there any resources that you draw upon to help you?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the resources they draw upon to help them in their current roles.

Keywords: community; community engagement; North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild; WUNC

45:09 - Average week

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Partial Transcript: How would each of you describe your average week?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss their average week at New Belgium.

Keywords: Community; company culture

48:43 - New Belgium as a reflection of brewing philosophy

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Partial Transcript: Alex, how would you say that New Belgium reflects your brewing approaches, interests, or philosophies?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss how New Belgium reflects their brewing approaches, interests, or philosophies.

50:22 - Community engagement

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Partial Transcript: You've already talked a decent amount of your community engagement work. Can you talk a little bit more, sort of bring it all down together about what you see the role of the brewery is in supporting a community?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Craft discusses New Belgium's community engagement.

Keywords: Asheville Greenways; community engagement; WUNC

52:43 - Community among the breweries of Asheville

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Partial Transcript: You mentioning Wedge is an interesting side thing because given the size of New Belgium, how do you see you all fitting with the other breweries in Asheville?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the community among the Asheville breweries and how New Belgium fits into it.

Keywords: Asheville Brewers Alliance; collaboration; community

57:21 - Tour de Fat

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Partial Transcript: What's a Tour de Fat?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss New Belgium's Tour de Fat.

63:54 - Future growth

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Partial Transcript: To round out specifically talking about New Belgium, are there any ways that you both see New Belgium growing in the future?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss what growth they see for New Belgium in the future.

66:28 - Changes in the craft brewing scene

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Partial Transcript: How would you each say the brewing scene, when I say brewing I mean craft brewing scene broadly, change since you first entered the business?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the changes they have seen in the craft brewing scene since they entered the business.

Keywords: community

69:04 - Working in the craft brewing industry today

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Partial Transcript: What's it like to work in the craft brewing industry today, especially when comparing it to over time?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss what it's like to work in the craft brewing industry today.

70:43 - Trends

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Partial Transcript: Are there any particular trends in the industry today that you really like or dislike?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss trends in the craft brew industry that they like and dislike.

Keywords: Peter Bouckaert

78:31 - Future for the craft brewing industry

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Partial Transcript: If you had a crystal ball, where would you see the craft brewing industry going in the next three to five years?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss where they see the craft brewing industry going in the next three to five years.

80:52 - Role of breweries in Asheville and how they have changed the city

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Partial Transcript: What role do you feel breweries such as New Belgium have played in changes in Asheville?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the roles the breweries have played in changing Asheville.

Keywords: collaboration; community

83:41 - North Carolina beer

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything, since you've been here, that you would say is unique about North Carolina beer?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss the uniqueness of North Carolina beer.

84:43 - Favorite beer recipe

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Partial Transcript: Is there a particular beer recipe, not necessarily your favorite beer but favorite recipe, you've created that you're most proud of?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen discusses his favorite beer recipe successes and projects.

88:01 - Favorite North Carolina beer

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Partial Transcript: What's your favorite beer from a North Carolina brewery other than New Belgium?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss their favorite beer from a North Carolina brewery other than New Belgium.

89:11 - New Belgium flagship beer and Abbey

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Partial Transcript: The one I think I know the answer to since it's on the wall behind you, but what would you say is New Belgium's flagship beer?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss New Belgium's flagship beer and their beer Abbey.

92:18 - Favorite New Belgium beer

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Partial Transcript: I think you just answered my last question yourself, which is what's your favorite New Belgium beer?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss what their favorite New Belgium beer is.

94:49 - Spare time

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Partial Transcript: My last question: what do you like to do in your spare time?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dwoinen and Craft discuss what they do in their spare time.

98:48 - Interview conclusion

0:00

Richard Cox: So if we start, could you please say and spell your names.

Mike Craft: My name is Michael Craft. My last name is truly is Craft, I guess I was meant to

be in the beer business.

Alex Dwoinen: Craft beer business.

Mike Craft: It's C-R ... Craft beer business, C-R-A-F-T.

Richard Cox: And you are?

Alex Dwoinen: My name's Alex Dwoinen. You spell my last name D-W-O-I-N-E-N.

Richard Cox: Awesome. And today is Thursday, February 28th, 2019 and we are at New

Belgium Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. I'm Richard Cox talking today with

Mike and ... please say your last name again?

Alex Dwoinen: Alex Dwoinen.

Richard Cox: Alex Dwoinen, co-owners as part of the Well Crafted NC Project. So if we could

start, could you both please tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Mike Craft: Alex.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, my name's Alex Dwoinen, I've been with New Belgium 20 ... 1:00this is my

26th year.

Richard Cox: Wow.

Alex Dwoinen: So it was 25 years last October.

Alex Dwoinen: I moved to Asheville with my family July of 2014, so it will be five years this July.

I worked as Brewing Manager in Fort Collins for years and found it as an

opportunity of a lifetime to be able to help participate in the design, and here

for the build and now to help run this brewery here in Asheville.

Richard Cox: Awesome.

Mike Craft: Nice. Michael Craft. I started in March of 2002, so I am right up against my 17th

anniversary, and I got into the beer business kind of oddly. I was cutting hiking

trails for the county, which was an awesome job. I was hiking a bunch. It was

seasonal work. I did it for a couple years and randomly went into New Belgium

2:00

one day and had a beer, talked to the person who poured my beer said, "Are

you guys hiring?" He said, "Yes." I filled out an application right there, three days

later I was working in packaging.

Richard Cox: Awesome.

Mike Craft: And I remember calling my mom you know and saying, "I got a new job. It's at a

brewery." And there was like this awkward silence. "And I get health insurance."

And she's like, "Oh, Michael. I'm so proud of you."

Richard Cox: That's my boy.

Mike Craft: Yeah. And I've done a little bit of everything at New Belgium.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I started in packaging, I did deliveries, I did events all over Colorado, I was part

of the Tour de Fat for ten years. I came out here about three and a half years

ago. There was ten of us, about ten of us that had these ... what they called

seed positions, which we were kind of seeding the culture of New Belgium out

here in our new location, and then we hired 110 plus locals, which was a really

3:00

... it was quite an honor to be a part of and I think I probably got more out of it

than I gave just to be around 110 people that just drank from the New Belgium

cup was a ... it's been a really great experience.

Richard Cox: Awesome. So how did you first ... you just answered this question. How did you

first get involved in the brewing industry?

Alex Dwoinen: Well it was really just the right place at the right time.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Alex Dwoinen: I had a neighbor ... I was going to ... in Fort Collins going to Colorado State

University and neighbor friends there were working part-time at New Belgium

and at the time there was a crew of about maybe eight people that were hand

bottling large 22 ounce bombers and putting the label on and the crown by

hand and then needed help. So I went down and applied ... or went through a

very informal interview process where you actually filled out a hand written

4:00

application ...

Richard Cox: You didn't just show up like he did?

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Maybe a little bit similar.

Mike Craft: I used a pen.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, you used to pen?

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah. I'm not sure if I used ... maybe a pencil. Anyways Brian Callahan, who is

still working with us, interviewed me at the time. He was kind of the ... he was

the Production Manager and he was like, "Great! When could you start?" I was

like, "I can start tomorrow." And he's like, "Wait, how old are you?" And I was

like, "I'm 20." He's like, "Well, you need to be 21. When do you turn 21?" I was

like, "Tomorrow." He's like, "Why don't you come the next day." So that was

nice ...

Richard Cox: Oh, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: That it happened that quickly, so I started out on the hand bottling line as I said,

we hand bottled bombers. It was ... we had this old dairy tank that held the beer

that was ready to be packaged. It filtered through a cheese cloth, through a

tube down to this filler that Jeff Lebesch our founder crafted, and we filled it by

hand and if we could go 60 cases an hour it was like very productive.

5:00

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Alex Dwoinen: I started ... I did that for a while. The company was growing. Jeff and Kim they

invested in a larger automated bottling line. This was a 16 head Italian bottle

line, and at that time we didn't need as many people, but fortunately I was ...

they asked me to stay on and help run that machine.

Alex Dwoinen: So we got that going. That was an interesting process, it was a big change from

filtering through a cheesecloth and bottling by hand. And then I ran that for a

while and then an Assistant Brewer position opened up.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Alex Dwoinen: I had participated in home brewing a little bit, but it wasn't really something I

was like totally into ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: But I enjoyed the process, and I respected the process. And I was hired as an

Assistant Brewer and this was ... so I started in '93 so that would've been '94.

6:00

There was a lot of ... I had a lot of different hats in a condensed couple years.

Then I gained a brewing position, this was in our old ... not the basement site of

the founders, but it was in the 350 Linden, which was a train depot.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Alex Dwoinen: Down the street from 500 Linden, which is our facility in Fort Collins. So yeah, I

started brewing there. It was really interesting because we kept on growing and

then we decided we needed to build a new site and so I was brewing 60 or 70

hours a week while we were building a new site down the street, I was

overwhelmed trying to learn all that.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And then moved over there, started brewing on the larger system and then a

couple years into that I became the Brewhouse Manager as our business grew

and had and it had that need, so as a Brewhouse Manager I also worked on

some capital projects, I also worked on some process automation support.

7:00

Richard Cox: Oh, wow.

Alex Dwoinen: And I really just learned on the job, Richard, it's really cool, so I kind of

happened into the brewing industry, but I've been able to learn so much and

I've had a few different hats at New Belgium.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So here I am in Asheville as the Brewing Manager, so I'm responsible from

basically the raw materials coming in all the way to the bright beer tank is where

the beer is before it goes into a package.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: So all that process for the people involved in that process, as well as the process

and process improvements.

Richard Cox: That's amazing. And Mike, what's your current role here?

Mike Craft: I'm kind of the Asheville community ambassador.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Mike Craft: Wear a bunch of hats you know. This place is employee owned so we kind of do

a lot of everything, but we represent a lot of of city meetings we go to and

especially in the neighborhood here in the River Arts District.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: We're really involved with the Greenway Project here. Do a lot of that stuff and

also get to show people around here and do a lot of the media inquiries and

8:00

stuff like that. So all because I ... just like Alex you know I kind of went to New

Belgium school you know 17 years of just ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Doing different jobs and learning about this place. You know I'm still in love with

this place, they treat us really well and it makes it easy to talk about this place.

Richard Cox: Sure. I mean you've both been here for so long it seems pretty apparent, right?

Mike Craft: Yeah, yeah.

Richard Cox: So, speaking of longevity let's back up and talk about the history of New Belgium

for a bit. So what events led to the opening of New Belgium in 1991?

Mike Craft: Sure, sure. I'll take a stab at that one.

Alex Dwoinen: Okay. Sounds good.

Mike Craft: You know this place was literally born on a bike seat.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Jeff, one of our founders, was traveling through Europe on his bike, and he

knew that he wanted to get to Belgium because for those folks that don't know

Belgium is really the iconic place for beer and Jeff had it in his head that he

wanted to get to a place called Bruges Burchett.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Mike Craft: So if you can picture this in the late 80s this guy is riding a bike 9:00that he brought

over from the States and back then it was kind of a mountain bike style bike and

in Europe to this day you know it's kind of skinny tires, cobblestone riding. But

he started to get to be known as this guy riding this Fat Tire bike ... you see

where this is going.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And so he gets to Bruges Burchet, which if you're ever even close to Belgium

you need to go there, and it's a Wednesday and it's a national Belgium holiday,

but Wednesday is their day that they're closed. Of course Jeff does ... this is

before cell phones, he's got this book from you know Michael Jackson telling

him where to go drink beer in Belgium, and gets to the door, it's ... they're

closed, it's a moment of being defeated.

Richard Cox: He's grasping at ...

Mike Craft: Right. Moment of defeat and then he recognizes that there's a sign on the door,

a little note that he opens up and says, "Today is a Belgian national holiday.

We're going to be open at 2 o'clock," or whatever the time was. And so the

10:00

point of that is all the locals that just assume that they were closed didn't come

and Jeff gets hours with the proprietor of this place.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And all of a sudden they're pulling up beers from the cellar, talking about

Belgium culture and beer and Jeff has this epiphany like, "I'm going to bring

Belgian style beers back to the United States."

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Fast forward him getting back safely to Fort Collins, you know he's talking to the

trip with Kim, and then they start talking to their neighbor, this woman named

Anne Finch, and Anne takes that story and she's a watercolor painter and

through the interpretation of that story makes the first label of Fat Tire, which is

got that iconic cruiser bike on it.

Richard Cox: Yeah. That's awesome.

Mike Craft: I think it's a pretty cool story.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: It kind of gives me chills every time I talk about it because it wasn't like this

strategic marketing campaign.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: It was just like this thing that Jeff loved, this bicycle. And fast-forward you know

11:00

27 years, like I can't imagine a better symbol of sustainability than the bicycle.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: It's just like the iconic image of New Belgium.

Richard Cox: Right. Let's circle back around that way, no pun intended.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: So what out of that lead to actually naming the place New Belgium other than I

guess the obvious which might be the reason?

Mike Craft: Yeah, I think it is. You know I think that that Belgian style beer was so ... such an

epiphany for Jeff. Really Abbey was our first beer and Abbey is like a classic

double Belgian and I think that that beer was a little too much for people to like

start trying craft beer beers.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: It was a stretch at the time for sure, and even Fat Tire was, but yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And for some reason you were there I mean just all of a sudden Fat Tire just

became this icon in town.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I think it became ... it was more approachable ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: At the time and at that time it was really a big beer, but if you ... today Fat Tire is

12:00

not necessarily hoppy or malty, it's kind of in the middle ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: But then it was like, "Oh my gosh, this is a trend setting beer." So the American

craft beer icon. I'd argue it should say, "An American Craft Beer."

Richard Cox: Okay.

Mike Craft: There's a lot.

Richard Cox: There's a lot of them. Let's ... I was going to talk about this later, but you know

you dove right into it, so ... and so far as the time, so okay, we're talking about

like the early 90s at this point.

Mike Craft: Yep.

Richard Cox: So when Fat Tire showed up what was it like at the time? Because at the time it

was like this thing. Well okay, what was the landscape then that we were

landing in?

Alex Dwoinen: The industry?

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Well, yeah it was a lot less breweries. I can't ... I know more of the recent

number of breweries that have proliferated in the country.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: But back then there wasn't that many craft breweries. You know of course

Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, Pete's Wicked Ale, Redhook were around, but

13:00

there wasn't really a whole lot of craft brewing companies necessarily. I mean

they were starting, but you know those were the bigger names. So that was kind

of the landscape and as we ... you know we were in Colorado of course at first,

went into Wyoming next. There really was a kind of a new ... it was a new thing

for people.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And you had to ... and people were kind of set in their ways of what beer they

would drink and their allegiances to beers and stuff like that, so ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: It was well received, a lot of blue sky for it. But yeah, the industry landscape in

the early 90s was just young. For example, like we ... I remember going to one of

the first craft breweries conferences in like 1994, 1995 there was only like 100

people there and half of those were vendors trying to sell us something.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So now there's like 12,000, 13,000 people and it sells out and stuff so it was

young, but you know Sierra Nevada, great beer, great people, great company

14:00

they ... I can't remember when they were founded. You guys maybe hopefully

talk to those guys, but you know they were out there doing their thing and

Sierra Pale Ale was like this really hoppy offering.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: And nowadays it's like, "Yeah, it's decently hoppy. It's a nice beer." So it was just

young and kind of holy entrepreneurial ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: What we were doing as a company.

Mike Craft: Yeah, that's well said. You kind of make me reflect on ... I remember going

through DIA, I had moved out to Colorado in '96.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Mike Craft: And in 1996 I remember people carrying cases of Fat Tire through the security

line.

Alex Dwoinen: Back when you could.

Mike Craft: Back when you could.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And I remember being like, "Well, that's weird. You know, why would you fly

with a case of beer?" But to Alex's point you know when we were selling beer in

Colorado and all these people would come to Colorado and have this vacation,

this great ski trip and they'd have this beer that just blew their mind at the base

of the mountain. Then it just created this like I need it, it reminds me of

15:00

vacation. I'm going to come from Kansas wherever it's not sold and come back

in bootleg it you know and like ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: Fat Tire was a very bootlegged beer you know.

Richard Cox: Yeah, wow.

Mike Craft: Which is a pretty cool thing. And I guess it was like those big boxes too because

it was cases of 12 packs ...

Alex Dwoinen: 12 packs of bombers.

Mike Craft: Yeah, I just thought of that.

Richard Cox: Yeah. And you said, I mean just from what you were saying before like at the

time you also are having ... there had to have been the whole education

component where it's like, this is Fat Tire, this is what goes into this as

compared to other things.

Alex Dwoinen: [Affirmative] Yeah.

Richard Cox: So, early on ...

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, if you imagine ...

Richard Cox: Especially since there was nothing else around like it, right?

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, we had all of that through you know people who had that beer for the

first time doing it. It wasn't a sales force.

Richard Cox: Okay, yeah.

Mike Craft: It was a super bar stool to bar stool grassroots that evolved.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, we didn't even have ... we didn't have persons doing sales specifically until

'97, or '90 ...

16:00

Richard Cox: Yeah, wow.

Alex Dwoinen: Like that was actually out there and they do ... our Rangers we call them do

more than sales they also check on quality ...

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: They take care of our accounts and all those things, but you know it was one of

those things it was really a grassroots driven company.

Alex Dwoinen: Kim has a great story where she had her son in a car seat in the back of the

station wagon and she was distributing cases of beer around Fort Collins ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And that's how grassroots it was you know she'd carry Nick in.

Mike Craft: Yup.

Alex Dwoinen: When I started he was in diapers I mean she'd go and deliver a couple cases of

bombers to the store and you know here we are now.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah. That's awesome. So someone were ... I guess they would walk into the

Liquid Center and do a tour, or they're asking one of you guys what would you

all say is the main mission or theme, main mission of New Belgium?

Mike Craft: You know I think this place is really been modeled as proving that 17:00business can

be a force for good.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Mike Craft: There's something beyond just the capital adventure that is business that this

place is its specialty I think. There's so much more that this company does that I

think a lot of times we talk about.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Mike Craft: The philanthropic arm, Kim her background is social worker, so I think just the

thoughtfulness and the caring that goes into all turns of the business here ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: In making sure that like sustainability wise that that is front of - top of mind

makes this place incredibly unique.

Richard Cox: Yeah. Yeah. And so ... this is sort of a two-pronged question.

Mike Craft: Sure.

Richard Cox: Talk about the growth of New Belgium over the years, so I'm curious both about

growth as a company and growth of like amount of beer created and growth of

the brewhouse as well, so growth?

Alex Dwoinen: Growth.

Richard Cox: What's the growth of New Belgium been like?

18:00

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, a bit chaotic in the earlier years. You know we were fortunate enough to

... there weren't that many breweries, and we had the opportunity. We had to

actually make a choice along the way on ... back to our first brewery at 350

Linden up the street. We made a decision like, "Hey do we want to add onto this

old train depot? Or do we want to start Greenfield?" And so there was a

decision around that and I voted that we added onto the train depot, but I'm

very happy we went Greenfield, so we could add modularly.

Alex Dwoinen: So that's part of one of the things we took a big step at that time to build 120

hectoliter brewhouse, hundred barrels, and we were brewing on a 20 ... I was

brewing on a 20 barrel brewhouse that was mostly made of old dairy tanks. Our

19:00

mash ton was a cottage cheese cooker with copper pipe soldered to each other

where we put a hacksaw ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: In the top to draw the word out, so yeah there was all these steps, a lot of them

were big you know big capital jumps. So, fortunately, we had the ability to grow

into those spaces, and the sales to support it.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So those early years I think that the first year I started we were doing about

3000 barrels, and it was just, "All right. This is what we're deciding everyone.

We're going to take this step. Everyone in? Everyone in, okay. We're going to do

it." Jeff Lebesch our found and engineer he would be the one looking at all the

equipment and so we took that next step into 500 Linden so where our current

brewery is.

Alex Dwoinen: That was a huge step for us, we were only brewing a day or two a week, and

then we grew into that, we brought that little bottle line I mentioned before

20:00

over to this site it was like this little thing over in the corner of a room about this

size and then we upgraded to a slightly larger bottle line, one thing led to

another, we added more tanks.

Alex Dwoinen: Then in the fall of 2002 we commissioned a 240 hectoliter brewhouse, or 200

barrel system we called Brewhouse Two, as well as a malt facility, shop, yeast

storage, and a whole annex of ... and that was 2002 into 2003.

Mike Craft: Yup.

Alex Dwoinen: It seemed like just such a big step. It was a huge capital investment, but as we

grew into our first brewhouse we grew into that one, trying to figure things out.

Again at the time, Richard, it was like we were only making four five recipes,

that's all.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: That's all we really needed to do.

21:00

Mike Craft: Yup.

Alex Dwoinen: So it was a little more simple than it is these days.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So ...

Mike Craft: I remember that point too, if I can jump in, that the Brewhouse Two

commissioning was like within my first six months, or eight months of working

there.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And I was on the packaging line and I felt like we were busy enough you know,

like I was pushing boxes down the line that didn't really move unless you really

forced it. But I remember talking to the guys, I had no business sense obviously

at that time, like what the grand scheme of things could be ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: Or the opportunity was which was like I feel like we were going into California at

that point, and we were ramping up.

Alex Dwoinen: I think so, yeah.

Mike Craft: Because California is such a huge state. But I remember that as a really giant

milestone as we sit here and talk about it. It was like there's been a lot of these

leaps of faith you know of like ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And New Belgium has seen such incredible growth you know to talk about Fat

Tire alone the beer that you couldn't get when we opened it up at a state. It was

like ... people went wild ...

22:00

Richard Cox: Oh, yeah.

Mike Craft: For a lot of years you know, which is so great.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: So, making me reflect on my time here.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah. Yes. So, 2002 and 2003 and then we grew into that, it was a big system

and then we had two brewhouses affectively and then we had other ancillary

cellar equipment, and we added centrifuges and a couple filters there so. It was

about 2010 or 2011, I might be off a year, we started thinking like, "Wow we're

... We see on the horizon we could be running out of capacity here in Fort

Collins." So we did some due diligence on building a brewery in California,

Oakland area specifically, we even had some real estate we were interested in.

When we got down to it operationally it didn't make sense for a bunch of

23:00

factors, seismic insurance for one, all those types of things. And then we ... we

then ... the landscape was still changing and we were like ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: "Well, we shouldn't do that, that kind of takes away takes us to the West Coast

you know, it might make ... let's pause, let's see what we can do as far as

capacity in Fort Collins."

Alex Dwoinen: And then it was around 2011 and 2012 we started this effort to find a second

site on the East Coast.

Richard Cox: Yeah. Yeah, which pulls nicely into my next question ...

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Which is, what lead you all to select Asheville as a location for the second

brewery that eventually opened in May of 2016?

Mike Craft: Yeah. You know I think a lot of it had to do with distribution you know and with

the sustainability ethos in this place it was feeling kind of funny to make Fat Tire

24:00

in Colorado and eventually want to roll it all the way out to New York and to

Florida.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: Beer is heavy.

Richard Cox: Beer is heavy.

Mike Craft: Beer is heavy, shipping, and yeah that just didn't feel right to a lot of people and

that, therefore, we just started looking east. You probably were closer that

whole project than I was. I do remember Jenn Vervier's text message you know I

heart AVL, which is kind of an iconic time in history that you know a lot of us got

that text message because it was down to a couple spots and if Jenn was going

to say I heart something, it was kind of like, "Oh man, we're going."

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, yeah, I remember that and I talked to Peter Bouckaert our Brewmaster

too and he's like ... I said, "What do you like about it?" He's like, "I can't explain

it." in his Flemish accent.

Mike Craft: Flemish accent.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: "I can't explain it, but I really like it."

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, that site selection was you know Philadelphia, Richmond, Chattanooga,

even were pretty far down in the process and I might get this story a little out of

25:00

order, but you know we had looked at places, we also knew Sierra Nevada was

looking for a new home ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: On the East Coast and stuff and they were actually you know those site selection

people were meeting each other in these cities.

Mike Craft: "What are you doing here?"

Alex Dwoinen: "What are you doing here?" Kind of thing, so it's all worked out and I thought it

was interesting that okay Sierra Nevada, our friends at Sierra Nevada are down

in Mills River ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: You know are we really going to go there? But it's great to have another

regional sized brewery locally like that. So back to the site selection just to

reiterate what Michael said was you know the location as far as the eastern

seaboard for distribution, highways, and byways, the outdoor feel for coworkers

...

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: We don't want to ... we don't exactly want to match our culture in 26:00Fort Collins,

but we want to emulate it and have our same core values and beliefs and we

felt like the community here helped offer that to our coworkers we work with.

Mike Craft: At brown field too, the brown field was a big piece of the puzzle you know.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Making sure that we could actually clean up a spot that was environmentally

kind of a ... just a mess right on the river and so that was a giant project, but

that was high on the list.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: But spot on with the town you know I think three and a half years of being here

from Fort Collins, you know I was in Colorado for 20 years, the landscape is

really just completely different as far as like the terrain is concerned, but like the

food, the beer, the people, the outdoor lifestyle. I'm, you know, even closer to a

national park than I was in Colorado. You literally couldn't find a bad beer or a

bad plate of food in this town, I am confident of that.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And everybody's kind of like on vacation here all the time it feels 27:00like, because

there are so many tourists that come to visit Asheville. It said something like 4

million last year in Asheville alone and 11 million in Buncombe County and that

says a lot about our town you know like people want to come here to visit.

Some of it's the temperature you know I think because it's in the mountains or

whatever, but that whole scene makes the rest of us who live here I think feel

like we're on vacation all the time.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Why wouldn't I go out to lunch today? You know, so.

Alex Dwoinen: A little bit of the true logistics of it we have out in Enka Candler we have

140,000 square foot warehouse. We can't store all of our cold beer or our raw

materials here on site, so we have a fleet of trucks going back and forth, just the

site couldn't handle warehousing.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: So back to the logistics is ... most all of our beer .. that we don't make, all of our

beer that we don't make here comes from Fort Collins and is warehoused there,

but with the ... we're not making that many brands here right now, six to eight

depending on ... but that satisfies 75% to 80% of our total volume that we

28:00

distribute on the East Coast.

Richard Cox: Okay.

Alex Dwoinen: So it's ... it was a great move.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Sustainability wise ...

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And doing those things.

Richard Cox: Yeah, absolutely. And your mentioning of the brown site ... let that finish ... goes

into my next question, which is what challenges did you face opening the

brewery here?

Mike Craft: Oh, Lord.

Richard Cox: Brown site being an obvious one.

Mike Craft: Yeah. You know I'll talk about the community piece ...

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: If that's cool. At the time I was traveling around on the Tour de Fat Team and

my wife and I happened to be here, like I don't know a couple weeks after we

decided this was the site, you know and I remember that time we parked

downtown, we walked all the way down here, checked out the site, and was

like, "Oh, that's going to be a project." You know, and then going back and going

back to Fort Collins there was a lot of community engagement around here and

29:00

with some good reason. I think a lot of the neighborhoods were going like

"Wait, what? You're going to do what down on the river? What does this mean

about from everything from smell the noise ..."

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: "to, you know, trucks." And so we started hosting these community meetings

and people came to these with valid concerns, and it struck me as like pretty

special that the community cared enough about what was happening in their

town that they showed up so much. You know my ... I remember saying to

someone I was like, "Well, at least they care enough to show up and ask

questions instead of being like, 'I don't care what you do down by the river.'"

You know so ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: That to me was like my first experience with Asheville, I was like, "Wow, this is a

town that could be pretty cool that really cares about folks."

Mike Craft: The brown field obviously was a huge project.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know Penland Creek, when I visited here with my wife I didn't know that

there was even a drainage there.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And so you know what had to be built with the help of RiverLink and Equinox

30:00

Environmental was a massive project. You know we added these bridges to get

over and we wanted to make sure that we were designing the water ... all the

water, a lot of the rainfall comes from West Asheville, goes through this

property, and so we had to design this watershed ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: With ponds that will naturally filter the water because all that stuff was literally

leaching into the French Broad.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: A little tangent on Penland Creek here ...

Mike Craft: Yeah, please.

Alex Dwoinen: We didn't intend on having two separate buildings when we first decided on the

site, but with ... we had to respect that drainage.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And so we have a culvert over where there is some parking, but we couldn't put

a brewery on top of it because it couldn't support it and we couldn't re-route it,

but I'm really happy with the outcome because I think ...

Richard Cox: Oh, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: I think serendipitously it just made for a cool bridge walk and all of those things

out here.

Mike Craft: Yeah, it sure does. And you just reminded me too I think a lot of the giant posts

31:00

that were put in had to go even deeper than originally thought because of the

land stability.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And so it was a ... it turned into ... it was like every construction project you

know ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Except this is giant you know, like once you get into something you're like, "Oh,

we got to fix that too."

Richard Cox: Here's something else.

Mike Craft: Yeah, yeah. Even this ... even the front entrance needed to be reinforced

because we needed to get a crane, a heavier set crane to drop the lauter tun in.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: And this is ... you know the roof wasn't on this at this point.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: So if you can imagine the logistics of all the environmental factors, all of the

tanks you know coming from across the ocean, even getting here ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: It was a giant project.

Richard Cox: Yeah, I can't even imagine what construction even looked like while that was

happening.

Mike Craft: Yeah, I got here at kind of the end of it. There was a roof on the building when I

got here.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I was here ... it was all ... well, the buildings were removed and it was just

a flat construction site.

32:00

Mike Craft: A lot of porta potties back in the day.

Alex Dwoinen: A lot of porta potties, spent a lot of time in the construction trailer, but yeah. It

was interesting because as a brewery manager you wouldn't think, "Oh, I don't

need to be here for the construction." A couple of things were at play though. I

moved out from across the country with my family, we moved in July. I wanted

... New Belgian thought it was important for me to be able to have my kids start

school in August, so that happened. And then I know where every pipe in here

is, and I was able to participate in those field decisions on like, "Hey, can this

pipe go zigzag like this? No, we can't do that because of this other flow or

technical reason. So that was an amazing, kind of humbling, overwhelming

process I'm glad it's done. Construction ... it was a lot of work.

Richard Cox: But surely it was helpful to have a member of the brew team actually here,

talking about things like plumbing while they were doing it.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, totally.

33:00

Mike Craft: Yep.

Alex Dwoinen: And you know if we were ever to do this again it definitely would be something

that we would do.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Again, is have an operational person represent that because the construction

was interesting, you have the building ... we had a local general contractor, or a

regional general contractor, and then we have this other German equipment

company that has to coordinate all the technical pieces and then having those

two come together and work on all this coordination was interesting to say the

least. So you know a lot of times these GC construction companies would be

like, "Oh yeah, we're going to build this school or hospital. We'll just take care of

it all."

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: But we were like, "Hey, you know do this, or that ..."

Richard Cox: Yeah. Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: It was an interesting process.

Mike Craft: Yeah, when I show people around this place I think I use the word, thoughtful

more than I ever have in my entire life. Like I feel like just having you know

someone with your role be out here during the walls going up to like, you know,

34:00

picking landscape that is beneficial to migrating birds, butterflies, and bees. You

know, it's like ... it's crazy to think of how much thoughtfulness went into

making this place happen.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Back to the challenges of the site ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: It was a brown field, so you know there was many different ... I'm going to

forget a few, but there was an auto salvage, there was a livestock auction house

down on the north end of the property, there's some photos over there, and

when I first arrived there was actually cows in there.

Richard Cox: Yeah, wow.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, so anyways.

Mike Craft: Where did they go?

Alex Dwoinen: I don't know where they went.

Mike Craft: We should've kept them.

Alex Dwoinen: We should, hopefully they're doing okay.

Mike Craft: I hope so.

Alex Dwoinen: And then there was a mini storage up here that was on top of an old

construction waste area, so there was many different uses before we came

here.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Fortunately, through the soil analysis in the remediation, we didn't have to truck

any offsite, we could move it from up there because it's higher ground down

35:00

here because we had to build up for the flood plain. So fortunately, we were

able to take this contaminated soil that might have had some diesel or

something in it, put it down here and cap it with clean fill and then build on top

of it.

Richard Cox: Oh.

Alex Dwoinen: Instead of trucking it down to somewhere in South Carolina, which was the

place where you would have to take that stuff.

Richard Cox: Really, wow.

Alex Dwoinen: And to me I ... it doesn't make sense to move it across the road and make it

someone else's problem if you can grab it, so ...

Richard Cox: If you can use it, and the sheer volume you may have had from an auto salvage

joint. I can imagine.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, and picture going back to Penland Creek and the French Broad River, I

mean all that stuff was just leaching into the river.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And then back to those buildings too, you know New Belgium had a lot of

thoughtfulness about reusing a lot of the materials. They said that 14 linear

miles of wood was saved from going to landfill in this place and used in a lot of

the trim, the chairs that you're sitting on right now, there's a couple of beams

over in the Liquid Center that were saved.

36:00

Alex Dwoinen: The siding on the building itself ...

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Was from that livestock auction.

Richard Cox: Oh, wow.

Alex Dwoinen: A barn.

Richard Cox: Oh, okay. That's cool. Yeah, that's amazing. So let's swing back to the employees

for a minute.

Mike Craft: Sure.

Richard Cox: So as ... I think I insinuated earlier in December of 2012 New Belgium became a

100% employee owned company, so how did that come about? What does it

really mean? And does it bring with it any unique opportunities and challenges?

Alex Dwoinen: I'll talk about the event.

Richard Cox: Oh, that sounds great.

Alex Dwoinen: The announcement. So there's a performing arts venue in Fort Collins called the

Lincoln Center and it's a ... auditorium seating where they do shows, plays, small

named musical acts.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Alex Dwoinen: So we had outgrown our All Staff Room when we had everyone there for this

company meeting.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: All of our sales people and everything. So we went there and it wasn't ... no one

really knew, I didn't know, it was just going to be a company meeting where we

37:00

were in this space, and you know we go up there and talk about market plans

and all these things. And then ... were they under? Was it like Oprah style

underneath our seats? Or did they hand them out? I can't remember, the little

announcements?

Mike Craft: I kind of think they were under our seats, now that you said that.

Alex Dwoinen: So there was you know Kim was up there at the time. Christine Parrish was our

CFO.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And they went ... it was like, "Reach under your seats." And there was an

envelope, and you open it up, and it had a little mirror, and it says, "Here's

looking at you." Or something of the like and that's the announcement that we

were going 100% employee owned.

Richard Cox: Wow, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So it was ceremonial, it was special, a lot of high-fives, a lot of excitement at

that time. We already ... we're a ESOP company ...

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: But this was a ... going from a 49% to a 100%.

38:00

Richard Cox: Yeah, right.

Alex Dwoinen: Is that the right percent?

Mike Craft: Thinking about that event, I remember seeing the mirror and totally not getting

it. I think Kim was like, "I sold the company." And we're all like, "What?"

Richard Cox: Oh, wow. That's a whole different ...

Mike Craft: And then that's when the mirror came up and then she was like, "Yeah, I sold

the company to all of us, to you." Yeah. So yeah, we had been an ESOP for some

time and a lot ... I think some of the driving part of this, aside from the, you

know just the goodness of the decision. We had hired a whole bunch of people,

and you know we were kind of getting close to, "Well, what are we going to do

about shares if we continue this growth? We can't possibly ..." No one was going

to go forward with a company that has ... people have ownership in it and

people who don't. That was clearly going to be a recipe for disaster.

Mike Craft: And you know I think the ESOP program itself, to me, it's not necessarily like the

39:00

monetary ... someday you'll get something for all your hard work. It kind of sets

a tone around here that you know no one really says, "That's not my job. I'm not

going to do it." You know it's like you see a piece of trash, you pick it up. You

know if somebody needs a hand with something, you do it. You know it's just ...

it really sets the ... sets the tone of the work ethic around here I think.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And there's truly a buy-in and you know people care, people give a shit.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, for sure. That's why you stick around for 25, 26 years, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Exactly. And that's when the bike comes in.

Mike Craft: Yeah, well at one year you get a bike.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, so that whole idea came because we wanted reward people for their one

year of service, and it was going to encourage ... it encourages people to ride

their bike to work. And then at five years you get to go to Belgium and so it's a

week-long brewery tour to brewery tour trip all paid for.

40:00

Richard Cox: Wow, that's awesome!

Mike Craft: Most people add another week before or after because you know you're getting

a trip to Europe. I remember seven years before we were 100% that's when you

were fully vested in the program, but that's gone away since it's 100%.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: Ten years, we get a sabbatical. So it's a four week paid sabbatical that you can

add two weeks of your PTO on to and with no parameters.

Alex Dwoinen: Six weeks, isn't it?

Mike Craft: While - well you can make it six.

Alex Dwoinen: I thought you could make it eight?

Mike Craft: I think that's twenty.

Alex Dwoinen: Anyways. Oh that was ... okay

Mike Craft: Yeah. So 15 you get a travel voucher and then 20 is when you get a six week

sabbatical that you could add two weeks on top off.

Richard Cox: Wow.

Alex Dwoinen: I did that, that's why I remember.

Mike Craft: Yeah, yeah that's the one I'm looking forward to.

Richard Cox: It's on your calendar.

Mike Craft: And then ... oh, it is, yeah. It coincides with the World Cup so yeah.

Richard Cox: What a coincidence.

Mike Craft: Yeah, totally. And then 25 we could talk about this. This is new. 41:00You tell them.

It's happening to you.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, those ... there's only two of us that have been here 25 years or longer and

we're going back to Belgium this year in October. So what I think about that ... I

was on the first trip we went, and it was ... we had a couple sedans, paper maps,

getting lost. Now we have charted buses and catered meals.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So it'll be a lot different this time than the first time we went.

Richard Cox: Oh, yeah.

Mike Craft: For sure.

Alex Dwoinen: Everything's kind of smooth.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: We were just like, "How do we get there? Has anyone been here before? No."

We don't have cell phones. No nothing.

Mike Craft: We got lost on bikes on my trip.

Alex Dwoinen: Did you?

Mike Craft: Yeah, Jeff had like an old GPS, like this crazy big GPS. I'm not blaming him for us

getting lost, I think a couple people had missed a turn and didn't realize they

were in front.

Alex Dwoinen: And then all the lemmings behind in this [crosstalk 00:41:52].

Mike Craft: Yeah. Right.

Richard Cox: That's amazing. So in each of your current roles here, are there any resources

you draw upon to help you, in your day-to-day work? What resources ... people,

42:00

or I don't know I making this up, books or whatever? What helps you with ...?

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I mean coworkers day to day is a ... you know I'm definitely a learner not a

knower, so the more interaction and face-to-face time with coworkers talking

about issues, problems, vision, project ... you know where we're going.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Industry association, you know great friends and great breweries here in

Asheville and then beyond Asheville even through other industry contacts,

suppliers, vendors. But really, it's kind of the personal interaction with

coworkers. We can get most of what we need answered and figured out and if

we can't we'll look beyond these walls.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, I have similar answer. I think that, you know, we really do have an

43:00

investment in each other and there's a lot of things that happen not in email

here, it's just pull you aside and have a little side conversation like, you know

work forward. And in my role it's certainly heavy in the community you know I

really enjoy working with the City of Asheville. There's five to 20 non-profits,

usually environmentally focused non-profits, that we're really tight with. From

projects from WNC for the Planet, it's a collective that's going to happen in April

where we got everybody together to share a community calendar ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: For volunteer opportunities instead of like searching each nonprofit's calendar.

So it's little stuff like that, that we've done in the community that I think ...

Richard Cox: Adds up.

Mike Craft: Is just ... yeah, I hope so, I hope so. I think this place is in the landscape of

competitive beer I think a lot of people are loyal to this place because of the

44:00

beliefs that we're still preaching and still being a part of and helping out the

community, you know philanthropy and all those things. I think it's ... you know

people are voting with their dollars more than ever before and I think we've

become big fans and we certainly appreciate that.

Richard Cox: Yeah, absolutely.

Alex Dwoinen: And as far as resources too, North Carolina Brewers Guild, you know we're

members, and I participate on the board of that group. And really that as an

organization they're helping make sure ... looking out for craft brewing in

Raleigh.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: And with the government and everything, which is important you know in the

three-tier system you really need to have a group that represents the brewers

and you know the distributors have their representation and so ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: We need to work in symphony with them to make things ... Ensure things are

good and then also with the legislators, so ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: A little bit of ... maybe not what you meant by a resource, but it's ...

45:00

Richard Cox: But still, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: It's an industry interaction that helps us make sure we're looking out for

ourselves ...

Richard Cox: Absolutely.

Alex Dwoinen: And the industry.

Richard Cox: Yeah. So how would each of you describe your average week, as in possible ...?

Yeah. Especially given each of your roles, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: I'll start.

Mike Craft: I'll take sip of beer while you start.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, it's ... you know, responsible for production in a brewery, you know, it's

almost two ... it's two factories, right? Two breweries ... you have your beer

making and then you have your yeast making, so it's really working with our

leaders in our brewing ... do we need those back on?

Mike Craft: Did our lights go off?

Richard Cox: It was just [inaudible 00:45:39]. I think we're fine.

Mike Craft: They did not install a clapper.

Speaker 4: We're fine.

Richard Cox: I think we're fine.

Mike Craft: I think it's all motion so if you move around a little bit they'll come back on.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So I should fidget more.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: I think she should walk around the room a few times. I'm totally not editing any

of this.

Mike Craft: Yeah, take a walk.

Mike Craft: They should come on.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Attending to, you know, production critical numbers and planning 46:00and then as

well as putting out the fires that do come up, you know, we have a lot of great

brewing minds here. We still ... you know even though we've been brewing in

here for a few years they're still confluences of events that happen like, "Oh,

geez we haven't seen that before." So dealing with that and kind of the

overarching thing is just continuous improvement. How can we, you know, get

more efficiencies and yield here in the brewhouse? There are things like those,

but those manifest into you know meetings and teams and a lot of you know

excel time.

Richard Cox: Yes.

Alex Dwoinen: And I also participate in the leadership team here.

Richard Cox: Oh, cool.

Alex Dwoinen: So there's a group of us that everyone has an area of responsibility from the LC

to our DC out in Enka Candler. So we try to stay you know kind of lead the whole

47:00

site in what's important, what's next, what do people need?

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: So it's a combination of that leadership team and then just making sure that the

processes are running how they're supposed to, and a lot of change

management.

Mike Craft: Yeah, I work closely with our sustainability specialists for a lot of stuff in the

community. So, a normal week could mean an event that we're working with a

nonprofit offsite, or going to a community meeting or showing up for City

Council to ... a lot of meetings, you know just talking about what's coming up.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: I get some time with our GM here too. I get to spend a little bit of time putting

kind of internal coworkers, co-owner trips. So we all go to the opening baseball

game and we got a couple camping trips, so I get to do kind of some of that kind

of stuff, which is super fun.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Culture to me is really important and to keep up with it I think 48:00you've got to

participate in stuff and so I like to coordinate field trips.

Richard Cox: Oh, awesome.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah, that's great. So ...

Alex Dwoinen: It's always different though. I kind of generalize it saying it's kind of normal

week, but it's ...it's brewing, right.

Richard Cox: That's why I always grin when I ask that question because stereo typically that

question is a "What's your average day?" kind a question.

Alex Dwoinen: Right.

Richard Cox: And talking to brewers specifically it starts ... week?

Mike Craft: Yeah, well I think that's what makes us makes it interesting around here for a lot

of us is like every week is different.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know, like if you were doing the same thing for 26 years I don't know, I

don't know if I'd be here for 17 years if I was doing the exact same thing every

day.

Richard Cox: Yeah. So, Alex, how would you say that New Belgium reflects your brewing

approaches, interests, or philosophies?

Alex Dwoinen: New Belgium effect. Honestly, Richard, I can't separate them.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: I've been here over half my life and so you know I've taken part 49:00in recipe

development and worked at the continuous improvement of you know let's

make it ... it's good now let's make it better, or hey, we have this new recipe

concept coming down the line, how do we make that more efficient? And all of

those things, but I find it hard to separate those two things.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: Because I've grown up here more or less.

Richard Cox: Yeah, yeah.

Mike Craft: I would say the exact same thing I think that's perfectly said.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I mean I don't ... I've never had a job, professional job outside of this place.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know it has molded me, and I'd like to think that I had a little bit of

influence in molding it as well. But if I was to go somewhere else, I have a new

set of standards of places that I would work for you know like ...

Richard Cox: Oh, yeah, right.

Mike Craft: Employee ownership is high on the list for sure. Being an environmental

50:00

steward, business is a force for good, like all those things ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: I'm not sure I'd find anywhere else.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: So, you know I try not to go anywhere.

Richard Cox: Yeah. There you are. So we'll swing back around to community for a few

minutes.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: So we talked about brewing now we'll talk about the community.

Mike Craft: Cool.

Richard Cox: You've already talked a decent amount about like your community engagement

work, so can you talk a little bit more like sort of bring it all down together

about what you see the role of the brewery is in supporting a community and

specifically some examples of the types of fundraising and community

engagement work that you do in the Asheville area.

Mike Craft: Oh, cool. Yeah, I think I teased it a little bit with that WNC for the Planet stuff.

Richard Cox: Yeah, you did. Yeah.

Mike Craft: I'm really excited about this project for us I pressed send on the press release

right before we met. And so, last year was really the first time we all got

together with this project and like with every first year event you know there's

some hiccups so we learned a lot, and this year it felt way more fluid. I think we

51:00

met less ... and to use resources to make it easier for people who live here to

get involved with the community is like ... I mean that to me is the reason why

I'm here.

Richard Cox: Yeah, yeah.

Mike Craft: You know, like that makes me really excited. And I think we've gotten to bridge

a little bit of a gap ... not like there was a huge gap, but I think we've gotten to

be able to get a lot of the nonprofits together and have a little social lubricant

you know, you know a little beer.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And talk about each other's missions ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: And how in a lot of ways everyone is complementing the actual work versus

competing with it, you know. So those kind of projects have really meant a lot to

me. We participate in the Bike Share Feasibility Committee here in town. We do

a lot of stuff with the Greenways. The Greenway Project here in Asheville is

about ... I'd like to think less than a year away from really having a really long

52:00

continuous path down here on the river. Literally from the brewery you'll be

able to go four miles on just this side of the river.

Alex Dwoinen: Which will be great.

Mike Craft: Which is going to be great. And the revitalization of the River Arts District you

know we go to a lot of meetings down there. The City refers to New Belgium as

an anchor institution in the city, and I think that we are part of the draw that is

pulling some of the folks that are visiting downtown down here to buy art from

the River Arts District, drink beer with our neighbors at the Wedge, come across

the river and ride bikes and drink beer here.

Richard Cox: Yeah. That's great. Actually you mentioning the Wedge is another interesting

side thing, because you know given the size of New Belgium, how do you see

you all fitting with the other breweries in Asheville? Because there seems to be

a nice mesh.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I'll take that one.

Mike Craft: Totally, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Back to when we chose this site it was important for all of us, 53:00and I represented

New Belgium, I came out here for some events in those type of things, but a big

part of it was - I wanted to interact with the local brewers just to put a face with

this company to make sure that they didn't think we were this faceless large

brewer that's coming in to take tap handles or something like that, so ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: So it was important for me to meet people. You know we joined the Asheville

Brewers Alliance as a brewery in planning and so I would come out and I'd meet

people under that ... in that meeting.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: Those meetings and stuff. And as you would imagine as most craft brewers it

was very welcoming and I really ... you know I have a lot of great friends in the

community now. And on a couple of those trips I remember specifically talking

to Tim Schaller over at Wedge, great guy, and just kind of talking about you

know, "We're going to be right over there and everything's going to be cool I

54:00

hope?" And some other people from our company know Tim pretty well.

Richard Cox: Sure. Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So it was front of mind and we were very aware of how we wanted to show up

in the community of brewers here as being helpful and really forge ahead with a

strong relationship rather than, "Oh, we're over there and we don't want to

interact with you at all."

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: So, I think we're doing a pretty good job. Being so busy here with the

construction and start up I really couldn't pick up my head that much.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: But last year or so I've been able to interact a lot more with the brewing

community and great people, so ...

Richard Cox: Yeah. Oh, and you're doing ...

Alex Dwoinen: I'm rambling, but ...

Richard Cox: No, you're not. No, not at all. I mean and you're doing collaborations with local

breweries as well.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, we did one with Archetype just last October, it was great. Wedge, a year

before you know we've certainly gotten involved with Highland, with the ...

55:00

around the brewing for Greenways.

Alex Dwoinen: Greenways, yep.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: So yeah, I was just thinking to myself I can't remember a time that I went to

another brewery that I didn't see someone I knew from the brewing community

out that didn't work at that brewery. Does that make sense?

Richard Cox: Yeah, it does.

Mike Craft: It's like all of us go to each other's breweries constantly.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: That makes perfect sense.

Mike Craft: We enjoy each other's beer.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: That's the great thing about this industry is that speaking from a production guy

though ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: It's always been kind of ... the process and brewery people always hang out well.

I know there's a lot more competition out there from the sales folks you know ...

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: Sending my ... I feel a little more of the competitiveness, but the camaraderie of

you know brewers and process people, it's great.

Richard Cox: Yeah, that's one of the things that seems unique about this industry, craft beer,

broadly, is you do have ... they are ... everyone is a different business, so there is

a level of competition there just by its nature, but everyone on the other level

56:00

really gets along and helps one another.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: And it's an interesting sort of dichotomy that seems very unique.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I think it is, you know I think there's times when we've borrowed stuff from

other breweries and they've borrowed from us.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know and I ... back to the competitive landscape that is craft beer right now,

when we've talked about this before, the amount of breweries that are here in

the United States now has actually made everyone's game go up that much

better you know like ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: You can't ...

Alex Dwoinen: The quality is better than it's ever been per brewery.

Mike Craft: Yeah, you can't ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You can't get away with just a mediocre beer anymore in the United States you

know like you have to have something that is quality.

Richard Cox: Stands out, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And I think part of that getting to know the community, it was a story that I had

or maybe an assumption was that I thought the brewers might worry that we're

going to come in and take their tap handles or something here and believe me

we want to have our beer represented here ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: But that wasn't our intent of coming to this site, it was to be able to distribute

beer because it's heavy, to the East Coast.

Richard Cox: Right. Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And so just for people to understand that we're not going to be 57:00out you know ...

Richard Cox: Competing, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: We'll have our sales people out there trying to get people to pour our beer, but

it's going to be the ... it's not going to be this big like ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: Impact on the local tap handles brewers.

Richard Cox: That's the same as any other brewery coming through, sure.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: So, changing back in that, what's a Tour de Fat?

Mike Craft: Oh geez, I probably should do that one, huh?

Alex Dwoinen: He was a Carnie for ... Tour de Fat Carnie, which the road show calls themselves

here. For how long? 11 years, ten years?

Richard Cox: That's a good start to it.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, 111 shows I think is what I got to. The Tour de Fat was one of the best

times of my time here at New Belgium for sure. There was a ... a little bit of

history is, you know Sturgis, like the motorcycle party.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: We thought that we should have a party like that only for bicycles and ...

Alex Dwoinen: A little quieter.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Quieter, right. And it started as simple as like two dudes in a 58:00Tacoma with a

couple kegs of beer that showed up at a park in Kansas that probably didn't

have permits that went on a bike ride and came back and drank beer.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And it evolved into this giant touring ...

Alex Dwoinen: Spectacle.

Mike Craft: Spectacle. A philanthropic monster.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: We would partner with two or three nonprofits in each town, all bicycle focused

nonprofits. Well, usually two bicycle focused nonprofits and one sustainability

focused nonprofits, and there would be a costume parade for about an hour. It

was like duration was more important than distance.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Mike Craft: Like we wanted to get people back, but it was about an hour, but if you can

imagine you know three-year-olds on striders and you know 75-year-olds riding

tandems, like ... in costumes, and that caught on immediately, like the costume

thing. Especially in Fort Collins I mean if you go to a Tour de Fat Fort Collins.

59:00

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: It looks like people have made their bicycles into floats and they've been

working on it all year. I mean giant airplanes and it's unbelievable. Unbelievable.

Richard Cox: That's amazing.

Mike Craft: And then we bring ...

Alex Dwoinen: Check out some YouTube coverage ...

Richard Cox: Oh, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: If you've not seen it, but it's ...

Mike Craft: It's hard to explain. It's like Disneyland for your bicycle. I've used that line

before. And you know this great bike ride and then you come back and we tap a

whole bunch of kegs and have a bunch of music and a couple stages, and then

we kind a have this cool vaudeville twist to a lot of it.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Mike Craft: So, it wasn't a concert like it was intentionally designed to make you move

around the event and have an experience that was different than the person

you came with.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: So we had art bikes in the middle that kind of made you rethink how a bike

could work because we would take old truck tires and put them on a bike, or we

made a bicycle ...

Alex Dwoinen: The sofa bike.

60:00

Mike Craft: The sofa bike, yeah. We had a bike that had all tennis shoes on both the wheels.

And so I was a part of a small crew that did this thing and you know we couldn't

do any of this without this partnership with the nonprofits ...

Richard Cox: Sure.

Mike Craft: Who certainly fiscally benefited for all their hard work, but they also helped us

staff it you know there were shows that we needed 400 volunteers.

Richard Cox: [Affirmative]

Mike Craft: Because of the amount of beer tents we had, or you know all the checking of IDs

and all that stuff and so yeah, it was a year-round gig even though we did you

know X amount of shows. And it's evolved over the years you know some years

we did a whole bunch and some years we scaled it back a little bit. The format

has changed, like we're trying to keep it fresh for people who have been doing it

for a really long time, but it's the greatest weird thing I've done with my life.

Richard Cox: It's in multiple cities too now, right?

Mike Craft: Yeah, for sure.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yup, I mean we were touring all over the country there for a while in its early,

days and it's expanded into some cities and it's just you know ...

61:00

Richard Cox: Organic.

Alex Dwoinen: What was the bike ride ... a tent ... bike ride or attendance in Fort Collins?

Mike Craft: Oh my God.

Alex Dwoinen: What's the max, or peak number?

Mike Craft: I mean everyone ... is that an answer? Everyone comes to the parade.

Alex Dwoinen: Well I think there was 10,000 strong.

Mike Craft: Oh, yeah I think ...

Richard Cox: Really? Wow.

Mike Craft: I think easy.

Alex Dwoinen: It was crazy.

Alex Dwoinen: Easy.

Mike Craft: It is and I mean that parade ...

Alex Dwoinen: It's hard to get moving on your bike.

Mike Craft: Yeah, you actually walk part of it.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And then it's cool down Mountain Avenue you know a lot of people who live in

Mountain Avenue or don't live in Mountain Avenue just, come down there and

sit and there's like an island in the middle.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And you just sit there and bring a folding chair ...

Alex Dwoinen: They bring their lawn chairs and watch.

Mike Craft: Cooking hotdogs for people, like ...

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: It is ...

Alex Dwoinen: Maybe a beer or two is consumed.

Mike Craft: Likely.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: So Carnie was a pretty good explanation ...[crosstalk 01:01:48]

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yep, yep. And there's a couple of guys on the team that really fabricate a lot of

the art in all those bicycles year-round you know and they do a lot of custom

stuff for a lot of the Rangers these days and so you know we affectionately call

them carnies, but they're real ... I mean truly they are the artists that make the

62:00

look of Tour de Fat so unique.

Richard Cox: Did either of you make bike floats?

Mike Craft: Say that again?

Richard Cox: Did either of you make bike floats yet?

Mike Craft: Oh, I've had my costumes I haven't done a bike float.

Richard Cox: You have costumes, okay.

Mike Craft: But I have had a ...

Alex Dwoinen: It's mostly costumes.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I ... we take costuming pretty seriously here.

Richard Cox: Yeah? Like what? What did you do?

Mike Craft: Oh, I had a jean vest that had patches from all these nonprofits and all the cities

that we went to that I wore for most of my ten years and that thing could

probably stand up on its own, like it was ... picture it sweaty and hot.

Richard Cox: Oh, yeah.

Mike Craft: And I got this spiked helmet made with all the old beer labels that we've retired

and I put caps and spikes through it and plaid pants and ... it's like the day that

it's okay to wear your underwear on the outside of your clothes in the park.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah. I have various things, a lot of Halloween's past you know just ... but, I

think I've been a banana.

Mike Craft: Nice. There was always a banana.

Alex Dwoinen: There's always a lot of bananas.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So I stop being a banana. But mine was my daughter's banana 63:00costume so it was

really tight.

Mike Craft: I remember you just reminded me that the costume shop in Fort Collins every

year would tell us that they sold more costumes the week of the Tour de Fat

than they did leading up to Halloween.

Richard Cox: That's awesome.

Mike Craft: Yep.

Richard Cox: That's amazing.

Mike Craft: And then like when everybody's a freak, nobody's a freak you know so it was

like ...

Richard Cox: Yeah, exactly.

Mike Craft: So it was like we really encourage the costumes.

Alex Dwoinen: Freaks unite.

Mike Craft: Yeah. It was hard you know some of the other cities as we moved on to other

cities it took a year to catch on if you hadn't like checked out YouTube, but it's

the greatest show on earth.

Richard Cox: Yeah, it sounds amazing.

Mike Craft: Bicycle show, or ringleader [crosstalk 01:03:38].

Alex Dwoinen: Is it in September here?

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yep, September here?

Mike Craft: Yup.

Richard Cox: Awesome.

Alex Dwoinen: Please come.

Richard Cox: Absolutely! Absolutely.

Alex Dwoinen: Bring your costumes. It's more fun in a costume.

Richard Cox: Yeah, that's the part I have to think about [crosstalk 01:03:49].

Mike Craft: You blend in a little bit in a costume.

Richard Cox: I won't be the freak that looks normal. So to round out talking specifically about

New Belgium, are there any ways that you both see New Belgium growing in the

future specifically?

64:00

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, that's a good question. I'm not sure if you mean growing in production

barrellage, or just in general?

Richard Cox: However you would like to interpret.

Alex Dwoinen: In general. Yeah, I think there is all kinds of opportunities to grow within our

industry, within the types of beer and efforts we do. You know, we are a

national brand so as far as you know growing us into a region in the country we

don't have many regions to go into. Yeah, I think with our teams and the

creative, and innovative, and progressive people we have on board, I think that

were poised and ready to take ... you know we have a lot of things in the work

65:00

that I'm not going to talk about but ...

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: We're ready for the next challenge and yeah, I think time will tell.

Mike Craft: I think innovation is a great word you know I think this place is really ... really

tries to get on ... maybe it's a new beer style ahead of what the next trend is

going to be and I think we've done that fairly well. And then, as far as you know

regionality, I think it's really interesting ... I mean craft beer is like something

that people from other countries ... American craft beer that they want you

know.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: That's an exciting to me ... an exciting opportunity if done right you know with ...

not necessarily a three tiered system and not necessarily the quality standards

of cleaning a draft line in other parts of the world I think there's a ton of

challenges there, but to me, I think that, that hopefully is an opportunity for ...

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, for sure.

Richard Cox: And that's a shift from the past where it was Germany and Belgium.

Mike Craft: Oh, yeah.

Richard Cox: And now it's like they want to do craft beer.

66:00

Mike Craft: Totally.

Richard Cox: It's interesting.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: They want to bring American beers into their countries, you know, that's what's

flattering for sure.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Even like Chile and Argentina you know there's a lot of momentum around it.

Craft beers conferences is in Nashville and I had a lot of international people

come here and explain that to me, so that's been interesting ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Just to see the energy around that.

Richard Cox: That's amazing.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: So let's talk about the brewing industry for a while. How would you each say

that the brewing scene, when I'm saying brewing I'm talking about craft brewing

scene broadly, changed since you first there in the business?

Alex Dwoinen: Well ...

Richard Cox: We ... I mean we already kind of talked ... yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: We kind of talked a little bit.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: But just to throw out some numbers that are astonishing to me ...

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And kind of indicative of the market landscape is - when we were looking for

this site ... well, 2012 there was about 2500 breweries in the country.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Now there's 7000 and then more in planning. So you think about that, that's

seven years. That's a ton of breweries.

67:00

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: So you guys know it, you probably heard it, there's a new brewery, the local

movement all over the place. So, that's how it really ... the biggest change,

there's only so much space that the angles on the cold shelf ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: And distributors are charging ... they used to kind of like, "Welcome." Like,

"Bring it on, I can sell it." I even remember about five or six years ago

distributors were taking field growlers with a sealed top and selling them at

bottle shops and stuff like that. So that was kind a like the newness of it. I think

it's just a ... it's, I'm just saying what people have said before there's so many

different breweries right now and that's what's changed.

Alex Dwoinen: Positive thing though what's not changed is, I wanted to point out is that

camaraderie and that kind of work and community you have with the brewers in

the industry is like people want to help each other out. There is that element of

competition and we have our own level of competition and metrics, but that's

68:00

probably the biggest change since I've been here, or it used to be, "Hey this is

new."

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: People hardly heard of it now there's 7000 plus breweries.

Richard Cox: Yeah, I mean I think the last numbers I saw for just North Carolina it's like over

300 breweries and $2.1 billion dollars worth of income business, yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: That's just here.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Do you want to add anything?

Mike Craft: No, I totally agree with Alex you know like looking back on this thing is ... you

know when I go to the grocery store I'm overwhelmed by all of my choices in a

beer cooler like ... and I'm in the industry you know.

Richard Cox: Right, yeah.

Mike Craft: For a while.

Alex Dwoinen: Me too. Yeah.

Mike Craft: But I ... you know the one thing I could add is because of all that stuff going back

to what I said about quality I mean you can't compete unless you have a quality

beer now.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: Which is good for business. Good for all of us.

69:00

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: You know, so. Yeah.

Richard Cox: So tying into that is what's it like to work in the craft brewing industry today,

especially when comparing it to overtime?

Mike Craft: I still think it's fun.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Oh, absolutely.

Mike Craft: To jump in. I think that they're still like ... whether you're in sales or you're in

production or you're in whatever department, like the common thing that

brings us all together at the end of the day is a pint of beer.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: You know like ... and I can't tell you how many people that I see and have

conversations about work and in the end it's like, "Well, you know it is just

beer." So I think that there's a common like love for the thing that we all get to

do.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: That really brings us all together is because you know this is our craft you know

this is the thing that we do.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: So.

Alex Dwoinen: It's kind of ... what I said before it's the crowded landscape, the number of

people, and even when you go to conferences or events it's just ... it's almost

overwhelming, especially for an introvert like me.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So that's a negative of what the craft brewing industry is like to 70:00work in these

days.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: But at the same time I love this industry, I love making beer and it ... I'm not

going to say anything I haven't said, but it's ... I don't see it as a negative time

right now.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: I actually enjoy the challenge of all these new recipes we're tasked to help make

and all those things it's exciting in that regard.

Richard Cox: Absolutely. So next question, I'm curious to how you all interpret it such as ...

because brewers tend to interpret this in so far as beer styles, but are there any

particular trends in the industry today that you really like or dislike that you

see?

Alex Dwoinen: I'll tell you one I dislike.

Richard Cox: Do it.

Alex Dwoinen: We have at times 25 different beers on tap. People come in and is like, "What

do you have that's new?"

Richard Cox: Yes.

Alex Dwoinen: So, have they really tried all 25?

71:00

Mike Craft: No way.

Alex Dwoinen: I don't know. I don't think so.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: So it's a ... I'm not trying to dis our consumers, but it's a little bit of what Michael

was talking about was it's this ... the consumer is ... there's no allegiance

anymore.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: You know my dad drank Old Style. My dad would drink Old Style. He's from

Chicago. That was his beer. He drank Fat Tire too for a while.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: But there's none of that allegiance anymore, which is okay. I like variety. I like

local. I like all those things as a brewer, but when people come in and ask like,

"What's new?" And you know 95% chance they haven't tried all of these things

it's a little bit of annoying to me.

Richard Cox: Right. Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, if anything you're spot on. I was thinking about it. I grew up in St. Louis so

you know like Budweiser was at every event that my family hosted because we

had a ... someone I went to school with dad worked there of course.

72:00

Richard Cox: Right. Sure.

Mike Craft: You know so, and then in Colorado, when I moved out to Colorado in '96 it was

like you know it was Coors country, so you think about how our parents'

generation was maybe more loyal because there was less choice and depending

on where you lived you got the beer that was closest to you you know because

you couldn't get Coors back in the day outside of Colorado.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: But yeah, I don't ... my beer trend is all over the place. I think that in my ... in a

time in working with beer I think I've gone through the whole loop of like you

know different styles, different styles get way out there, get into the sour, get

into the, you know giant porters and then at the end of my ... kind of getting

back to like the nice clean pilsners, you know. And so depending on the time of

year it kind of dictates what I'm drinking too. You know like I'm really into our

Juicy Haze IPA right now for some reason, it's like my shift beer. And a couple

73:00

years ago if I saw that style I probably wouldn't even have gravitated to it.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: Like look at that mud!

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Could you repeat the question one more time?

Richard Cox: Any particular trends you like or dislike?

Mike Craft: Trends.

Alex Dwoinen: Okay. And you're saying some people interpreted that as styles or types?

Richard Cox: Well, sometimes brewers will say like, I'll pick on you since you said that really,

"I'm tired of brewing hazy IPAs."

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Just pick on you saying that.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I ...

Richard Cox: For example.

Alex Dwoinen: So there was a point like ... there was a time I was like, "The day New Belgium

makes an IPA ...

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Is the day ... look up there, we got ...

Richard Cox: I see three.

Alex Dwoinen: Well, three and we have plenty more.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: But mostly because kind of the ... what I liked was more of the ... the balanced

malty and yeast I think ... yeast is probably in my opinion going to be the next

thing. You have hops that can offer all kinds of different flavors from citrus to

piney to melon. I think the yeast is the next frontier because you can have all

kinds of different esters and aldehydes coming forward that has not even really

74:00

been touched yet, so I think that's a trend. But back to you know the trend I was

like, "The day we make an IPA," but since we decided to make Ranger IPA 1.0 I

started drinking more of them and I really started liking them.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And so you know Fat Tire is my all-time favorite beer that we make close there

with Abbey, but I really enjoy our IPAs, including the Haze ones.

Richard Cox: Yeah. And am I correct in remembering ... because you mentioned sour that you

all were the first, or one of the first sour programs in the country?

Mike Craft: Yeah, oldest sour program, yeah. We have 65 foeders now in Fort Collins. And if

you've never seen one of these things they're you know 40 feet around and 30

feet high. So our sour game has been on point for some time, and I think that

that's a really innovative thing that New Belgium has been able to do, is to you

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know come out with kind of a evolved blend of a lot of the sours we get to do,

so that's always changing for us.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, Peter Bouckaert our Brewmaster who moved on a couple years ago now,

or last year.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Anyways, when he arrived we ... I remember we ... he came from Rodenbach of

Belgium.

Richard Cox: Yeah, right.

Alex Dwoinen: So notorious red sour ales, and awesome beer. I was able to visit there on my

first trip to Belgium.

Mike Craft: Oh, cool.

Alex Dwoinen: So it was cool. Saw these big 300 plus foeders and everything.

Mike Craft: Wow.

Alex Dwoinen: So when we were developing ... when we said, "Yeah, let's do this." It was a

funny process because you take these beer spoilers that you don't want

anywhere in your brewery and we inoculated all these growlers with different ...

it was Fat Tire beer we used and we inoculated all this bacteria and like dozens

of these growlers, and we would taste it over time and some of it was just foul,

tasted like shit, and then some of it would taste pretty good, but the ones that

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tasted good a month or two later just tasted terrible. Finally, we found this kind

of blend of these different seed inoculums that were like, "Yeah, that's good

enough to put in a small oak barrel."

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And then we inoculated more, eventually that was what turned into our La

Folie. La Folie is French for positive craziness. So the folie, La Folie.

Richard Cox: And we're kind of going about what you mentioned about yeast a few minutes

ago and talking about this too. So yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah. So, that as I understand it was kind of the ... we were the juggernauts of

sour beer production. A lot of people are doing it now, a lot of people are doing

it very, very well.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And it's definitely a niche right now and it's really core to [inaudible 01:16:53]

brewers.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: That feels new though that I think, just that sour beer is, to me, seems like in the

last couple of years that's become a thing because I remember, you know, we

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still take ... we still take people on tour here you know constantly and we make

them have three sips of La Folie, and there's some people who've never had it

before and some people who have been in the sour game are like, "Oh yeah,

you know La Folie, you guys have been doing it a long time."

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Another trend thing that I was thought about while Alex was talking is you know

I think that the can beer movement is a really interesting one to me.

Alex Dwoinen: Do you like cans?

Mike Craft: I love cans.

Alex Dwoinen: I like cans.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I love cans. I purchase cans more than I purchase bottles.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And I think that, that is something that, you know, I think Oskar Blues was a

pioneer in that they had a vision of that ...

Alex Dwoinen: Absolutely.

Mike Craft: Which is so awesome. Dale is so, so, so great.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Because they started the landscape of like, "No you can ... no, trust me you can

put good beer in this can." Because for a long time people thought you couldn't.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: How about that first time you had a sip of beer that was not a domestic beer out

of a can? First time I did it, it was Oskar Blue's Old Chub, which is a strong

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Scottish ale.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, it is.

Alex Dwoinen: I remember just ... just mentally I cracked it and I was like, "Oh my gosh."

Mike Craft: Boom.

Richard Cox: Yeah, the association's with a can.

Alex Dwoinen: Exactly, so that was ... I remember that vividly.

Mike Craft: Yeah, I don't have a crystal ball in this business by any means, but I do think that

the can is going to continue to be something that people want to get.

Richard Cox: Yeah, actually that's leading to the next question, which is if you had a crystal

ball where would you see the craft brewing industry going in three to five years?

Which, that's ... throw that up in the air, see what sticks.

Alex Dwoinen: Man, Richard.

Mike Craft: Got a lot riding on this one.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I think the cans is one of those things that the data is there where it's

going, where all that. I think ... obviously, I don't have a crystal ball so this is all

speculation. You know unfortunately, I think there's going to be more of a shake

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out. We keep adding breweries and you know something has to happen with

that.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: Just the cycle. When it happens in the three to five years, or even if it's a little

longer, something's going to have to happen, a little atrophy, you know the over

saturation of the market.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: So I see that coming up. There's indications of a little bit of that now, but there's

breweries closing but there's also breweries opening.

Richard Cox: They're coming right back in.

Alex Dwoinen: They're coming right back in, so.

Mike Craft: Yeah, right. Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I feel like ... that's a good ...

Richard Cox: It's a harder question than it sounds like ...

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Just because it changes every two to three years, yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, I mean five years ago I wouldn't of imagined that we were going to have a

second brewery, you know like a lot can happen in five years.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I think if I was getting into the business I wouldn't want to do much outside of

my neighborhood tap room.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I think the shelf is so competitive that if you get into the craft beer business and

expect distribution and expect to get your beer to a different state it's going to

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be increasingly difficult for people to do that without some outside resources.

Richard Cox: Sure. Yeah, absolutely.

Alex Dwoinen: Consumer's fickle and you got to come up with something new all the time.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: I think that's a trend now and it's going to stay for a while. I don't see that ...

because there's been talk of like you go ... psychologically, maybe people go to

the cold beer shelf at the grocery store and they're so overwhelmed they just go

with what they know. I don't know if that's necessarily happening, it would be

nice.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Because hopefully people know our beer by ...

Richard Cox: Exactly.

Alex Dwoinen: But I still think you have ... rotation nation they call it in the tap world, but you

know people always want to know what's new rather than ...

Richard Cox: It's like what you're saying about the Liquid Center.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah. What role do you feel breweries such as New Belgium have played in

changes in Asheville? You've already talked about your environmental impact

work.

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Mike Craft: Yeah. Well, I think just off-the-cuff, I ... you know we hired 111 I think locals, you

know, into a company that is hard to explain unless you're here you know.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: And I think that, that hopefully, I'm saying things hopefully, hopefully that has

influenced their families lives and their impact on the community just engaging

with people in the community you know. I'd like to think that that has been

maybe one of the biggest ripples is, you know coming into town and hiring a

vast majority, I think ten of us came from Colorado, but a vast majority. And this

is all again back to the thoughtful.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: Like we are going to come in here, we are going to hire locals and give them a

good job, and give them health insurance and give them ESOP and all that good

stuff. So yeah, I hope that, that's been one of our giant additions to the city is ...

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

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Alex Dwoinen: I guess just try ... this question is kind of interesting to me because we ... for me

anyways, I want us to come in and be a ... we want to be a business with a force

for good and add to the community and enhance the community, but the word

change ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: I kind of struggle with because we don't want to change what Asheville already

has going, which is awesome community, culture, I mean the vibe's palpable

here, so it'd be more like how did we integrate and maybe enhance a few areas

of the community ...

Richard Cox: Sure. Sure.

Alex Dwoinen: Rather than change it. And you know what Michael said those are big things and

hopefully we can help be ... champion some environmental stewardship within

western North Carolina and then just be collaborators, not in the collaboration

beer sense, but with the brewing community and the community at large on

things that could be perceived as a force for good, or are a force for good.

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Richard Cox: Right, exactly.

Mike Craft: Yeah, we definitely know what it's like when there's just a handful of people

doing everything, and New Belgium is at the size where there's a bunch of us

now doing a whole bunch of stuff.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: So, some of the guidance perhaps in another brewery is like, "Oh, we've been

through that before. Let's talk, let's sit down and have a beer and talk about

how we got through it." But you know the collaboration with just the brewing

community, you know I think that there's a whole lot of expertise outside of

New Belgium's walls that live in this community and it's refreshing to be around

it, like Tim and Leah.

Alex Dwoinen: Totally.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Just in ... it's exciting, it's invigorating really.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah. So is there anything, since you all have been here, that you've seen that

you would say is unique about North Carolina beer?

Alex Dwoinen: That's a good question. Nothing jumps out to me.

Richard Cox: Okay.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: But the attributes of it I think it's all ... all that I've come 84:00across for mostly is

high-quality, great beer, and then like any beer for me if you know the people

that make it or work there it makes it even better.

Richard Cox: Yeah, there's layers they're adding.

Alex Dwoinen: So I will reach for a North Carolina made beer in front of others because I know

these folks.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: And that's ... you know what went into that.

Mike Craft: That's good. I also like water quality is really high up there too you know that's

why you have so many breweries in Asheville.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: The watershed here was ... it's great.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know, so I think quality ingredients obviously make quality beer.

Richard Cox: Yeah. Is there a particular beer recipe? Not necessarily your favorite beer, but

favorite recipe you've created that you're most proud of?

Alex Dwoinen: My role ... I've created a few beers over the years, but more of what I look at is

success. Pride's a weird word for me. I look at to a success as being able to take

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concepts that we've worked on, not necessarily from a pilot scale but a new

idea, work with our brewmasters and stuff and then help make that beer

efficient as it comes through our larger equipment.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: So, you know I've been working on Fat Tire for many, many years you know as

we went through different sized brew houses and facilities. You know, you had

to keep your eye on that. So I consider that a great success, and a lot of work

has gone into making Fat Tire consistent batch to batch, year-to-year.

Alex Dwoinen: And then you know some of the work on ... you know I've helped a little bit ...

I'm not the idea ... a lot of ... at least in the last several years I'm not a lot of the

beer creators, but ...

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: I look at ... up there, Bohemian Pills our predecessor to that was Blue Paddle

Pilsner you know that was a big foray for us from our Belgian style.

86:00

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: I mean Pilsner is the most consumed beer in Belgium, Stella Artois, and I forget

the other one, but you know so it's not unique, but that was a fun project to

work on, to make that, and so I was there from the beginning of that. Yeah, so

nothing jumps out to me as like, "Oh, this is my special, special thing."

Richard Cox: Yeah. The one you hoard for yourself.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: One thing that I don't think we talked about is like the challenge of making sure

that Fat Tire tastes exactly like Fat Tire in two different states.

Richard Cox: Every time.

Mike Craft: Every time. And like that in it itself is an art you know.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know like that [crosstalk 01:26:44].

Alex Dwoinen: That was a start up challenge. Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, and I think this beer is still a challenge you know to ... you know it's not ...

two different sites you know two different altitudes, two different water, but I

believe ... you can correct my story, but I believe you all found it faster than

anybody kind of had thought you would, right?

87:00

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, you know there was ... we stubbed our toes a few times, but we're right in

there between both sites, and it's a challenge.

Richard Cox: Oh, sure.

Alex Dwoinen: You have different water sources, you have different brewing equipment, you

have different hydrostatic pressure, you know your different altitude.

Richard Cox: Right.

Alex Dwoinen: You boil at a different temperature, but at the end it was, you know, we'd bench

marked stuff well enough analytically. We knew where we needed to hit, so we

started out pretty much do it the same as all these settings and then we knew

where to tweak those to get [crosstalk 01:27:30].

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Our sensory program we have, as a fair amount of brewers do, not all brewers,

we have a lot of statistical software through our sensory program that helps us

use people as a tool to nail our true sensory perception and right now, you

know, for a while we're nailing it.

Richard Cox: That's like the art and science combination really is what you're talking about.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah. I love that stuff.

Mike Craft: There's so much science, so much science.

Richard Cox: The fun/hard three questions now.

Mike Craft: Oh yeah.

88:00

Richard Cox: Oh yeah. What's your favorite beer from a North Carolina brewery other than

New Belgium?

Mike Craft: Oh, dude.

Richard Cox: It gets better.

Alex Dwoinen: That's not so fair.

Mike Craft: Favorite?

Alex Dwoinen: I could give kind of the ...

Richard Cox: You can do more ... favorite recent one.

Alex Dwoinen: I could give the ...

Richard Cox: People answered it in different ways.

Alex Dwoinen: I could give a cheeky answer is whomever's brewery I am at with them having it

at that time.

Mike Craft: Amen.

Richard Cox: That's a good answer.

Mike Craft: That's a great answer. I think that that's totally spot on.

Richard Cox: That's probably the answer a lot of us would give.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: You sticking with that one too?

Mike Craft: I had one last night that I really enjoyed.

Richard Cox: Okay.

Mike Craft: Wedge ... or two nights ago maybe? Maybe it was two nights ago. I like the

saisons that Archetype does. Yeah. I think ... I'm trying to picture what's in my

fridge right now. Fat Tires in my fridge right now as a matter of fact.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, me too.

Richard Cox: We'll get to that one. It's okay.

Mike Craft: Yeah. Yeah, you know I ... it changes. I think Alex answered it 89:00really well.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know I think wherever I'm at I'm going to buy local.

Richard Cox: Absolutely. The one I know ... I think I know the answer too since it's on the wall

behind you, but what would you say is New Belgium's flagship beer?

Alex Dwoinen: Fat Tire Amber Ale.

Richard Cox: Yeah. Tell me about Abbey though because you've mentioned it a couple of

times.

Mike Craft: Oh, man.

Alex Dwoinen: Go ahead.

Mike Craft: I was just looking over my shoulder thinking maybe we should pour a little bit.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I think Abbey ...

Richard Cox: Because that's earlier than Fat Tire, yeah right?

Mike Craft: Yeah, well close though.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I mean I think they were within the same year, but Abbey ... it was ... it

has a very phenolic yeast with some banana, clove, isobaric, some phenolic

nodes to it as Belgium Doubles typically have. Jeff Lebesch was able to source

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some yeast from a source that I'm not really sure where it came from. He was

able to grow some yeast to make Abbey back in the day, at the beginning. And

then we would make a beer called Triple as well with some of that yeast, but

Abbey was kind of that initial brown ale that was unique. It won a gold medal

back in '95 at a Great American Beer Festival, mostly because there wasn't very

many of the beers.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: It's still my perennial favorite.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Besides Fat Tire because it's ... it was so unique and back when I was brewing

you know we didn't we didn't make that beer all the time, but we would store

the yeast in a small milk can. We'd harvest it, put it in that, put it in the cooler

and it was like, oh, a month later we used that yeast and it was this rockstar

yeast that would just ferment great like crazy.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And then we would make more Abbey. We used to hand fill bottles and crown

91:00

those.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: All that. We would make an Abbey Grand Cru every ... periodically, which was

basically Abbey with more ...

Richard Cox: Yeah, yeah right.

Alex Dwoinen: And it was a fantastic beer.

Richard Cox: Abbey plus.

Alex Dwoinen: And we'd all look forward to that.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Which now Abbey Grand Cru is probably very kind of vanilla in the big beer

world, but at the time ...

Richard Cox: At the time ...

Alex Dwoinen: It was ... we put gold foil on the top and stuff like that, but yeah fantastic beer.

The yeast is what differentiates it, it's a dark brown ale, a double, really

fantastic.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I think I'm going to have one.

Mike Craft: I know you romanced the hell out of that thing. I think that was the beer when I

first started that was like, "What is this place doing?" You know, like because I

had had ... I mean I feel like I had had Fat Tire, but the Abbey in a glass, you

know, at the end of the day was just like, "This is amazing!"

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: It's a yeast showcase.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yep.

Alex Dwoinen: Fat Tire has a ester yeast, but we can control those esters to a 92:00certain point.

They're there but we want to keep the malt and there is a decent amount of

hops in here to kind of balance. Abbey, is a lot of Belgian style, it's the yeast is

the showcase there.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah. I could smell the banana as you were talking about that.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Yeah, that's great. So I think you just answered my last question yourself. Which

is what's your favorite New Belgium beer?

Alex Dwoinen: My favorite New Belgium beer ...

Richard Cox: Yep.

Alex Dwoinen: Perennial favorite is Abbey.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Fat Tire is my all-time you know kind of consistent favorite. It's in my fridge.

Richard Cox: There you are.

Alex Dwoinen: And you know it's a lot of people now they see it as like ... the fickle beer drinker

like, what's new? Even my friends and family, what's new? Well, I have Fat Tire.

Well I've had Fat Tire. And it's like have you had one lately? So that's my kind of

crusade right now.

Richard Cox: Yeah that's a nice ... yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Is it's a great beer, it's approachable it ... it's good.

93:00

Richard Cox: Yeah. Favorite?

Mike Craft: Yeah, you know back to me being kind of seasonal you know I've been drinking a

lot. I really like the Voodoo series that we've been doing.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: And I've always been an IPA guy to be honest with you like I just like the

crispness of the feel. So Juicy Haze has been kind of my shift beer, but in the

winter time I really enjoy Triple. And then I usually like evolve into something a

little lighter during the summertime.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: But I'm all over the board.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know, like we get a 12 pack a week for working here and we usually just go

down to the cooler and grab ...

Alex Dwoinen: Mix and match.

Mike Craft: Three or four things and ...

Richard Cox: Yeah, sure.

Mike Craft: Yeah, so.

Richard Cox: Yup.

Mike Craft: Everyone's pallet is a little different you know and so if we're hosting people, I

try to mix it up. I know what my wife likes and I know what I like so I keep it

pretty consistent.

Richard Cox: Yep. There you are.

Alex Dwoinen: We have tons of different brands and beers right now, but what I think ... maybe

... they're all very different from each other.

Richard Cox: Absolutely.

Alex Dwoinen: Even when we're only doing five or six different beers, they're 94:00all very different

from each other and I remember there was a stint in the industry of craft

brewing that a brewery might have a bunch of different colors of beer, but they

all kind of taste the same.

Richard Cox: Taste the same. And that's the Belgian tradition, right? I mean, beer is a variety.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Yeah, the portfolio is really - there is something for everybody I think.

Richard Cox: Right.

Mike Craft: In all the beers that we make and I sometimes have had the opinion of like, man

we are brewing a lot of different beers. But there are a lot of different people

who like a lot of different styles, you know, and so I think a lot of the strategy is

the thoughtfulness of if there is some beer that New Belgium makes that

everyone you know will like.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: You know.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: It might differ, but even though the most picky friend there's a beer for them

here.

Richard Cox: Yeah, there's one for them.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Richard Cox: So my last question, what do you guys like to do in your spare time?

Mike Craft: Oh, that's easier. I've been hiking a lot now that I live here.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: I ride my bike quite a bit, more of like a utilitarian, I commute. I 95:00commuted more

in Colorado to be totally honest than I do here, but I've been taking the bus a lot

more.

Alex Dwoinen: There's a lot more flat there?

Mike Craft: Yeah, pancake flat in Colorado, in Fort Collins.

Alex Dwoinen: The road's as wide as this room.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Totally, totally. So yeah, we camp a lot my wife and I, I have a little camper van.

We had it in the national park, we're going tomorrow morning. Get in for a day

or two. Yeah, we like to do road trips.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: Like to travel. We're national park fanatics so we've gotten to most of them.

Richard Cox: And you mentioned earlier yeah we're closer here than you were in Colorado.

Mike Craft: Yeah. Oh my gosh, it's an hour to the closest campsite.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: So that's way closer than Rocky Mountain National Park, which is an amazing

park it's just ... it was a little harder to get to in Fort Collins.

Richard Cox: Sure.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: I guess for me, yeah, being outdoors, hiking you know there's so much to see in

North Carolina and the coast and all of those things, so just kind of adventuring.

I haven't been able to do a whole lot the last few years, but I feel like I'm ready

96:00

and ready to do that. I have a couple of teenage girls so a lot of family time.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: And I really cherish that. I like to garden and landscape ...

Richard Cox: Cool.

Alex Dwoinen: So I spend a lot of time in the yard.

Richard Cox: That's why you were here at the beginning.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah. Moving stuff around and coming from Colorado where if you miss

watering something one day it's going to croak.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: Here you got to like ... you need machetes and bushwhack things so that is fun

for me.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: You know different climate zones, different things grow here. It's a lot of fun.

Richard Cox: Awesome.

Mike Craft: Those are all great things. I do think that this is the most fluorescent green place

I've ever lived.

Richard Cox: Wow.

Mike Craft: I mean it is ... at first, I felt a little claustrophobic by it because in 20 years of

Colorado with the big sky you know you come here ... a hike is totally different

depending on the seasons and I don't think ... I feel like Colorado is kind of

losing its seasons on the front range there. So I really appreciate that and you

97:00

know I can look at a map all day long, but I didn't not realize how far away

Asheville is to the coast until you drive in a car.

Richard Cox: Yeah.

Mike Craft: But the diversity throughout the state is phenomenal.

Alex Dwoinen: Yes.

Mike Craft: And I ... we went everywhere in the west and this is a really, really unique part

of the country for sure.

Alex Dwoinen: Awesome.

Mike Craft: It's beautiful.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah, I grew up in Michigan, so did my wife, we met out in Colorado, we didn't

know each other. So being back here with having the trees and the green and

everything feels a little bit familiar, like home to me, so that's one thing I really

enjoy about being here in Asheville is just the ... being amongst the trees.

Mike Craft: Yeah.

Alex Dwoinen: I was in Fort Collins last week and yeah, the big sky.

Mike Craft: Yeah. I was talking to the National Park Service a couple of weeks ago, we were

out there helping out a campsite, and we're talking about trees falling and I

remember being in the ...

Alex Dwoinen: They do make noise if they fall and you're not there.

Mike Craft: Absolutely.

Alex Dwoinen: Okay.

Mike Craft: So we were leaving ... I remember, I remember hearing one fall as we were

98:00

leaving a hike and everybody else was just walking around like it was normal

and I was looking at my wife and I was like, "Did we just hear a tree fall?"

Because you don't get rain like you get here in Colorado.

Richard Cox: Right. Yeah.

Mike Craft: Unless it's really high wind you don't see them fall, but that's just a ... a lot of

rain over this last year for sure.

Richard Cox: Oh, man, yeah.

Mike Craft: I think we're going to get a lot of green. This is going to be a great year for

wildflowers.

Alex Dwoinen: Invasive vines.

Mike Craft: Yeah, right. Big year for kudzu.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: More kudzu. That's what I was going to say.

Alex Dwoinen: Kudzu year is going to be awesome.

Richard Cox: Yeah. Thank you guys.

Mike Craft: Oh, you're so welcome.

Alex Dwoinen: Yeah.

Richard Cox: Is there anything you would like to add that I missed or you want to talk about?

Mike Craft: That was very thorough your questions were ... covered the gamut I think.

Richard Cox: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Mike Craft: Yeah, it was good.

Alex Dwoinen: Thank you.

Richard Cox: Thank you for your time!

Mike Craft: Thank you.

Alex Dwoinen: All rightie.

Mike Craft: Cheers.