The New Belgium Brewing Company, a well-known brewery located in Fort Collins, Colorado, has an interesting ownership structure. As of 2019, the brewery was entirely owned by its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This unique ownership model was established by the company’s co-founders, Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch, who wanted to ensure that the brewery remained independent and focused on its core values even as it grew.
My personal take on this is that it’s truly inspiring to see a company prioritize its employees in such a significant way. The sense of ownership and pride that comes with being a part of the ESOP must be incredibly motivating for the staff, leading to a strong and dedicated workforce.
It’s worth noting that the decision to transition to employee ownership didn’t come without its challenges. There were concerns about ensuring financial stability and maintaining the company’s unique culture. However, New Belgium Brewing has successfully navigated these hurdles and continues to thrive under its unique ownership model.
In late 2019, it was announced that the brewery would be acquired by the Lion Little World Beverages, a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings Company Limited. This acquisition marked a significant shift in ownership, and some loyal fans were understandably apprehensive about how it might impact the company’s values and operations.
As a fan of New Belgium Brewing, I shared these concerns. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the company’s commitment to sustainability and community involvement remains strong even after the acquisition. It’s evident that being a part of Lion Little World Beverages has not compromised New Belgium Brewing’s identity.
While the ownership structure has evolved over the years, New Belgium Brewing’s dedication to producing quality craft beer and maintaining a positive impact on the community has remained steadfast. It serves as a great example of how a company can grow and adapt while staying true to its roots.
In conclusion, the story of who owns New Belgium Brewing Company is a fascinating journey that reflects the evolving landscape of the craft beer industry. The brewery’s transition to employee ownership and subsequent acquisition by Lion Little World Beverages highlights the complexities of maintaining independence while embracing growth. Despite these changes, the company’s commitment to its values and employees is a testament to its enduring success.