Bicycles, Beer, and Bettering the Environment

With the leaves starting to fall and the cold-weather approaching, many people are stashing their bikes in the garage for good. But New Belgium Brewing company gives us a reason to go for one last ride and to embrace the power that our good ol’ two legs can produce in their annual Tour de Fat.

tour-de-fatNew Belgium is a special company whose mission is devoted to delivering outstanding products in a way that internalizes its impact on the environment and strives to make local communities a better place. Currently New Belgium is a part of many initiatives ranging from partnering with the Waterkeeper’s Alliance to leading the industry in exemplary practices which are incapsulated in the Green Brewery Concept.

The cool thing is that New Belgium has recognized that in addition to the many sustainable practices they have committed to within the manufacturing and distribution of their products, there is always more that can be done. A great way that New Belgium has taken a step further and worked to create a culture of sustainability within their local communities is through the Tour de Fat.

The Tour de Fat is a community-wide costumed bike ride aimed at creating awareness on the issue of sustainable transportation in our society today. The Tour de Fat shows how simple yet profound it is to engage in human-powered transportation in one’s daily routine.  An awesome feature of the bike parade where riders make the commitment to commute solely by bicycle upon donating their car keys and vehicle in what New Belgium calls the “inspirational car-for-bike swapper series”. The event even features its own set of commandments to guide one’s two-wheeled endeavor:

  1. Put no means of transport before thy bike
  2. Honor all other bikes. All bikes are good bikes, and all those who ride them are good people
  3. May every generation come forth
  4. Thou shall come as a participant not a spectator: It’s a costumed celebration of human powered transportation
  5. Thou shalt not bring booze; But enjoy the supplied malted adult refreshments responsibly
  6. New Belgium shalt not profit: Our goal is to raise money for bicycle and environmental charities. On any other day, dressing like a freak and hanging out in the park with thine buddies might be reason for being called a Philanderer, but today thou ist a Philanthropist!
  7. Remember the purpose, and bring not your pooches
  8. Keep the day true with thy good juju: The ride is free, but we suggest a $5 donation to the good bike advocates who are putting it on for you
  9. Thou shall rise early … once we’re full, we will handle overflow like a restaurant or bar: one in, one out
  10. Thou shalt not steal thy neighbors’ bike

The fact that New Belgium distributes free varieties of their delicious beer to adult riders at the Tour de Fat further adds to the awesomeness. Having an entire community come together, both young and old, to embrace the beauty and simplicity of riding a bike is another aspect of the Tour de Fat that really leaves a positive impact on the community.

New Belgium makes some wicked good beer no doubt. The two criteria for differentiation within the craft brew industry have traditionally been taste and quality. To further differentiate themselves from other craft brewers in the industry, New Belgium places an emphasis on sustainability. Their commitment to promoting sustainability in all aspects of their business definitely gives them an edge over many other brewers in my eyes. You can be sure to find me at next year’s Tour de Fat celebrating the power of two wheels and enjoying a sustainably brewed Fat Tire Ale. Be on the lookout for upcoming Tour de Fats in the following cities and I hope to see you all there! Cheers!

Washington, District of Columbia 
Yards Park

Durham, North Carolina 
Diamond View Park

Chicago, Illinois 
Palmer Square

Twin Cities, Minnesota 
Loring Park

Boise, Idaho 
Ann Morrison Park

Fort Collins, Colorado 
Civic Center Park

Denver, Colorado 
City Park

San Francisco, California 
Golden Gate Park

San Diego, California 
Golden Hill Park

Tempe, Arizona 
Tempe Beach Park


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