New Belgium was founded in Ft. Collins, Colorado in 1991 by husband and wife Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan, but the story starts in 1989, in Belgium. Jeff took a trip to Europe at the age of 32 and biked around Belgium for most of it, using his mountain bike that the locals remarked had “fat tires.” When he got back to Ft. Collins, he started brewing in his basement, and after two years Jeff’s brews had gotten enough positive feedback from family and friends that the couple decided to take their brewery commercial. It was at this point that Kim knocked on her neighbor Anne Fitch’s door and asked her if she would consider using some of her watercolors as the artwork for their bottles. New Belgium still uses Anne’s watercolors for their artwork today. In 1996, facing rising demand, the brewery brought on Peter Bouckaert, a Belgian Brewmaster who previously worked at Rodenbach brewery. New Belgium believes that engaged employees make better employees, and they put that belief into action by giving all employees an ownership stake in the company on their one year anniversary.