Kim Jordan, co-founder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company, has a long history as a craft brewer. Here she shares her story with us and talks about what she’s looking forward to most with this year’s SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience event.
1. Why and how did you get into the business of making beer?
In 1989, my then fiance and I knew we wanted to brew the Belgian beer we fell in love with during our travels. The fruits, the spices—Belgian beer has such an experimental personality and we knew we wanted to share that with American drinkers. Regionalized brews are gaining popularity, but at the time Belgian ales were such a specialized beer that they really couldn’t be found outside of Belgium. Our first brewing operation was out of the basement of our house.
2. What makes your brand different from others?
In Belgium, each glass of beer is presented with its own unique glass, filled table-side three-quarters of the way full, then the bottle is placed to the side with the label facing the drinker and the cap or cork settled beside it. This artful ritual makes each beer special and the experience unlike what you see in America, where beer is saved for college frat parties.
When I started New Belgium, I wanted to bring these beautiful rituals to America with the idea that we could start a movement where beer is seen as a sophisticated and elegant drink—flavorful, special, but still accessible.
3. What does being part of the SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience event mean to you as a craft brewer?
I’ve been part of this event from the beginning. We wanted to create an opportunity for American craft brewers to join the global conversation surrounding beer, and I feel we’ve done just that.
What makes the event so special is that each participating brewery must have top-level representation. Brewmasters and founders are on hand to speak with attendees and fellow passionate beer drinkers creating a more intimate experience. With these key players in attendance they can deeply dive into the nuances of each beer and the reasons for certain food pairings.
I’m so excited to be showcasing New Belgium for the sixth year running, where we’re featuring our beers along side small dishes created by Chef Adam Dulye of the Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco.
Brewery Pairing Menu
Paardebloem Ale: Paired with Roasted Peach on Brioche with Fried Pancetta and Dandelion Greens
Rolle Bolle Ale: Paired with Shortbread Biscuit with Stilton and Pear