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Thursday, July 7th 2011

New Belgium Brewing Announces
Can Line Expansion


Ft. Collins, CO – July 7, 2011 - New Belgium Brewing is pleased to announce it is breaking ground on a 16,000 sq. foot can line addition to its bottling hall. The new system, manufactured by KHS, will increase New Belgium’s canning volume capacity six fold.

"The new system, manufactured by KHS, will increase New Belgium’s canning volume capacity six fold."

“Cans have been a great addition to the packaging portfolio for us,” said New Belgium spokesperson, Bryan Simpson. “We first introduced Fat Tire cans in 2008 and we’ve since added Sunshine Wheat and Ranger IPA. Sales have been ahead of projection and we’re fortunate to be able to accommodate demand.”

New Belgium’s current can line features a 9-head filler with a capacity of 60 cans per minute while the new system will feature a 40-head filler capable of filling 360 cans per minute. The system can package both 12-oz and 16-oz cans.

The addition itself will be constructed just east of New Belgium’s current bottling facility on the brewery’s fifty-acre campus in Fort Collins, CO. The building process should run through the end of the year with first beer off the line some time in January. Neenan Company of Fort Collins is contracted for construction.

New Belgium's current canned lineup

We wanted to know more about this move from New Belgium and what it means as far as future canned offerings go and canned beer output by the brewery. Thanks to Brian Simpson from New Belgium for being so quick to answer our questions! Cheers!

(CC) Was this a move brought on by demand or one that was made based on where the market is going?

(BS) Demand. We were somewhat optimistic going in but demand has exceeded our expectation right out the gate.

(CC) What does this new canning line mean as far as canned beer output from New Belgium?

(BS) Volume-wise we can potentially produce six times the volume we could on our current system but that is likely a ways out. Our hope is to double can production in the next couple years.

(CC) Does this mean a lot more cans of Ranger IPA hitting shelves (we truly hope so)?

(BS) I think it's safe to say all currently canned brands (Fat Tire, Ranger and Sunshine Wheat) will all increase in volume.

(CC) We saw that the new canning line can accommodate both 12- and 16 oz cans, any thoughts on whether New Belgium might put some beers in pint cans?

(BS) That'd be fun wouldn't it? ;^) Can't imagine we'd resist that opportunity.

(CC) Will we see some new offerings in cans from New Belgium once this canning line is up and running?

(BS) We're definitely looking at existing brands and potential new brands for a good fit and given the fact that we like to experiment and play around I think that's almost a definite.


New Belgium's CEO, Kim Jordan, and their current canning line


About New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces eight year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information, visit www.newbelgium.com.

For further information, please contact:

Bryan Simpson, 970-494-2698


Posted by Russ