December 26, 2017
What do bikes, national parks, and beer have in common? The New Belgium Brewing Company.
If there’s one brewery that “gets” biking, it’s New Belgium. In 1988, Jeff Lebesch, the company’s co-founder returned from riding his fat tire bike across the Belgian countryside, and two years later, Fat Tire became one of the company’s first beers — a “craft beer icon inspired by the Belgian brewing tradition.” But New Belgium is more committed to biking than just incorporating a cute bike into their logo to market to cyclists.
New Belgium has supported Adventure Cycling’s advocacy partnership work with national and state parks for the last three years and renewed their support this year with a $4,000 grant. In 2016, for Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary, they also committed to incorporating a special Bike Your Park Day label on seven million beer bottles, promoting the inaugural event to encourage people to explore their parks and public lands by bicycle. So not only is bicycle advocacy at the core of New Belgium’s values, but so is supporting our parks, or as Wallace Stegner called them, “America’s best idea.”
Adventure Cycling has made it a priority to develop partnerships with parks to improve bike travel and tourism. In 2013, we signed an agreement with the National Park Service that has been instrumental in enabling us to partner with priority parks, like the Natchez Trace Parkway, Glacier, Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. We have also attended the National Association of State Parks Director’s conference for the last three years, and are working to build partnerships with state park systems.
More specifically, our goals are:
So how have we been putting New Belgium’s dollars to work to accomplish these goals? Just in the last year, we’ve seen the fruits (hops?) of our advocacy work:
So the next time you crack open a Fat Tire after a ride, you can feel extra good about supporting a company that supports Adventure Cycling.
Top photo by Saara Snow | Photo 2 by the Natchez Trace Parkway Association | Photo 3 by N Lewis of Shenandoah National Park.
BUILDING BICYCLE TOURISM is written by Ginny Sullivan and Saara Snow of the Travel Initiatives Department and focuses on the growing national movement to build bicycle tourism, including economic impacts, bike friendly tips, multimodal travel, and resources for destination development and marketing.