Rihanna’s not the only one, I too found love… in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Let me just start off with saying, I love Fat Tire. I always have and always will. Now that I know more about the company it comes from, my love will remain strong forever.
First, let’s start with the company mission statement: “To operate a profitable brewery which makes our love and talent manifest.” SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Have you ever worked for a company that incorporates love and talent into their mission statement? We were off to a good start.
Then we were told about how the grains are given to a local dairy farm, to be used as feed for the cows, to help reduce waste. Seriously? Not to mention, they operate about 8 hours a day from their solar panels alone, they have installed skylights throughout the buildings to reduce the use of electricity for lighting… oh, AND they have their own water treatment plant. At this point, I was smitten.
We turned the corner and found bike racks everywhere, filled with different styles of Fat Tire branded bicycles. Our tour guide informed us that after one year of working for the brewery, every employee is gifted with a bicycle. The style changes every year, so you can tell how long someone has worked at the brewery by the bicycle that they ride. Smittenest kitten in the land by this point.
He continued on to tell us that after 5 years, employees receive a paid vacation for 2 weeks to travel to the Belgium, to tour all of the breweries and cafes that the founder of New Belgium toured. They all go there together, drink beer and call it work. But he wasn’t done yet.
After 10 years of service, employees get to take a one month sabbatical. Yes, they are paid for a month and encouraged to travel. They are not allowed to come to work for a month.
After 15 years, a tree is planted in their name on the grounds. And let’s talk about the grounds, while I’m at it… they have a Thursday night volleyball league on-site. If you drive a hybrid vehicle or anything with over 30 mpg, you get a special parking spot at the front of the lot. There are beautiful pieces of artwork, trees, skylights, etc. everywhere.
Back to employee benefits. After every shift, they receive a lager – appropriately named Shift. They receive this beer after going down a slide, from the offices to the bar. Every week, they get to take a case of beer (of their choosing), home with them.
Candeliers (get it?), mirrors and other items are made out of bike wheels, beer bottles/cans, etc. I was inspired, in love and ready to quit my (just kidding on the last one…) and move to Fort Collins.
The night we were there, they were hosting a bike-in movie. Food trucks, bicycles, beer and a movie in the parking lot.
And there it is. How I found love in a hopeless place (Fort Collins… sorry).