The craft beer story is full of interesting characters with great stories of their own. In 1995, Sam Calagione raised more than $200,000 to open a brewery in Rehoboth, Del., but he didn’t know brewing was illegal in Delaware in 1995. He found out when some stranger walking by told him, weeks before opening, as he was putting up the sign for Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats. So, he ended up creating a bill that eventually made brewing commercially legal in Delaware. Watch him tell the story right here.
Here is another great character, telling their part in the craft beer story: Kim Jordan, co-founder and one-time CEO of New Belgium Brewing Co., takes us through the history of the famous brewery, known for great craft brands from Fat Tire to Voodoo Ranger, in this seven-minute video. The one-time social worker, firefighter, EMT and small animal trapper (she explains her many career paths above) was inspired to get into beer from her ex-husband and co-founder Jeff Lebesch, who departed the company in 2009, but it was Jordan’s personality and shared vision for being a force for good in the business world that makes the New Belgium story so interesting.
During her tenure, New Belgium became one of Colorado’s first certified BCorps, was at one point 100 percent employee owned and set the bar high for involvement in company culture, community outreach, environmental stewardship and philanthropy. Of course, Jordan and the rest of the employee-owners would end up selling to Kirin, a company that makes a lot of headlines for selling beer in the backdrop of Southeast Asia’s sad 70-year civil war in Myanmar, but hey, what are you going to do? Watch the highpoints in New Belgium’s history above.