Last Thursday, the Atlas Sales management team was hosted to a great day of discussion, beer tasting, and bike riding at New Belgium Brewing Company’s home in Fort Collins, CO. The event was called “Beer School” and was held in preparation for New Belgium’s much anticipated Michigan launch in late August.
Atlas sent four employees to the training: Greg Dunn, President; Bud Dunn, Business Development Manager; Tom Harty, Sales Manager; and Brad Gwathney, Assistant Sales Manager. They were joined by representatives from four other Michigan beer wholesalers and plenty of NBB’s employee-owners.
Throughout the packed day, the distributors were treated to great presentations on the brewery’s history, culture, sustainability practices, and branding. They also got to tour the brewery, ride NBB’s iconic “fat tire” bikes to lunch, and taste some delicious beverages.
According to Bud Dunn, a highlight of the tour was the tasting of a very young, not yet finished Fat Tire, which is the brewery’s signature beer. “It was great to see the stages of the brewing process,” he said. “The unfinished beer was sweeter and really interesting. Our tour at the brewery gave us the opportunity to be involved in more than just the finished product.”
The Atlas team was most struck by the unique, welcoming, active culture at NBB. The brewery focuses on green practices, quality beers, and profit for its employee-owners while maintaining a casual and fun atmosphere. “We walked outside for our beer dinner and saw employees playing volleyball and their dogs running all around,” Bud said. “It was like a family in their own backyard.”
Greg, Tom, Bud, and Brad send many thanks to NBB for their hospitality. The entire Atlas family will be thrilled to welcome New Belgium’s beers starting in August, as Atlas Sales will be the New Belgium Brewing beer distributor in Calhoun County, Michigan.
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