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New Belgium Celebrates 8 Years of Success Restoring Colorado River

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Bryan Simpson, New Belgium Brewing,, 970-494-2698 (o)/970-231-5983 (c)
Seth Cothrun, Sonoran Institute,, 520.290.0828 ext 1110

For Immediate Release
July 20, 2015
Contacts: New Belgium Brewing, Sonoran Institute, Save the Colorado

New Belgium Celebrates 8 Years of Success Restoring Colorado River
July 25th “Colorado River Day” events at the brewery in Fort Collins

Fort Collins, CO – On July 25th, which is the day the U.S. Congress named the “Colorado River” in 1921, New Belgium Brewing is having a day-long celebration of its collaborative success helping to restore the Colorado River. The event is co-sponsored by two conservation groups – the Sonoran Institute and Save the Colorado – and will focus on New Belgium’s support for restoration of the Colorado River Delta. Over the last 8 years, New Belgium has contributed more than $100,000 to efforts — led by the Sonoran Institute — to restore a flow of life and water to the Delta, where the Colorado River runs dry and no longer meets the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

“We’re proud to support this project in the Colorado River Delta,” said Jenn Vervier, Director of Sustainability and Strategic Development at New Belgium. “The collaborative agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and conservation groups is a model for how we can achieve environmental gains that avoid conflict and benefit all stakeholders.”

For decades the Colorado River has been drained completely dry – all 5 trillion gallons diverted to farms, cities and industries in the U.S. and Mexico. In 2008, New Belgium started funding the Sonoran Institute’s work to restore the Delta, which culminated in the first deliberate release of water back to the river and the sea in the spring of 2014. The Delta ecosystem bloomed with life for the first time in years as the Sonoran Institute’s two decades of work paid off. Conservation groups, including the Sonoran Institute, are currently negotiating with the U.S. and Mexico stakeholders to make the small flow of water a more permanent fixture on the Delta landscape. The Delta project is part of broad conservation efforts by the Sonoran Institute to promote smart water use throughout the Colorado basin.

“The release of water to the Delta was a historic event,” said Francisco Zamora of the Sonoran Institute, who has worked on the project for nearly 20 years. “After years of work, collaboration, and support from philanthropists like New Belgium Brewing, we saw a degraded landscape bloom back to life that many people thought was hopeless.”

The day-long celebration at the brewery will include films from renowned National Geographic filmmaker Pete McBride, Skinny Dip beer specials, and remarks by Francisco Zamora of Sonoran, Jenn Vervier of New Belgium, and Ross Cunniff from the Fort Collins City Council.

Since 2012, Colorado River Day celebrations have occurred across the Southwest U.S. on July 25. The Colorado River – which stretches from the continental divide west of Fort Collins all the way to Mexico – is the source of water for more than 30 million people in the Southwest U.S. and provides about half of the water for New Belgium’s beer.

Event details: Films will be showing all day along with Skinny Dip beer specials. Remarks will begin at 4:00pm



New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews ten year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

The Sonoran Institute is a nonprofit organization that inspires and enables community decisions and public policies that respect the land and people of western North America. Join us throughout 2015 in celebrating a landmark 25 Years Strong, Shaping the Future of the West. For more information, visit


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