New Belgium Brewing Announces Layoffs

Another major craft brewer is going through tough times.

New Belgium Brewing Company recently announced that it will let go of 28 employees across production, administration, finance, HR and IT.

The employee-owned, nationally distributed company first opened in 1991. Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, New Belgium also operates a facility in Asheville, North Carolina. According to the U.S. Brewers Association, New Belgium as of 2016 was the fourth-largest craft brewery and eighth-largest overall brewery in the U.S.

The layoffs represent about 4% of the company’s overall staff from both facilities.

“These changes were not driven by a decline in our business; in fact, our depletions grew in 2017 vs. 2016 which is admirable given industry headwinds,” the company said in a press release. “However, beginning in 2013, we expanded our staff to support a brewery about 40% larger than New Belgium is today, and we haven’t yet achieved our goals in the face of changing dynamics in craft brewing.”

This is an unfortunate trend: a large craft brewer that expanded years ago during the height of the industry boom, now facing financial ramifications because craft beer growth has slowed. Smuttynose Brewing Company is another recent example, among others.

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