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New Belgium Brewing Has A New Top Exec

Jessica McDonald
New Belgium's Fort Collins tasting room serves up the company's Belgian-influenced beers.

Kim Jordan, who co-founded the Fort Collins-based craft beer company in 1991, is stepping down as CEO. She’ll be transitioning to a new role as the New Belgium’s executive board chair.

Christine Perich, currently the company’s chief operations officer, will take over Jordan’s reins as CEO, managing day-to-day operations at the Fort Collins brewery, and at the company’s location in Asheville, North Carolina, set to open in late 2015. Perich will also be tasked with leading the New Belgium executive team and focusing on short-term strategic goals.

Credit Courtesy: New Belgium Brewing Company
Courtesy: New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company's COO Christine Perich takes over as the top executive on October 9, 2015.

New Belgium currently ranks as the fourth largest craft brewery in the country, based on 2014 beer sales figures. It’s the eighth largest beer producer in the country overall.

Perich, who’s been with New Belgium for 15 years, played a role in transitioning the brewery to being 100 percent employee-owned in 2013, according to a written statement.

“After spending the past 15 years as a part of the New Belgium team, I am incredibly excited for this opportunity,” Perich said in the statement.

Jordan, along with her then-husband Jeff Lebesch, began brewing beer in the basement of their Fort Collins home in the early 1990s, eventually moving the operation to larger facilities in the city’s Old Town district when demand for craft beer began to boom.

The brewery’s made a name for itself for its funky sour beers, and small, fruity experimental batches. New Belgium’s been recognized for innovations in energy efficiency and use at the Fort Collins plant. Jordan’s story is currently a fixture of a Smithsonian Institution exhibit on how New Belgium has contributed to Fort Collins’ inventive culture. Her office sits just out of earshot of the brewery’s tasting room.

“I get to hear a lot of what people say,” Jordan said in a June 2015 interview with KUNC. “And it’s not always like, ‘Oh, this is the coolest thing ever.’ It’s a lot more like, ‘Hm, this is kinda weird.’ And yet we persist in doing things that we think are interesting and innovative.”

The two women will take on their new roles in October 2015.

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