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New Belgium brewing takes on a Colorado coal mine

New Belgium brewing takes on a Colorado coal mine

BRUSSELS: One of the U.S.’s biggest and greenest breweries is facing a boycott in Colorado. The company provided support for climate change campaigners in the state that threaten to shut down a coal mine, and the mining industry is not happy.

New Belgium Brewing Co., based in Fort Collins, just north of Colarado’s state capital Denver, has become famous for its quirky ales and love of fat tire bicycles. The 26-year-old craft brewer also has aligned itself with some of the world’s more radical green brands, such as Patagonia and Lush, in openly calling for a ban against fracking.

As well as speaking at anti-fracking rallies, the company in recent years has funded a number of projects run by the non-profit WildEarth Guardians, which aims to improve the health of watersheds in the state.

With water being the most important ingredient for all brewers, New Belgium stated it is keen to preserve its local source, much of which is provided by snowmelt from the nearby Rocky Mountains.

But when news of its charitable donations to WildEarth Guardians emerged last month, the northwestern coal mining town of Craig launched a full scale boycott against New Belgium beer that still hasn’t been lifted.

Hundreds of Craig residents depend on a nearby coal mine for work, which is under threat from closure after WildEarth Guardians sued the Department of the Interior over an inadequate environmental impact assessment.