Beer loves Dayton … and parks

New Belgium beers at Five Rivers MetroParks

By Amy Forsthoefel

Photo: Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing arrives in Dayton this December and $1 of each purchase made in 2014 goes to benefit Five Rivers MetroParks

Dayton loves beer. The boom of local breweries over the past few years and spike in residents taking up the practice of homebrewing testify to Dayton’s passion for fine-crafted suds. But a recent announcement from Bonbright Distributors and New Belgium Brewing Company affirmed the inverse: Beer loves both Dayton and its environmental sustainability.

As part of New Belgium’s expansion into Ohio, $1 per sale from every case of New Belgium beers sold now through 2014 of the Fort Collins, Colorado-based brewery’s beverages will benefit Five Rivers MetroParks.

“This is a great partnership for the park district and New Belgium,” said Beth Redden, Five Rivers MetroParks’ new director of development. “The parks will benefit from an alternate revenue source in a time when funding is so critical, and New Belgium has the opportunity to show the community its commitment to the region by giving back to one of its greatest resources.”

Dayton’s Bonbright Distributors faced tough competition to carry the new line of brews. Their long-standing relationship with Five Rivers MetroParks may have helped give them an edge clinching the deal, appealing to the brewery’s sense of sustainability.

“Bonbright’s CEO Brock Anderson III is a big fan of the park district,” Redding said. “You will likely find him at Hills & Dales MetroPark or on a bike – he pledged to bike to work every day for a year!”

Bonbright has a history of supporting MetroParks’ events, such as the Midwest Outdoor Experience, the Dayton Celtic Festival and the biennial Adventure Summit, which returns to Wright State University Feb. 14-15, 2014.

“It was a natural fit for us to continue our relationship with Five Rivers MetroParks, and it helped give us an edge in our bid,” explained Anderson.

The employee-owned New Belgium Brewing Company has sustainability written into its core values and beliefs. Reducing resource consumption and offsetting waste are just some of the ways the company is committed to producing beer sustainably, according to information found on the website ( In fact, partnerships with organizations like Five Rivers MetroParks are cited on the website as the types of stewardship that yields the best results:

“Ultimately, our work in environmental sustainability is motivated by our desire to create the kind of world and the kind of communities we want to live in. Given the reality of diminishing returns on efficiency improvements and the limited impact we can make operationally, often our most rewarding and productive work is done in concert with others. We’ve donated over $5 million to nonprofits, helped bike-related nonprofits raise over $2 million by selling beer at Tour de Fat, advocated for progressive climate and energy legislation and collaborated with our peers in the brewing and beverage industries.”

New Belgium is kicking off its presence in the Buckeye State by putting its Fat Tire where its … fat tire is. The first 22 cases of beer will be delivered by bicycle – an ode to the brewery’s more popular flagship label, the Fat Tire Amber Ale, which has each bottle emblazoned with the company’s iconic bicycle. Other brews slated to hit local taps include Ranger IPA and the Accumulation Winter Seasonal Ale. Hardcore New Belgium fans are sure to bust out their finest glassware for two of the brewery’s Lips of Faith line: the tropical-tasting Heavenly Feijoa, made with “pineapple guava,” and the Paardebloem, brewed with dandelion greens and grains of paradise, are both small-batch brews. More varieties are expected to follow.

Bonbright will distribute the beers in nine western Ohio counties: Montgomery, Miami, Mercer, Darke, Preble, Butler, Clinton, Greene and Warren. For every case sold in all counties, $1 will go directly to Five Rivers MetroParks. For those who follow the hop hype, New Belgium brews will arrive in Bonbright-distributed watering holes as early as Monday, Dec. 16. Look for posters, coasters and other branded paraphernalia to start appearing soon. The New Belgium products will be available at local grocery and craft-oriented retailers, as well as craft bars and taprooms.

The flexibility this program offers has made it an attractive addition to Five Rivers MetroParks’ funding resources.

“What a convenient option, to be able to reward your park district for something you already enjoy,” Redden said. “Now you can take advantage of the generosity of New Belgium Brewing Company and Bonbright Distributors and give a little back to Dayton’s favorite park district.”


Reach DCP freelance writer Amy Forsthoefel at


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