New Belgium Brewing Co., based in Fort Collins. Chad Collins/BizWest

New Belgium employees approve sale to Lion Little

FORT COLLINS — New Belgium Brewing Co.’s employees have approved selling the state’s largest craft brewery to Lion Little World Beverages Ltd., paving the way for the deal’s closure.

New Belgium spokeswoman Leah Pilcer confirmed the vote in an email to BizWest but did not specify the vote count. The company expects to close the deal by year’s end.

The brewery, which is the fourth-largest beermaker in the U.S., agreed to sell itself to Lion Little and its parent company Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. in mid-November, the largest in a string of major brewing companies buying smaller regional and national craft brewers in Colorado and other states.

More than 300 employees stand to gain more than $100,000 in retirement money as part of the deal, the company previously said.

The employee-owners also agreed to the sale despite a last-ditch effort by a human rights group asking them to oppose the deal because of Kirin’s connections to the Myanmar military and its ongoing persecution and alleged genocide campaign of ethnic minorities.

This is a developing story.

FORT COLLINS — New Belgium Brewing Co.’s employees have approved selling the state’s largest craft brewery to Lion Little World Beverages Ltd., paving the way for the deal’s closure.

New Belgium spokeswoman Leah Pilcer confirmed the vote in an email to BizWest but did not specify the vote count. The company expects to close the deal by year’s end.

The brewery, which is the fourth-largest beermaker in the U.S., agreed to sell itself to Lion Little and its parent company Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. in mid-November, the largest in a string of major brewing companies buying smaller regional and national craft brewers in Colorado and other states.

More than 300 employees stand to gain more than $100,000 in retirement money as part of the deal, the company previously said.

The employee-owners also agreed to the sale despite a last-ditch effort by a human rights group asking them to oppose the deal because of Kirin’s connections to the Myanmar military and its ongoing persecution and alleged genocide campaign of ethnic minorities.

This is a developing story.