Photography: Stephen Collector/Courtesy Kim Jordan
Photography: Stephen Collector/Courtesy Kim Jordan

The Colorado-based craft brewer cofounded the first brewery in the United States to specialize in Belgian beers and proved beer isn’t just a guy thing.

“We had one kid in the house and one on the way. For about a year and a half, we were doing our own distribution in the house. It all started in our basement,” says Kim Jordan, cofounder of the New Belgium Brewing Company.

Her Fort Collins, Colorado, brewery is the first in the United States to specialize in Belgian beers. Over time it has produced more than 200 different brews. But Jordan, despite her business acumen and craft-brew cult following, isn’t just about the bottom line. She’s also known for her community commitment. New Belgium’s annual charity bike event, the Tour de Fat (named for the brewery’s popular Fat Tire Amber Ale), supports programs that promote cycling as a sustainable form of transportation.

When she’s not biking around Fort Collins, Jordan appreciates spending time at home with her family, kicking back with some spicy food paired with an icy IPA. She recommends a pilsner with lighter dishes, and, of course, “beer and barbecue is always a fabulous combination.” She believes that pairing food and beer is the new ritual — for both men and women. “Beer’s not so much a ‘guy thing’ anymore. There are a lot more women beer drinkers. The general belief seems to be that women tend to like sweeter beers than men, but the truth is a lot of women like IPAs and sour beers. I’m a big fan of hoppy beers and sour beers. It all just depends on what I’m eating.”

Photography: Jordana Barrack/Courtesy Kim Jordan
Photography: Jordana Barrack/Courtesy Kim Jordan

Ranger Roast Chicken

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons finely grated zest and juice from 1 lime
1 habanero chile
1 (3½- to 4-pound) whole chicken
1 12-ounce can of Ranger IPA

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Throw all of the ingredients — except the chicken and beer — into a food processor until it turns into a paste. Using your fingers, spread the paste all over the chicken.

Open a can of Ranger IPA. Take 2 big sips of the Ranger beer, and then center the beer can on a cast-iron skillet. Slide the chicken over the beer can and then place it in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the skin turns a golden burnt-umber color. Shut off the oven, leaving the chicken in place for another 30 minutes. Carefully remove the chicken from the oven and let cool for 10 more minutes. Note: This chicken pairs well with a side dish of spicy rice or some roasted peppers and root vegetables. 

From the May/June 2015 issue.


Explore:Food & Spirits