‘Folly’ IPA to debut for Memorial Day and celebrate the folly of great ideas

Today Big Ditch Brewing Company announced that it will debut ‘Folly,’ a collaborative IPA, alongside New Belgium Brewing, the fourth largest brewer of craft beer in the United States. New Belgium’s brewer, Kelly McKnight, traveled from Fort Collins, Colorado to Buffalo on Thursday, May 2nd to brew the beer, which will be available in time for Memorial Day weekend and celebrate the folly–“foolishness”–of having great vision. The beer is a part of Big Ditch’s Lock IPA Series, which includes limited amounts of canned IPAs that explore the range of fantastic flavors found in hoppy beer.

“Buffalo today is a city reborn, in the same way it was after the opening of the Erie Canal, a project that was deemed a foolish endeavor and one that would never materialize,” said Matt Kahn, president of Big Ditch Brewing Company. “We brew our beer to celebrate the strength, pride and ambition it takes to execute great vision, and are thrilled to collaborate with New Belgium, pioneers in our industry who looked folly in the face when starting their business.”

This special collaboration between New Belgium and Big Ditch celebrates the presumed folly of people with great vision, including New Belgium co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch and those behind the original plans for the Erie Canal.

“Building a business is always risky and some would even see call it a crazy or foolish idea,” said New Belgium Brewing’s Upstate New York Sales Manager, Ryan Kurtz. “But well before New Belgium began selling our wonderful beer in all 50 states, what was once seen as folly was realized to be an awesome vision. The Erie Canal was an impossible project and one that required a lot of risk, and that resonates with us. We join Big Ditch in their call to ‘Celebrate Beer,’ and now add a second rallying cry: ‘Follow your Folly!’”

New Belgium is currently the fourth-largest brewer of craft beer in the United States and the eleventh-largest brewery. A 1988 bike trip through Belgium inspired a young couple to launch New Belgium Brewing, bringing the flavors of centuries-old Belgian beer styles to the college town of Fort Collins, Colorado. By 1991, co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch had installed brewing equipment in the basement of their home. In 2018, New Belgium sold 844,937 barrels of beer. The 100% employee-owned company now employs more than 700 individuals and has two locations, in Fort Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina.

Big Ditch Brewing Company pays homage to the Erie Canal, a project that skeptics never thought would materialize. They jokingly referred to it as ‘Clinton’s Big Ditch’ after Dewitt Clinton, the New York State governor who championed the project. But when it was filled with water in 1825, the ‘Big Ditch’ changed Buffalo forever by connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Hudson River.   

Beginning May 24th, Folly will be available in four-packs at Big Ditch Brewing Company in Buffalo, and retailers in both Buffalo and Rochester. The IPA starts with Appalachian Wheat from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC, New Belgium’s second home, and adds in Galaxy, Amarillo, and experimental HBC-522 hops, to yield a creamy yet drinkable IPA that is equal parts tropical, stonefruit, and citrus. The beer is 7.2% Alcohol By Volume (ABV).


New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work, one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses and tops Bicycling Magazine’s Best Companies for Cyclists. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale, New Belgium brews fifteen year-round beers; Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Fat Tire Belgian White, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze, Sour Saison, Honey Orange Trippel, Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, Tartastic Lemon Ginger Ale, 1554 Black Lager, Bohemian Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Style Ale, Trippel Belgian style Ale and a gluten-reduced beer, Glutiny Pale Ale. To learn more, visit NewBelgium.com and follow the brewery on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.