Human Rights Activists Criticize Sale of New Belgium to Beer Company With Ties to Myanmar Government

Workers at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins have voted to approve the sale of the company to a firm which is part of a Japanese conglomerate. The Coloradoan reports the final result of voting by employees was made yesterday afternoon.

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The company declined to release the number of those who voted in favor of selling the employee owned brewery. About 700 work at New Belgium.

Sale of the company had attracted criticism from human rights organizations claiming the parent company of the buyer, Kirin, has ties to the Myanmar government, which is responsible for alleged genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Lynn Thompson with the Fort Collins Community Action Network, the group that organized a protest at the brewery last weekend, says that she is disappointed with the employees decision to sell, but the fight to raise awareness about the issue will continue.

“This is absolutely not the end of our involvement. This is a company that New Belgium has effectively invited to be Fort Collins newest neighbor and we’re really concerned about that.”

Thompson says the sale should be put on hold and the employee owners should be given more information about Kirin and be allowed to have a re-vote.