Breckenridge Grows, Looks to Expand Production With New Brewery

An artist's rendering of Breckenridge's new brewery

Breckenridge Brewery is building a new home. The brewery announced yesterday that it will set up shop on 12 acres along the South Platte River in Littleton, Colo., just south of its current home in Denver. Breckenridge will break ground in the fall of 2013, and aims to open the facility in the fall of 2014.

“Our brewery was born and raised in Colorado,” Todd Usry, Breckenridge’s brewmaster and director of brewing, said in a statement. “We have our Colorado mountain home and soon, a Colorado county spread along the river. Our Denver brewing operations opened in 1992, so it’s tough to leave Denver, but we’ll still have our two thriving restaurants there.”

Breckenridge has posted more than 20 percent growth for three consecutive years and reached 30 percent growth last year. Its new brewery will help accommodate further growth with planned production of about 120,000 barrels per year. The facility will bring 60 jobs to Littleton, a number that will grow to around 75 by the end of the brewery’s first year of production.

The planned 76,000 square-foot brewery, cellar and warehouse will include a 2,000 square-foot barrel-aging cellar, a 100-barrel Steineker brewhouse, a Krones bottling line, a KHS kegging line, and a Wild Goose Engineering canning line. It will also feature an energy recovery system to reduce emissions, condense steam and store energy to heat water for brewing, solar tubes for natural lighting in the brewery and warehouse, and water recycling systems.

Spanning from South Santa Fe Drive to the Mary Carter Greenway Trail, the new brewery will also feature several rustic buildings strewn across the land, including a 6,000-to-8,000 square-foot farmhouse. Breckenridge will plant a hops field adjacent to South Santa Fe Drive and will also offer indoor and outdoor seating, brewery tours, a general store and “growler-to-go station,” and a beer garden. The architecture will consider local history and the rural designs commonly found in Littleton.

Breckenridge is one of several fast-growing Colorado breweries that is expanding. In July, Boulder-based Upslope Brewing announced its plans to build a secondary brewing facility six miles from its operating location. In December, Avery Brewing Company began construction on a 75,000 square-foot production and warehouse space, which will rest on 5.6 acres in Boulder. In January, Utah-based Epic Brewing Company signed a lease for a secondary, 19,000 square-foot brewing facility in Denver.

Steve Kurowski, marketing director for the Colorado Brewers Guild, noted that the thriving Colorado beer community continues to attract attention at local, national and international levels.

“Craft beer in Colorado is beyond trendy, it’s a legitimate economic engine that keeps growing and creating jobs. Most importantly, it is respectful to its neighbors,” Kurowski commented in the Breckenridge statement.

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