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Get a Sneak Peek at the New Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton

by Carrie Dow on Feb 24, 2015 in Beer
Get a Sneak Peek at the New Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton

Right now all one can hear are the high pitched beeps of large trucks, the whirl of drills and the hiss of nail guns. All one can see is snow and mud surrounding three, large red buildings. However, soon, very soon, the sounds of a conveyor belt carrying sweet smelling grain will churn through the steel buildings while the faint tinks of pint glasses echo below.

Breckenridge Brewery’s new brewing facility is almost finished. Breckenridge Brewery needs to brew more beer, but Colorado’s third oldest brewery has outgrown its Denver location. Now Breckenridge wants to take on the country and is opening Colorado’s first true destination brewery, tasting room and restaurant in the suburb of Littleton.

Work that began last spring is nearing completion, and Drink Denver got a sneak peek at the new facility.

When it opens, the 12-acre brewery will be appropriately located on Brewery Lane, just off Santa Fe Drive, the main artery that connects Highlands Ranch to Downtown. The brewery backs up to the Mary Carter Greenway Trail that follows the South Platte River from downtown all the way to Chatfield Reservoir. It is also next to the Reynolds Landing canoe launch. The new brewery will also be located between the Mineral and Littleton Downtown Light Rail Stations and next to the Aspen Grove Shopping Center. This makes the brewery accessible from just about anywhere in the metro area.

When finished, this 76,000 square foot facility will hold 16 fermentation tanks for a 100 BBL system. Todd Usry, Breckenridge Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Operations, plans to eventually brew 300,000 barrels a year. If that happens, Breckenridge will become the fifth largest brewery in the US. Currently empty, the gigantic beer cellar will hold bottles, cans and kegs of tasty Breckenridge beer. Two smaller tanks, purchased from Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, will brew Breckenridge’s small batch beers as well as Wynkoop’s canned beers (Breckenridge and Wynkoop partnered as a joint venture in 2011) increasing that brewery’s production as well. Next to the small batch brewing tanks will be a barrel aging room that will be filled to the brim with aging beers inside all kinds of barrels from used wine barrels to new oak.

When ready, the new facility will conduct daily public tours of the operations, which will culminate in the tasting room where guests will be able to sample beers from the Breckenridge family.

Breckenridge wants to become a gathering place for the Littleton community by offering a multitude of bike racks for riders, an outdoor beer garden with a stage for live music and a place to hold private events such as weddings, reunions and meetings.

The brewery will also open the 300-seat Farmhouse Restaurant a little later than the brewing facility. Brewery Communications Manager, Terry Usry, says the goal is to make the restaurant much like the farms and greenhouses that use to be here 50 years ago. The restaurant features recycled barnwood on the ceiling, exposed beams and a giant stone inside/outside fireplace.

Terry says there are plans to have an organic garden on site that will supply the restaurant and a 2-acre hop garden to provide hops for small-batch beers. While it might not happen this year, Terry also hopes to have a garden set aside for employees to grown their own produce.

The Farmhouse plans to have “amplified” concerts four times a year, but the shows will end promptly at 7 PM to accommodate nearby residents. However, acoustic music can play all night. Other things the brewery will do to be good neighbors is install a capture steam system to mitigate the “aromas” of a brewery. Breckenridge will also pre-treat its own waste water so the city doesn’t have to treat it, and the brewery plans to reuse most of the waste water on landscaping.

Todd says they start testing the brewing system in mid-March and hope to begin making beer shortly after that. The goal is to be in full production in May and the restaurant to open soon after. Public tours of the brewery are planned to start June 21.

To get people excited about the opening, the brewery is handing out special “Golden Tickets” during events over the next few weeks. Each Golden Ticket will allow one person and a guest on the very first public tour of the new facility in June. The brewery is only giving out 50 of these tickets. People can try to get the first one this Friday, February 27, at the Denver brewery’s barleywine tasting.

Breckenridge has already sold its Denver brewery to the folks from Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more of their beers around town. In July, Breckenridge will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a BIG party and many surprises. Be sure to follow Drink Denver for updates. Click through the slideshow to get a glimpse of the new brewery.

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Photo by Carrie Dow


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