Breckenridge Brewery has a big problem right now. It can’t brew enough beer. It’s hoping to fix that problem with a brand new brewing facility in Littleton, Colo. — just south of Denver. The craft brewery got a little closer to that goal last week when Littleton City Council unanimously approved the zoning change that allows Breckenridge to build a 12-acre, $20 million brewery and restaurant on Littleton’s Santa Fe Drive.
Breckenridge plans to break ground in the fall of 2013, brewing its first batch and opening to patrons in the fall of 2014. The new facility will include a brewery/cellar/warehouse building with a square footage of 76,000 sq ft, a 2,000-sq ft barrel-aging cellar, a 100-barrel (bbl) Steineker brewhouse, Krones bottling line, KHS kegging line and Wild Goose Engineering canning line. The initial brewing capacity is planned for roughly 120,000 plus bbls. The 12-acre property stretches from South Santa Fe Drive to the Mary Carter Greenway Trail along the South Platte River. Its planned architecture will be respectful of local history and the rural design used elsewhere in Littleton, said Breckenridge, including a 6,000- to 8,000-sq ft farmhouse. We quote ourlittletonnews.com:
“This has all gone like it was supposed to go, and like it was supposed to happen,” said Ed Cerkovnik, president of BW Holdings LLC, the joint venture between Breckenridge and Wynkoop breweries. The partnership allows Breckenridge to circumvent a state law that limits how much beer a brewery can make in a year to 60,000 gal by setting up the facility to act as a “host” for other pubs in the overarching corporation. Cerkovnik said Breckenridge is currently the 41st-largest brewer in the county. “We could probably be in the top 25 if we could brew more beer,” he said.
Plans for the new brewery include several rustic buildings arranged across the landscape, much like might be seen on a successful farm. The plans also include a hops field as foreground adjacent to South Santa Fe Drive. The aforementioned farmhouse building will offer the freshest beer and food in a comfortable environment with indoor/outdoor seating, brewery tours, a general store, growler-to-go station and a sunny beer garden.
“Our brewery was born and raised in Colorado,” said Brewmaster and Director of Brewing Todd Usry in a press release posted in January. “We have our Colorado mountain home [in Breckenridge], and soon, a Colorado country 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 Brewery is the 41st largest craft brewery in the United States. Its relocation to Littleton will expand the beer tourism movement that is steadily growing in Denver and Boulder. The new facility is expected to bring 60 jobs to Littleton, quickly growing to approximately 75 by the end of the first year of production, said Breckenridge. We’ll let you know how it all progresses.