We love contact sports. It’s prepared us to enjoy the ride (win or lose) that is today’s competitive beer industry. The big game this week is once again Big Beer vs. Craft Beer. The venue is the currently nameless stadium for the Denver Broncos. The star player here is Breckenridge Brewery, who recently entered free agency and was snatched by the championship-engineers at Anheuser-Busch Inbev. The duo’s game plan? Pepper the stadium with both craft and Bud brands to smother the opposition.
AB InBev fades back. Breckenridge stiffs the craft competition. Breckenridge goes long! Annnd it’s an easy pass for the win. AB Breckenridge celebrates by showering each other in United in Orange — the official craft beer of the Denver Broncos. The final score: It’s a tears-in-your-beer kind of defeat. The post-game summary: The great American craft beer mecca of Denver, Colo., now has a Big Beer-owned brewery making the official craft selection of the incoming Super Bowl champions.
A pale ale made with citrus-focused Mandarina hops, orange juice and orange peel — highlighting the Broncos colors — United in Orange is a 5.3-percent ABV beer that will only be available on game days at Mile High and at Breckenridge’s brewpubs in Littleton and Breckenridge (shucks). From an article we saw on Westworld:
The move is definitely an upgrade for the stadium, which is partnered with Anheuser Busch InBev, meaning the predominant beers are Budweiser varieties and other AB brands. Breckenridge on the other hand was a local stalwart of the independent craft brewing scene for 25 years. That changed late last year when AB InBev bought Breckenridge — one of eight craft breweries that the conglomerate has sucked up in the past five years.
But it was that AB InBev connection that helped pave the way for United in Orange. “A collaboration beer with the Broncos is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. This is a huge sports town, and we’ve got a bunch of avid fans here at the brewery,” Breckenridge said in a statement. “The local Anheuser-Busch team has a long-standing relationship with the Broncos organization, and our partnership with A-B certainly helped put all of the pieces in place. We hope other Broncos fans will enjoy United in Orange on game days.”