Breckenridge Brewery will build a twelve-acre, $20 million beer farm in Littleton
Breckenridge Brewery announced today that it will move from Denver to Littleton, building a $20 million farm-like campus on a rural, twelve-acre spot on South Santa Fe Drive and cementing its future as both a Colorado-based brewery and a tourist destination.
An view of the planned campus that shows Santa Fe Drive (bottom left) and the South Platte River (top); for a more detailed view, go to the second page of this story.
The campus, located near the Platte River Greenway, right next to the Reynolds Landing recreation area, will feature a 76,000-square-foot brewery, cellar and warehouse, along with an 8,000 square-foot farmhouse building that will house a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a tasting room, beer garden, retail store and growler-fill station.
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When it is complete, sometime in late 2014 or early 2015, the new brewery will be able to produce 120,000 barrels of beer, nearly twice what it expects to make in its current location on Kalamath Street in 2013. Eventually, the company should be able to brew 400,000 to 500,000 barrels a year, says Breckenridge brewing director Todd Usry.
"I really wanted something that was agricultural and looked like a farm -- that was the dream," says Usry, who searched for locations in Denver and in the suburbs on all sides of town. "We've always been humble as a brewery, so the farm look suits us."
The 22-year-old company considered building a new facility in another state -- as New Belgium and Oskar Blues have done in North Carolina -- last year when it was unable to change a state law that doesn't allow businesses classified as "brewpubs" (which make both food and beer) to produce more than 60,000 barrels of beer per year.
Breckenridge Brewery president Todd Usry.
But the brewery's parent company, Breckenridge-Wynkoop, LLC, got approval from the state Department of Revenue to circumvent that law with a complicated arrangement involving two of its other brewpubs, Wynkoop and the original brewpub in the town of Breckenridge. That allowed the brewery to go ahead with its plans for a new campus.
"I wanted to have our name on something and to have our culture displayed," says Usry, who considered less ambitious expansion plans as well. "But this speaks to who we are."
Continue reading for more information on the beer farm.