Denver’s largest craft brewery is making moves. Breckenridge Brewery opened in 1990 producing about 3,000 barrels a year. Then jumping to 41,000 barrels in 2011, to meet the demand. The brewery still can’t keep up and has ordered four additional 300 barrel tanks. The brewery is also rocking around the clock with 24 hour shifts to supply Colorado and 31 other states with their brew.
As the name implies the Brewery started in Breckenridge, CO. Founder, Richard Squire, was a ski bum with more than love for the slopes. He listened to his instinct and opened up Colorado’s third craft brewery in 1990. In two short years he had already outgrown the mountain town and added a Denver location to produce the beer. As luck would have it, the Breckenridge Ballpark Pub staked its spot before Coors Field claimed turf across the street. As Kevin Costner once said, “If you build it they will come.” Shoeless Joe Jackson hasn’t been seen at the brewery, but this prime spot is perfect for those who love watching baseball with their hands wrapped around a quality beer. In 1996, production moved to 471 Kalamath when the time came to grow again. The quaint tasting room has enough seats for 50 people, offers a full bar and smoked B-B-Q.
With the explosion of so many craft breweries in Denver, Breckenridge Brewery says the industry is more about collaboration than competition. “We are all friends. We see each other at festivals and try each other’s beer. We even borrow equipment on occasion; it’s a community,” says P.R. Manager Terry Usry. Her husband, Todd Usry has been brewmaster since the brewery’s early days in Denver.
The quality of the beer has kept this place tops. The Oatmeal Stout and Avalanche are two beers still on the mainline from 1990. There are also small batch, seasonal and barrel aged beers to choose from. One of the top sellers is Vanilla Porter and is made with vanilla beans from Paupau New Guinea and Madagascar. The ’72 Imperial is an Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout with chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Durango. There is also the Agave Wheat brewed with agave nectar from Madhava Natural Sweeteners in Longmont, CO.
To get a taste or a full pint check out the taproom at 471 Kalamath. If you want a behind the scenes look head in for a free tour. They are offered every Saturday every hour from 2:00- 5:00. You will even get a free pint.