Breckenridge is one of the fastest growing breweries in the U.S. and has drastically increased its production capacity in recent years to meet demand. Most recently the brewery constructed a building to house six imposing three hundred barrel tanks. With the new vessels online, production in 2012 is likely to exceed 60,000 barrels of beer.
At the heart of it all
Feeding Breckenridge’s ever-expanding tank farm is this 50 barrel brewhouse.
Nitrogen-effervesced craft brewed stouts and porters prove increasingly popular as many mainstream customers drink beyond the pervasive Guinness brand. Pictured here, a row of Breckenridge Thunder Stout kegs are being conditioned with nitrogen to get that special creamy Guinness-like body, mouthfeel, and head.
The Stranahan's partnership
The new partnership with neighboring Stranahan’s Whiskey Distillery sees a corner of Breckenridge production space dedicated to barrel storage. Pictured here, is half of the first batch of Stranahan’s / Breckenridge Well Built whiskey barrel aged ESB. Batches of 471 Small Batch IPA and Vanilla Porter have also been tested in Stranahan’s barrels for possible future release.
On the day we visited, Breckenridge's 12-bottle variety pack was filling the busy bottling and packaging line. The pack includes Avalanche Amber Ale and Lucky U IPA alongside rotating seasonal offerings.
In 2011, Breckenridge entered into a partnership with nearby Wynkoop Brewing Company. The deal will see batches of Wynkoop Rail Yard Amber Ale, Silverback Pale Ale, and B3K Black Lager brewed, canned and packaged at Breckenridge. The canning line pictured is also used in the warmer months to package Breckenridge Avalanche Amber Ale, Lucky U IPA and beginning in Spring 2012, SummerBright Ale, an American pale wheat ale.
The release of Well Built ESB is a real point of pride for many Breckenridge staff. Each bottle is hand labelled and finished. The beer itself presents an aroma of raisins, plum and chicory, with a rich red wine-like body.
Breckenridge operates a fully licenced bar and barbecue restaurant at its production brewery, which makes for one of the more popular tap rooms in the city.
Be sure not to miss the Vanilla Porter, which has a sweet and creamy body, and a finish reminiscent of an Oreo cookie, and the 471 Small Batch IPA, with its juicy and bitter citrus aroma and bite.