More than a year after the Breckenridge and Wynkoop breweries merged their financial operations, the federal government has finally granted the companies a license that will allow the Wynkoop to brew and can its beer at Breckenridge's Denver facility.
Wynkoop had planned to start using the Breckenridge brewery last spring, but the federal Alcohol Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau (TTB), which monitors and licenses beer and breweries, asked the companies to apply for an "alternating proprietorship" agreement -- despite the fact that they are both part of the same venture.
These agreements allow one brewery to loan or rent its equipment and its physical premises to another brewery for a certain period of time. They also stipulate that the equipment technically belongs to the second brewery while they are brewing with it.
The amount of time and paperwork it took to get approval frustrated Wynkoop, which had planned to expand distribution of its first two canned beers, Rail Yard Ale and Silverback Pale Ale, and start canning a third, B3K. The brewery recently began canning and distributing B3K anyway on its small machine in the basement.
Since Breckenridge has also been adding new tanks, however, the delay has allowed it some time to ramp up production and catch up with demand.
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Wynkoop spokesman Marty Jones says the brewery is happy to finally "get the nod from Uncle Sam" after "months of anxious waiting." The brewery hopes to brew and can its first batch of Rail Yard at Breckenridge sometime next week.