When Breckenridge Brewery opens its $20 million, park-like beer campus on the banks of the South Platte River in April 2015, it will be unlike any other brewery in the state: The twelve-acre spot, tucked between two swaths of open space, Santa Fe Drive and the bike path along the river, will include a 100-barrel brewhouse with daily public tours, an 8,000 square-foot restaurant called the Farmhouse, a stage and two beer gardens facing the river -- all in a farm-like setting.
"I don't think there is anything like it in Colorado. The only brewery I can think of that is close to what we have going on is New Glarus in Wisconsin, which was built on a farm," says Breckenridge spokesman Todd Thibault. "It's going to be be one of the coolest breweries in Colorado, if not the country."
Thibault is biased, of course, but he may not be far off: Located in a burgeoning part of the south Denver suburbs, the brewery, at 6775 South Santa Fe Drive, will likely draw beer drinkers from all over the metro area as well as out-of-state tourists who see it as a destination.
Construction began on the campus this summer. On Thursday, the brewery began placing the last of sixteen 400-barrel fermentation tanks into what will be a 76,000 square-foot warehouse and cellar building. That structure will eventually be connected to a two-story brewhouse via a second-story walkway.
When it is complete, Breckenridge should be able to immediately begin brewing on a pace of about 110,000 to 120,000 barrels per year (up from a projected 70,000 barrels in 2014), which will make it the third or fourth largest brewery in the state, behind only New Belgium, Odell Brewing and possibly Oskar Blues. Eventually, the brewery is expected to make up to 500,000 barrels of beer.
One of the oldest craft breweries in Colorado, Breckenridge opened in its namesake town in 1990 and expanded to Denver two years later. The brewery consolidated the majority of its brewing operations at its current location on Kalamath Street in 1996.
But Breckenridge has long since outgrown that space, and it announced last year that it had purchased this land, the former home of the Silver Sage tree and shrub nursery, located near the Reynolds Landing recreation area. Breckenridge says the City of Littleton will allow the company to build a bike path through the open space next to its property that will connect the Farmhouse restaurant with the Mary Carter Greenway and the bike path there.
The restaurant, which will serve Breckenridge's well-known barbecue as well as other dishes, will have eighteen taps and hundreds of seats. Turn the page to see photos from the construction site. Keep reading for more photos.
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