Beer Man

A new beer, Ophelia, will help Breckenridge Brewery ease production crunch in 2014

Breckenridge Brewery will release its first new seasonal packaged beer in eighteen months this January, when it unveils Ophelia, a 7.5 percent ABV hoppy wheat ale.

Ophelia will replace Pandora's Bock during the January-to-May timeframe; that beer will become part of Breckenridge's small-batch occasional series, which it bottles in four packs rather than six-packs, along with Regal Pilsner and 72 Imperial.

See also: Breckenridge Brewery will build a twelve-acre, $20 million beer farm in Littleton

The change will not only freshen up Breckenridge's lineup, but allow the brewery to squeeze more production out of its facility on Kalamath Street.

Like many ales, Ophelia only takes two weeks to make, while Pandora's Bock, a lager, ties up fermentation tanks for up to six weeks, says brewer chief Todd Usry.

"The quintessential good girl gone mad, Ophelia's aggressive hoppiness contradicts her soft, tropical fruit flavors for a complex beer so perfectly balanced you'll question everything you thought a session beer could be," is how the brewery describes it.

Breckenridge will make a total of about 60,000 barrels of beer in 2013, but plans to up that production to around 70,000 barrels in 2014. Usry says that will require some "product-mix adjustments," like the change from Pandora to Ophelia.

The brewery plans to break ground shortly after the new year on a new, $20 million, farm-like campus on a twelve-acre spot on South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. The campus, located near the Platte River Greenway, 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. It will be able to produce 120,000 barrels of beer per year.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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