Breckenridge Ballpark Pub gets a makeover; will add new taps, barrel-aged beers

Breckenridge Ballpark Pub is undergoing its first renovation since it went into business in 1992, three years before Coors Field was built.

The pub, which served as Breck's primary brewing facility until 1996, closed March 18 and will reopen by April 9, Colorado Rockies Opening Day.

"She's twenty years old. It was time for a facelift," says Breckenridge spokesman Todd Thibault. "It's time to do something different in here."

When it reopens, the pub will have more booths, new paint and floors, lower ceilings, a new kitchen, new bathrooms, a new entryway, new TVs and possibly even a new name (it's had several over the years). It may also have empty barrels from Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey lining the brick walls.

And by the end of April, it will add sixteen new tap handles -- double its current number -- all of which Thibault wants to dedicate to beers that have been aged in wine or spirits barrels. "We've always had sixteen beers on tap, all of them our own," he explains.

But because of the success of Ale House at Amato's, which Breck's parent company opened one year ago, the company wants to add beers from other breweries. Ale House has forty beers on tap, including 35 from Colorado.

"We want to create a new concept here with the barrel-aged beers," he says. And if he can't find enough barrel-aged beers, Thibault will look for "unique and exclusive stuff" from small breweries around town like River North and Wit's End.

Is LoDo ready for barrel-aged beers, which are often higher in prices and massively flavored? Thibault isn't sure, but there are only 81 baseball home games a year, and he wants the place to find a niche during the rest of the time.

If it works, Breckenridge may bring the same concept to the Pearl Street Grill (currently closed), which is swapping spaces with Izakaya Den later this year. Brecks' parent company owns Pearl Street Grill.

One thing the Pub won't have when it reopens in a part of its neon sign; the words "Brewery & Pub" will be taken down, Thibault says. After all, beer hasn't been made there in sixteen years. And that is part of the problem with the old layout as well. It included an awkward area where the brewing equipment used to me, slightly set off from the rest of the bar. "When we moved that to the Kalamath location in 1996, it left a big hole in the place," Thibault says.

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