Beer Man

Breckenridge Brewery Offers Golden Tickets for First New Brewery Tours

"There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there’s only five of them in the whole world, and that’s all there’s ever going to be,” Grandpa George said in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?”

Of course you’re not, which is why you’re a fan of Colorado craft beer. Breckenridge Brewery knows this, and last week, the company slipped fifty golden tickets to liquor stores and watering holes along the Front Range; those establishments will give the tickets away during special drawings on June 6 — and the winners will be the first public visitors allowed behind the scenes at Breck’s new, $36 million production brewery, which is scheduled to open on a farm-like setting in Littleton in late June.

“Our golden tickets are clearly a nod to Willy Wonka,” brewery spokesman Todd Thibault said in a statement. “This brewery’s been three years in the making, and it’s like the coolest candy factory to us. We’re excited to show it off.”

In this case, the candy is beer — and participants have to be a little older than Charlie — but the day at Breckenridge, June 20, looks like it will be pretty cool. That’s when the fifty golden-ticket holders (plus one guest each) will get the first official tour, enjoy the first public tapping in the brewery’s tasting room and take home a few parting gifts. For the list of participating establishments plus event dates and details, see the Breckenridge Brewery website.

Breckenridge, which was founded 25 years ago, has operated its primary production facility out of its headquarters at 471 Kalamath Street in Denver for most of that time. Two years ago, the company — now part of the Breckenridge-Wynkoop group of breweries and restaurants — announced that it would move to a twelve-acre campus on the banks of the South Platte River in Littleton. The facility includes the Farm House restaurant, which opened in May, a tasting room and a couple of stages for music. The grand opening for the whole thing takes place over Father’s Day weekend.

Regular public tours will begin June 21. Here’s how Breckenridge describes them: “After gathering for samples in the tasting room, tours will climb to the tile mezzanine overlooking the brewhouse. Its stainless tanks offer glimpses inside the brewing process, and views out of the windows behind the tanks reveal the Rocky Mountains to the west. Visitors then cross a bridge between buildings from brewhouse to fermentation to see where traditional and barrel-aged conditioning take place.”

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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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