Beer Man

Old Avery, Breckenridge Locations Will Be Taken Over by Other Breweries

For sale: a couple of venerable brewery locations with deep roots in Colorado craft beer history.

In Denver, Breckenridge Brewery is selling its landmark location at 471 Kalamath Street, an address that shares a name with one of the brewery’s beers. The large property includes 42,000-square-feet of space and comes complete with a brewhouse, 34 fermentation tanks, a bottling line and a kitchen.

And in Boulder, Avery Brewing is unloading eight warehouses (two are for sale and six are for lease) at 5757 Arapahoe Avenue, an address that has hosted memorable beer fests, bottle sales and tappings since Avery opened in the 1990s. Totaling about 25,000 square feet, Avery's property also includes a brewhouse, a lot of equipment and a fully functioning taproom.

Welcome to Colorado – where you can buy a fully loaded soon-to-be vacant brewery or two for the right price. You’ll have to act fast though: Both breweries are close to signing deals with potential buyers/lessees.

Avery Brewing founder Adam Avery says he's in negotiations with another brewery, but can't comment yet on who that is. Still, he points out that the site, which he had advertised both by word of mouth and on the Brewers Association website, comes complete with “a functional boiler, a glycol system, hard piping, lots of odds and ends too numerous to list.”
Earlier this month, Avery closed the old spot to the public after 22 years in the same business park and opened its brand-new $30 million brewery and restaurant on 5.6 acres in north Boulder. While Avery will continue to make beer on Arapahoe Avenue for the next month or so, it plans to switch over to its the new 85-barrel system in March or April.

Breckenridge Brewery has been negotiating with Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards for more than eighteen months. As it stands now, Breckenridge is under contract with a real estate development firm which they declined to name. That firm plans to lease the site to Crazy Mountain.

Crazy Mountain founder Kevin Selvy “is coming down next Wednesday” to walk through the brewery and to learn about its equipment and quirks, says Breckenridge head Todd Usry. “It's a 48-year-old building, but we have taken care of it, and the equipment. It's kind of landlocked in the city... but it's such a unique opportunity to roll in, turn on the lights and make 60,000 barrels of beer – that outweighs its limitations.”

Breckenridge, which has had its headquarters at 471 for eighteen years, is moving to a $20 million, twelve-acre beer campus on the banks of the South Platte River this spring. The park-like spot 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.

“We are basically leaving everything behind: all 34 fermenters, ranging from fifty to 300 barrels in size, the brewhouse, the packaging line, the kegging line...all the fittings, clamps, hoses and pumps,” Usry says. “[Crazy Mountain] will be able to roll in here and make beer day one.”
While Crazy Mountain was founded not quite five years ago, it has expanded quickly and brews more than 15,000 barrels per year. It distributes to nineteen states and five other countries.

“They are the perfect size to come in here and keep growing,” Usry says.

Putting breweries into both the Avery and Breckenridge spots makes a lot of sense – no matter who takes over the buildings, since people are used to ordering delicious pints of craft beer in the tap rooms of both places.

“This is a great neighborhood,” Usry says of Breck's old location. “They've done a good job with the Santa Fe arts district. It's really up and coming – and nothing like it was eighteen years ago when I first walked in."

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