Beer Man

Wynkoop Brewing sales increase by 80 percent, thanks in part to new beers

The Wynkoop Brewing Company is the oldest dog on the block when its comes to craft brewing in Colorado, since it was founded in 1988. But the brewpub, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has learned plenty of new tricks.

Today the Wynkoop reported that sales of its beer outside of the pub itself rose 80 percent during the first six months of 2013, compared to the same time period in 2012.

See also: - Colorojo follows Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout as the Wynkoop's latest canned beer - Great Divide rolls with Chipotle while the Wynkoop rides with Elitch's - Wynkoop Brewing will package its "ballsy" Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout in cans

Those numbers put the brewery right up there with its much younger peers when it comes to taking advantage of the ever-expanding craft-beer market in Colorado.

"We hate to sound critical of our past, but I think we are making the best beer of our 25 year history, and people are noticing," says Wynkoop spokesman Marty Jones. "Our beer list now is more representative of new ways and not the old guard."

Over the past six months, the Wynkoop has released three new canned beers: Belgorado, a Belgian IPA; Colorojo, an imperial red; and Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, a foreign stout made with bull testicles that has attracted national attention. (The latest report is on CNBC.)

"Our most ambitious and biggest beers are becoming our best-sellers," Jones says, adding that although the Wynkoop isn't brewing that much more beer this year than it did last year, it has been able to charge more because its new beers are of higher quality.

He also credits a major account at Elitch Gardens, which sells three beers that the Wynkoop makes exclusively for the amusement park, and two new sales representatives, who have increased sales of Wynkoop beers all over Denver and Boulder. And this month, the brewery will begin selling kegs and cans in Fort Collins.

The Wynkoop brewed 3,850 barrels of beer in 2012 and is on pace to brew 4,200 barrels in 2013, although Jones thinks it may exceed that number.

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