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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wynkoop, Breckenridge Embark on Joint Venture

Big Colorado beer news today! Below is a press release I received a little while ago. It appears that two popular craft brewers in Colorado are joining forces to create a brewing operation capable of producing nearly 40,000 barrels of beer per year. The release is careful to note that this is a true partnership, not a merger. While Wynkoop doesn't distribute their beers in Illinois, Breckenridge beers are available locally. Check Kindling Spirits in Carterville for the best selection.

Two of Colorado’s pioneering craft brewers aim to join forces

(Denver, Colorado) – Wynkoop Holdings, Inc. (WHI), parent company of Wynkoop Brewing Company and seven Colorado restaurants and brewpubs, has announced plans to form a 50/50 joint venture with Breckenridge Holding Company, parent company of Breckenridge Brewery and four Colorado brewpubs, taphouses and restaurants.

The proposed venture will unite two of Colorado’s pioneering and prominent craft brewers into one combined company. The arrangement will allow the breweries to share talent, management, brewing facilities and purchasing power to expand and develop each company’s business.

The joint venture will create a brewing force with over four decades of craft beer experience, a production brewery with a potential annual capacity of 60,000 barrels, three brewpubs, eight restaurants, and combined brewing production of nearly 40,000 barrels of craft beer in 2010.

The venture’s eleven establishments will include high-profile restaurants, brewpubs and alehouses in Denver, Grand Junction and Breckenridge, Colorado.

The collaboration will offer immediate benefits for Wynkoop Brewing Company’s recently expanded brewing effort.

“A year after launching our canning and self-distribution,” says WHI CEO Lee  Driscoll, “we’ve quickly reached our brewing capacity. This partnership means we can quickly boost our production without the huge expense of a brewery expansion. And we can grow with the expert help of Breck’s veteran brewery staff.”

“On the restaurant side,” Driscoll adds, “it combines some of Colorado’s premier beer destinations and restaurants into one new, combined family.”

Breckenridge president Ed Cerkovnik says the move allows the two allies to achieve greater success. “This is a marriage of opportunity and not necessity,” he says. “Both companies want to grow and expand. The combined company provides us with a platform to more effectively and rapidly do that.”

“Our production capability will quickly become much larger,” says Wynkoop head brewer Andy Brown, “and so will our ability to experiment and innovate with new small-batch beers.”

Wynkoop and Breckenridge hope to finalize the details of the venture in January of 2011.

Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by Denver mayor (and Colorado’s governor elect) John Hickenlooper and a group of urban pioneers that included Mark Schiffler (current Wynkoop COO) and Ron Robinson, (Wynkoop’s current GM).

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