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Breckenridge Brewery Continues to Mock Big Beer with New Videos

Breckenridge Brewery Continues to Mock Big Beer with New Videos

That light beer and lime-flavored beer looks... great

Breckenridge Brewery takes on big beer companies.

Breckenridge Brewery’s "Truth in Beervertising" ad campaign was first launched in spring of 2011, and the series of videos poking fun at the advertising techniques of macro beer companies was a runaway success. Now the Colorado Brewery is at it again, with two new spots that mock "ultra light" style and lime-flavored brews.

Check out the two new videos below, and then pick your favorite in our poll.

Crack open a lime beer and a bikini party shows up at your door, right?

— Danya Henninger, The Drink Nation

More From The Drink Nation:

New Belgium Brewers Turn Cicerone to the Sour Side
The Drink Nation Ultimate Gift Guide
Mad Elf vs. Rude Elf: Which Elf Should Be on Your Shelf?

Photo Courtesy of Breckenridge Brewery

In addition to the new flavor, Breckenridge Brewery is hosting the ultimate 'Tropical Staycation' giveaway with Mountain Beach.

From now until Memorial Day weekend, the brand will be choosing one lucky winner per week to receive a staycation in a box. This involves everything they need to transform their home into an indoor paradise including a pack of refreshing Mountain Beach, scents of the ocean, tiki lights, a porch swing, tropical decor and more.

To enter the giveaway, fans simply share a pic on Instagram to show how they’re keeping busy at home using the hashtag #BreckBrewStaycation.

AB InBev Buys Breckenridge Brewery

This morning, we awoke to what some may consider to be troubling news — AB InBev has bought yet another craft brewery Breckenridge Brewery. Breckenridge is mostly known for their Agave Wheat and their delicious Vanilla Porter, though recently, their Christmas Ale has also become a staple in many people’s holiday seasonal beer traditions.

Click here to read our review of Breckenridge’s Christmas Ale

Breckenridge, which is available in 35 states, is projected to produce numbers nearing 70,000 barrels of beer in 2015. Breckenridge will be the latest addition to AB-inBev’s ever-growing portfolio of craft brands such as Goose Island, Blue Point Brewing and others.

This morning, Breckenridge President J. Todd Usry released a statement on the Breckenridge Blog. The statement is as follows:

Today’s announcement of our acquisition by Anheuser-Busch’s craft and import division may come as a surprise to many of you. We want to share with you how we came to this decision, what it means to Breckenridge Brewery and to those who’ve supported us for so long.

We’ve been in this creative and dynamic industry for over 25 years, loving everything about it. That won’t change. The passion for quality and culture that got us where we are today isn’t going anywhere. We’re proud of the fact that you can find our beers in 35 states we’ve worked hard to get our beers to as many of you as possible throughout the years. The High End, Anheuser-Busch’s craft and import division, shares the same excitement for our category and commitment to quality. We will join a group of established and innovative craft brewers as part of The High End, and we look forward to what opportunities these relationships will bring to us.

Our brewpub in Breckenridge, our Littleton brewery and its Farm House restaurant are all part of this new entity. Other properties under the Breckenridge-Wynkoop umbrella will continue to be owned and operated by B-W and are not part of this arrangement.

Of course, the same great team who helped build Breckenridge Brewery won’t be going anywhere. We are excited about the opportunity this partnership brings to all of us. We’ll continue to own decisions about the beers we create and the ingredients in them. What people relate to in this industry is authenticity. If there were plans to come in and change our employees, our culture, and our recipes, well, that would completely undermine the reason for the partnership at all. What this new partnership does offer us is access to resources that will help us continue to innovate and bring our beer to more people.

We ultimately owe our success to you, our followers and supporters. I hope you will give us the chance to prove to you over time that we will continue to be Breckenridge Brewery.


J. Todd Usry

President, Breckenridge Brewery

While we understand why people sell out to Big Beer, we’ve gone over it on our podcast in depth (we recommend listening to this podcast episode, as we discuss this topic in great lengths), it still feels like independent breweries are being bought at an alarming rate. The fear from most consumers is that we will not only see diminished quality of beers, but also a diminished selection on the shelves if Big Beer companies start buying shelf space to only sell their brands. It’s a scenario that could spell disaster for small breweries across the country looking to make a name for themselves.

In a statement put out by AB-inBev, Usry goes on to say, “We’re excited about the partnership and have been encouraged to continue on our path and become more innovative moving forward,” he continues, “I’m a believer in what The High End is focused on accomplishing and we are flattered that our team was chosen to help guide that journey. We’re looking forward to utilizing resources like decades of research and brewing expertise as we continue to create new beers.”

What are your thoughts of the Breckenridge acquisition by AB-inBev? Is this a good step for the 6th largest brewer in Colorado? Is this another example of the craft beer bubble bursting? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

See 80-plus craft breweries pouring at Fort Worth's Untapped Festival

We're one announcement closer to finding out the 250 specific brews that will be available at Untapped indie music and craft beer festival in Fort Worth, which hits Panther Island Pavilion on May 9. For now, though, you'll just have to pray to the beer gods that the following breweries bring your favorites to the fest.

It's safe to assume that there are delicious treats in store. Untapped, which is now a product of The Dallas Morning News, has built a reputation on bringing the newest, rarest and dankest offerings from around the world to the event. For example, New Holland Brewing Co. and Alpine Beer Co. will be there and they only recently started distributing to Texas. New local faces will also be present, including Nine Band Brewing out of Allen and Bearded Eel Brewery out of Fort Worth.

In any case, festival-goers can enjoy tunes from De La Soul, Ariel Pink and The Sword, among others. Here are the 80-plus breweries that will be serving samples during the action.

  • (512) Brewing Co. (Austin, TX)
  • 903 Brewers (Sherman, TX)
  • Alaskan Brewing Co. (Juneau, AK)
  • Angry Orchard Hard Cider
  • Alpine Beer Co.
  • Armadillo Ale Works (Denton, TX)
  • Audacity Brew House (Denton, TX)
  • Austin Eastciders (Austin, TX)
  • Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA)
  • Bearded Eel Brewery (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Belhaven Brewery (United Kingdom)
  • Big Sky Brewing Co. (Missoula, MT)
  • Bishop Cider Co. (Dallas, TX)
  • Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, MO)
  • Brash (Houston, TX)
  • Breckenridge Brewery (Breckenridge, CO)
  • BridgePort Brewing Co. (Portland, OR)
  • Brooklyn Brewery (New York, NY)
  • Charles Wells (United Kingdom)
  • Coedo (Japan)
  • Collective Brewing Project (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Community Beer Co. (Dallas, TX)
  • Deep Ellum Brewing Co. (Dallas, TX)
  • Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR)
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, DE)
  • Epic Brewing Co. (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Paso Robles, CA)
  • FireWheel Brewing Co. (Rowlett, TX)
  • Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Four Corner Brewing Co. (Dallas, TX)
  • Franconia Brewing Co. (McKinney, TX)
  • Full Sail Brewing Co. (Hood River, OR)
  • Funkwerks, Inc. (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Goose Island Beer Co. (Chicago, IL)
  • Grapevine Craft Brewery (Farmers Branch, TX)
  • Green Flash Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA)
  • Hoffbrau (Germany)
  • Independence Brewing Co. (Austin, TX)
  • Jester King Brewery (Austin, TX)
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Petaluma, CA)
  • Lakewood Brewing Co. (Garland, TX)
  • Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. (Kiln, MS)
  • Brasserie Lefebvre (Belgium)
  • Left Hand Brewing Co. (Longmont, CO)
  • Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. (Chippewa Falls, WI)
  • Magic Hat Brewing Co. (Burlington, VT)
  • Martin House Brewing Co. (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Mikkeller Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA)
  • New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fort Collins, CO)
  • New Holland Brewing Co. (Holland, MI)
  • Nine Band Brewing (Allen, TX)
  • No-Li Brewhouse (Spokane, WA)
  • North Coast Brewing Co. (Fort Bragg, CA)
  • Oasis Texas Brewing Co. (Austin, TX)
  • Odell Brewing Co. (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY)
  • Oskar Blues Brewery (Lyons, CO)
  • Panther Island Brewing Co. (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Pedernales Brewing Co. (Fredericksburg, TX)
  • Peticolas Brewing Co. (Dallas, TX)
  • Pyramid Breweries (Seattle, WA)
  • Rabbit Hole Brewing (Justin, TX)
  • Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Real Ale Brewing Co. (Blanco, TX)
  • Revolver Brewing (Granbury, TX)
  • Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (Houston, TX)
  • Boston Beer Co./Sam Adams (Boston, MA)
  • Santa Fe Brewing Co. (Santa Fe, NM)
  • SanTan Brewing Co. (Chandler, AZ)
  • Spoetzal Brewery/Shiner (Shiner, TX)
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA)
  • Smuttynose Brewing Co. (Hampton, NH)
  • Southern Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY)
  • Staropramen Brewery (Czech Republic)
  • Stiegl (Austria)
  • Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, CA)
  • Strange Land Brewery (Austin, TX)
  • Summit Brewing Co. (St. Paul, MN)
  • Travelers Beer Co. (Burlington, VT)
  • Unibroue (Canada)
  • Upslope Brewing Co. (Boulder, CO)
  • Victory Brewing Co. (Downington, PA)
  • Virtue Cider (Chicago, IL)
  • Woodchuck Ciders (Middlebury, VT)

Tickets to Untapped Fort Worth are currently on sale in three tiers - concert only ($32), concert + beer experience ($39) and VIP ($65). VIP tickets include early entry to the festival, and access to a side stage viewing area.

Tiney Ricciardi. Though she was born in California, Tiney is a Texan at heart with two degrees from Dallas’ Southern Methodist University under her belt. Her passions for music and language have taken her across the world, from Peru to Switzerland and all corners of America. A self-proclaimed master of puns, she currently resides in East Dallas priming her online publishing skills and snuggling with her cats. Ask her where to find good music and good beer.

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At no point did they worry about whether the ski town was ready for a second brewer. &ldquoI thought the market was big enough for both of us,&rdquo Axelrod says. &ldquoBut we were concerned about how they would receive us.&rdquo After all, the other brewery was named for the town itself.

Axelrod and the Fords didn&rsquot need to be concerned. &ldquoThey have been a huge supporter of ours from day one and have helped us every step of the way,&rdquo Axelrod says of Breck.

&ldquoOne of the first phone calls I got was from Jimmy Walker," he remembers, speaking of the head brewer at Breckenridge, who offered to give Broken Compass some equipment. &ldquoThey had a super-collaborative business attitude from the get-go. That is part of the philosophy that has been ingrained in the culture of that company."

Breckenridge also became the first outside bar to feature a keg of Broken Compass beer, and its staffers sent customers over to the new brewery as well. &ldquoThat was incredible," Axelrod says. "They are a heck of a lot more like brothers than competitors.&rdquo

Walker, who has brewed at Breckenridge for fifteen years, agrees. &ldquoWe hit each other up all the time for malt, yeast, hops, ingredients, chemicals &mdash and knowledge,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWe want to improve each other&rsquos beer. I want everyone in town to make the best beer they can, because I want to drink it.&rdquo

It helps that the two companies have very different business models. Before the era of taprooms, which started around 2005, breweries made money either by having restaurants or by relying solely on packaging. Breckenridge did both &mdash at a time when real estate was a little more affordable in the mountains. Broken Compass, many years later, adopted the tasting-room model that is popular today, selling all of its beer over the bar in glasses.

&ldquoWe have different strategies 1989 was a different time versus now. They went for it, and now most of their business is down the hill,&rdquo Axelrod says of Breckenridge Brewery as a whole. &ldquoThere is no way we could do what they did now. It would be massively cost-prohibitive. Our game plan from day one was never to distribute. So we don&rsquot see them as a threat, and they don&rsquot see us as a threat.&rdquo

This weekend, the two breweries will play unofficial host to the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival, which will take place in Breckenridge for the first time after sixteen years in Vail it began on January 5 and and runs through Saturday, January 7, with seminars, dinners and a large commercial tasting that attracts well-known brewers and brewery owners from across the country, as well as beer lovers from all over. The two local beer makers will offer competing and complementary visions of what craft breweries are, what they have become and, perhaps, where they are going in the future.

It's a future with some questions. At the end of 2015, Breckenridge &mdash a fiercely independent company &mdash shocked Colorado and the craft-brewing industry as a whole by announcing that it had agreed to be bought out by Anheuser Busch InBev, the makers of Budweiser. The multi-national conglomerate had already been on a buying spree, sucking up craft breweries across the country, but the Breck purchase was one of the biggest. AB InBev now owns nine formerly independent craft breweries.

The move created a lot of anguish, both because Breckenridge had been such an integral and spirited part of Colorado&rsquos craft-brewing movement for so long (check out these videos) &mdash and because AB InBev had used, and continues to use, its significant heft to replace smaller breweries' products in bars, restaurants and liquor stores across the country with its own brands.

Like many people, Axelrod was concerned about the purchase. But it didn&rsquot change anything about his friendship with the crew at Breckenridge. &ldquoIt was tough for those guys, too. But they have actually seen a lot of benefit from the AB takeover. They have health benefits. I wish I could offer my employees health benefits,&rdquo he says. &ldquoAnd the guys up here have remained super-collaborative. This weekend, with the Big Beers festival coming in, they are going to be running a shuttle out to us. They're super-helpful, and they always have been.&rdquo

As a result, when the Colorado Brewers Guild was embroiled in a disagreement last year over whether to allow Breckenridge to remain a member after the AB buyout, Broken Compass was one of the voices that spoke in favor of keeping Breck in. &ldquoI don&rsquot support AB InBev, but I do support my friends,&rdquo Axelrod says. &ldquoI took a lot of heat for that.&rdquo

Longtime employees and executives at Breckenridge also took a lot of heat over the sale. In some cases, they lost friends or relationships in the craft-beer world that had been built over the years on nothing more than camaraderie and mutual interest. Things were particularly awkward last year at Big Beers, which took place just weeks after the takeover was announced.

Breckenridge Brewery's Walker hopes things will be different this time around.

&ldquoThe reality of the craft-beer world is settling in,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIt was more of a shock last year. It&rsquos still a big deal, but not as much of a surprise. All I can do is hope people come into the brewpub and see what we're doing, because I think we're making better beer than ever. If they don&rsquot think we're making craft beer, then there&rsquos nothing else I can do about that.&rdquo

As for the Broken Compass team, Walker says: &ldquoThey might not agree with us being bought by AB, but they still come in here all the time. And we are all still friends.

&ldquoIf someone had asked me a year ago if I would have wanted to be bought by AB InBev, I would have said no. But if they can help me make awesome beer, then I'm all for it,&rdquo he adds.

In fact, for the first time in years, the brewpub planned to have only beers made on site on tap for the start of Big Beers normally the brewery has several of Breckenridge&rsquos mainline beers on tap, like Avalanche Ale, Vanilla Porter and Agave Wheat. &ldquoWe thought it would be fun to take those off for a day and showcase twelve unique beers that you can&rsquot get anywhere else,&rdquo Walker says.

&ldquoI consider myself one of the more fortunate people as a result of the buyout by AB InBev,&rdquo he adds. &ldquoThey look at us as an innovation center. They told us that innovation is our job. That&rsquos it. So it&rsquos a dream come true for me. My job is just to make awesome beer.&rdquo

Of course, Broken Compass, which doesn&rsquot have a corporate boss, will also have its own unique beers on tap, including the Great American Beer Festival-winning Coconut Porter.

Axelrod is curious to see whether Big Beers festival-goers will make the two-mile journey north to check out Broken Compass, which just underwent a major remodel to help with overcrowding and also got plenty of publicity when Buzzfeed named it best brewery in Colorado, based on Yelp reviews. &ldquoThere is that question,&rdquo he says. "I&rsquom curious to see how much everyone who is coming into town cares about the little guy. I&rsquom cautiously optimistic that they do.&rdquo

Keep Westword Free. Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

Breckenridge Brewery Broncos Country to celebrate the Denver Broncos’ legacy

Breckenridge Brewery understands a great football beer is an important part of the NFL season. Whether you are toasting a victory or consoling a less favorable outcome, that ice-cold beer is waiting. For Denver Broncos fans, new Broncos Country beer will be a must for this football season.

NFL Beer collaborations take on all types of forms. From specialty brews to team-themed packaging, beer and football seem to be paired together.

As the new football season begins, Breckenridge Brewery released a new beer, Broncos Country. The Colorado-centric brew will be a must have for any Broncos fan.

Just looking at the packaging, the design captures a time when everyone one was a Broncos fan. Who doesn&rsquot remember the years when John Elway lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl? Although that 80s and 90s look might be a little vintage right now, it will be a fond memory for many fans.

While some people will be drawn to the image, beer drinkers want to know what&rsquos in the can. Since this beer is an homage to the Broncos, Breckenridge Brewery used ingredients that are 100% sourced from Colorado. The idea is to capture the spirit of what it really means to be &ldquoBroncos Country.&rdquo

Breckenridge Brewery Broncos Country, photo provided by Breckenridge Brewery

According to Breckenridge Brewery, &ldquoHigh Wire hops from the North Fork Valley impact a delicate citrus hop aroma, while locally sourced malts provide a light malty backbone that finishes clean and dry.&rdquo

A hoppy pale ale, the beer is meant to be easy drinking. Given that this beverage is a football beer, some people might want more than one beer during a game. That drinkability is key.

Looking at the flavors, the slightly citrus flavor makes it a nice pairing with common tailgating foods. From a big hamburger to a hearty brat to just some chips and dip, the options are many.

The Broncos County beer is sold in 15 packs and will be available now through December. The beer has a 5.7% ABV.

What is your favorite football beer? Do you cheer victories with a special beer?

Breckenridge Brewery and Half Baked Harvest take Vanilla Porter and make foodie magic happen

If you’d like to create either of these dishes for yourself, you can check out the recipes here. Of course, we aren’t going to send you away without at least offering up our favorite recipe – the Vanilla Porter Molten Chocolate Cakes!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 8 oz dark chocolate (chopped, diced, shredded)
  • 8 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 1/2 cup of the Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery
  • 6 large eggs brought to room temperature
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 4 squares of milk chocolate (you can also use semi-sweet)
  • Cocoa Powder or shavings (use for the decorative serving aspect of the recipe)
  • Softened butter (use for greasing ramekins)
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for topping


Set up your oven with a rack in the center. Heat to 375 degrees and pre-grease four small ramekins with the softened butter.

Using a smaller saucepan over lower heat, melt your butter and dark chocolate. Make sure you are stirring these two ingredients together until they are smooth and well-combined. Take the melted mixture off the heat and then stir in the Vanilla Porter.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, three whole eggs, and three egg yolks. Once it’s all mixed together then add in the melted chocolate and beer mixture. Stir until everything is combined and you have a batter that is ready to be divided into your ramekins for baking. Divide your chocolate batter into your greased ramekins and then stick your chocolate square into the middle of the batter.

Take a cookie/baking sheet and place the four ramekins on evenly distance on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the sides of the cake has set (the center will still be loose). Pull the ramekins out of the oven and let cool for a minute before running a knife along the sides and then turn upside down onto a plate so the cake comes out for eating. Remove the ramekins and then prepare for indulging by adding a dollop of whipped cream (or the ice cream if preferred) on top and then dust it with the cocoa powder.

With Breckenridge Brewery and Half Baked Harvest, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or just any day. And with how easy these recipes really are, you can enjoy a decadent meal at any time.

Have you tried the Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery? What did you think? Have you used it in cooking or baking before? Will you try these recipes? Tell us in the comments.

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It's also possible that Banat and Stinson wanted to take the brewery in a new direction when it came to the beers they were making and serving. Jagged Mountain &mdash with the tagline of &ldquoAdventurous People, Adventurous Beers&rdquo &mdash was initially founded on the idea of brewing almost entirely high-gravity, high-alcohol beers &ndash and it made a name for itself with some of these, including Vallecito, an 11 percent ABV Belgian dark strong ale, and the 15.5 percent ABV barrel-aged First Descent Old Ale.

When Burns left in December, though, Jagged announced that it would begin brewing a series of very lower-alcohol beers. These included Walk Off, a 4.8 percent Belgian wit and Sky Pond, a 4.8 percent pale ale.

A few months later, the company committed to temporary fill-in Adam Glaser, formerly of the Fort Collins Brewery, who officially took the top brewer job neither Banat nor Stinson have professional brewing experience.

Together, the two active owners and Glaser completely overhauled the menu so that nothing from Jagged Mountain's first year remains.
&ldquoWe're staying true to our theme of adventurous beers, so it's been really, really fun exploring some angles on beers that we didn't do before,&rdquo Banat says. &ldquoYou wouldn't have seen a barrel-aged session porter (3.8 percent ABV) with cacao nibs from us before. Or any of the beers we now have with fruit notes in them.

&ldquoWayne was more of a purist from that standpoint &mdash which is totally fine. But it's also fine to be open to all the possibilities that are out there,&rdquo he adds.

&ldquoAs far as the recipes go, we've never been of the mindset that we'd have a static menu," Banat explains. "So when Adam &mdash a pretty creative guy in his own right &ndash thought it would be fun for us to develop a new menu, it gave us the opportunity to put some new ideas out there and to also incorporate some customer feedback. For instance, a lot of our customers previously asked us to have more sessionable, easier drinking beers on the menu to counter all the relatively big beers we had. We wanted to go in that direction anyway, so now we have several beers in that category.&rdquo (Jagged hasn't entirely abandoned high-gravity beers, he points out: On Friday, it will tap Triple Bypass IPA, an enormous 14.8 percent ABV beer from Glaser.)

But Burns says the other two owners didn't discuss the high-gravity beer issue with him. &ldquoI never heard that feedback from customers or from them while I was directly involved in the company," he says, "but if they heard that feedback and felt that was the best choice for the company to do well, that is their right and discernment to do that, whether I entirely agree with it or not.&rdquo

Burns says he offered to let Banat and Stinson continue to use his recipes, but that they chose not to. He also says he wishes them well. &ldquoRandy and RJ and I trusted each other with our lives, on ropes, on cliffs," he remembers. "A dozen years of close friendship and bonding all over the world doesn't just evaporate because someone does nasty stuff to you. I had a really big part in making the business happen. I'm disappointed, but I'm excited about what I am working on now at the Wynkoop.&rdquo

As the director of brewery operations at the Wynkoop, Burns won't be brewing on a day-to-day basis rather, he'll oversee the packaging, scheduling and production of the brewery's beers, both at the Wynkoop and at the new Breckenridge Brewery facility, where the majority of the Wynkoop's flagship beers, like Railyard Ale, are brewed and canned. He'll also implement new quality-control standards and create a lab to help with quality and consistency.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

Keep Westword Free. Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Students accused of reenacting George Floyd murder could face long term consequences

MEAD, Colo. (KDVR) — Three students at Mead High School have been suspended for five days after an image circulated online appearing to show the students re-enacting the George Floyd murder.

The suspensions may end, but it's a decision that could potentially haunt the students for years.

Dead body found in Adams County storage unit

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Deputies are investigating after a property manager found a dead body in a storage unit Thursday morning.

A property manager for a storage facility called authorities shortly after 9:45 a.m., a spokesperson for the Adams County Sheriff's Office said. Responding deputies found the body inside a storage unit.

DU professor, activist says Mead HS photo controversy is ‘sad’ but not surprising

DENVER (KDVR) -- A photo that appears to show Mead High School students re-enacting the murder of George Floyd is 'disheartening' but not surprising, according to University of Denver Professor Apryl Alexander.

Alexander helped lead critical conversations around racial stress, trauma and violence following the death of Floyd last summer. She says the photo that is now circulating on social media highlights the need for change and education around racial issues and topics.

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Two weeks ago, Breckenridge Brewery went public regarding a dispute it was having with its landlord at 600 South Main Street, home of Breckenridge Brewery & Pub for almost thirty years. The landlord, Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate LTD, or BBRE, is owned by Squire and his family along with another family, the Cohens, who were early investors in both Breckenridge Brewery and Tommyknocker Brewery.

"From what I was told, we had a deal, but then very recently, the landlords backed out," says Jimmy Walker, who has worked for Breckenridge Brewery for twenty years and is now the head brewer at the Main Street location. The current lease expires on June 30, and if the brewery has to move (or, more likely, close), it will be "devastating news" to its employees, as well to longtime customers, he says: "One thing that really separates the brewpub from anywhere else in town is the longevity of our employees. We are in this for the long haul. We built this place into what it is. Regardless of who founded the brewery, we shaped it into our home."

But Squire, talking publicly about the situation for the first time, says that Breckenridge Brewery &mdash and its original location on Main Street, specifically &mdash shouldn't be run by a Belgium-based conglomerate like AB InBev.

"This much I think I can tell you," Squire says. "I founded the brewery, but I also founded it with six other locals up there. I personally believe that the brewery needs to go back into the hands of the locals &mdash back to the people. InBev is a Belgian corporation. That&rsquos not what I started the company for. I did it so my friends could have great food and great beer in a wonderful local atmosphere."

Does that mean that Squire wants to open his own brewery or restaurant in the space? "You'll just have to wait for the next chapter," he responds with a laugh.

And that chapter could involve the courts. Breckenridge Brewery has filed suit against BBRE in Summit County, claiming that the two sides had reached a five-year lease agreement back in February. In the complaint, Breckenridge Brewery says it agreed to pay BBRE $35,000 per month for the 7,735-square-foot pub (or $54.30 per square foot) the first year, and between $357,000 and $374,000 per year in the following years.

In an email sent to the company &mdash and offered into evidence &mdash Richard Squire's brother, Steven, accepted the terms, and wrote, "I want to thank you for your efforts in negotiating this matter to a favorable conclusion for both parties. I look forward to receiving the full lease for our review and execution, which I have advised the LP should be received within the next three weeks."

Sometime after that, BBRE decided not to renew after all.

But in the meantime, Breckenridge Brewery believed it had an agreement and acted accordingly. "Based on Landlord&rsquos representations, the Brewery did not search for a new location to relocate its business and/or operations and continued to operate at and invest in the Premises as if it would be permitted to remain for at least another five year term," the lawsuit states, adding that "it will be impossible for the Brewery to locate a new premises to relocate to prior to July 1, 2019." As a result, "the Brewery will suffer from loss of income, and other irreparable harm to the Brewery&rsquos reputation, business and operations."

The brewery is asking for damages in excess of $100,000.

Squire declines to discuss many details of the case, but he disputes the claim that a deal was ever finalized, and adds that the standoff "has very little, if anything, to do with money."

A longtime businessman and entrepreneur, the 78-year-old Squire has owned a variety of businesses over the years, including the Kenosha Steakhouse in Breckenridge. Twice divorced, he has two adult children with his first wife, Helen, and he helped found a company called Bonnie's Balms in 2007 with his second wife, Bonnie Searcy. Squire and Searcy were divorced in 2013 after thirteen years of marriage, but Searcy was able to convince the Jefferson County courts to reopen their divorce proceedings after Breckenridge was sold to AB InBev.

She believed Squire had hidden some of his assets from her in the divorce, legal documents claimed, and was hoping to recover something after the Breckenridge sale, since Squire still had shares in the company.


"It sold for $85 million. That's what the family told me," says Searcy, who now lives in Palisade. In the end, she adds, she was happy just to hold on to Bonnie's Balms, which makes lotions and balms that incorporate herbs, flowers and seed oils and are used for pain management. Her products are sold in Ace Hardware stores and dozens of other retailers.

Squire currently owns Suzie's CBD Treats, which makes CBD-infused dog biscuits.

Many craft-beer fans not just in Colorado but across the country were upset when Breckenridge Brewery, which is now based in a huge farmhouse facility on twelve acres in Littleton, was sold to AB InBev it meant the company, one of the state's most storied breweries, was no longer independent. AB InBev, which has acquired a dozen formerly independent craft breweries over the past few years, has also been accused of anti-competitive or sometimes brutal business practices that threaten small and independent craft breweries.

But according to Walker, he and the other sixty to eighty employees at the original Breckenridge Brewery don't need Squire or anyone else to come "save" them from AB InBev. "We are happy working for them," he says, adding that AB InBev's resources have allowed him to expand as a brewer, and Breckenridge Brewery continues to donate tens of thousands of dollars to charity every year.

Walker says that AB InBev has told him the company is committed to staying in Breckenridge, one way or another: "You can't have a Breckenridge Brewery without having a brewery in Breckenridge."

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