Breckenridge Brewery in Denver, Colorado, is at capacity production at its current location. The brewery is considering building a new brewery to handle increased demand. Breckenridge also operates a brewpub where its beers are be sold. Under current Colorado law a brewery producing more than 60,000 barrels a year cannot also operate a brewpub. Breckenridge is approaching that threshold. A bill that was under consideration would have raised the limit to 300,000 barrels. Unfortunately the bill was dropped without consideration by Colorado legislators.
According to the Denver Business Journal, "large brewers and beer distributors complained that allowing a brewery making more than 60,000 barrels a year to operate restaurants and sell its own beer out of those locations would give it an unfair competitive advantage."
So now the brewery is looking at other options. According to Breckenridge President Ed Cerkovnik, those options include building a brewery on the East Coast. The new brewery would employ 50 - 75 people and involve a $15 million investment.
One can't help but wonder if the recent expansions of Oskar Blues and New Belgian breweries to the East was in part forced by the same Colorado brewpub rules. If Breckenridge does indeed consider the East Coast, I hope Virginia is among the states considered. We've missed out on three West Coast brewery moves recently, perhaps it's the Old Dominion's time to win one.
See "Breckenridge Brewery will take new brewery, jobs to East Coast" for more on this story.