Wynkoop, Breckenridge finalize joint venture

Wynkoop Holding and Breckenridge Holding have finalized the details for their previously announced joint venture.

Wynkoop Holdings is the parent company of Wynkoop Brewing Company and seven Colorado restaurants and brewpubs. Breckenridge Holding is owner and operator of Breckenridge Brewery and four Colorado brewpubs and taphouses. Many changes are already under way:

* Wynkoop head brewer Andy Brown has been working out on Breckenridge’s 50-barrel system, in preparation for brewing there later this month. The canned and kegged versions of Wynkoop’s Rail Yard Ale and Silverback Pale Ale will be brewed and canned at the Breckenridge facility in Denver.

* Soon both Breckenridge and Wynkoop microcanned beers will be packaged on new equipment. The collective has made its first joint purchase, a prototype automatic canning machine that will quadruple the breweries’ canning speeds. It will allow both breweries to add new canned beers this summer, including Breckenridge’s SummerBright Ale this summer.

* Wynkoop and Breckenridge staffers have also begun work on a collaborative beer that will reach the Denver area’s best beer establishments in May. The draft-only beer is a Belgian-style strong ale unlike any beer the two have made in the past.

* Breckenridge will open Amato’s Ale House, a beer-focused restaurant feature 40 beers, taking over a building that is a Denver institution. Amato, which sells concrete garden décor like fountains, statues, birdbaths and planters, has been in the same location since 1947. The family-owned business is moving up the street one block. “We want to keep the north Denver theme,” said Ron Piscitelli, director of restaurant operations for Breckenridge. Breckenridge will decorate the Ale House with fountains from Amato.