Denver brewpub's self distribution grows 500%, annual production rises 25%
(Denver, Colorado) – Wynkoop Brewing Company -- Colorado's first brewpub – experienced significant growth in 2010.
Wynkoop's hand-canned and draft beers can now be found in over 150 bars and retailers in the Denver area. This number of retail outlets is up 500% from 30 accounts at the start of 2010.
The brewery produced 3502 barrels of beer in 2010. That's a 25% increase from 2800 barrels in both 2009 and 2008. (A barrel of beer equals 31 gallons.)
In-house beer sales at the revered brewpub (founded by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper) are also up 6% over 2010.
This growth has been fueled by Wynkoop's hand-canning and self-distribution effort and increased attendance from beer lovers at the brewpub.
Wynkoop's two small-batch canned beers -- Rail Yard Ale and Silverback Pale Ale -- have quickly won Denver area fans and positive reviews from the Colorado and US beer press. The increase in retail outlets means more Denver beer lovers have access to those beers.
"Two of our goals for 2010," says Marty Jones, Wynkoop's Cheersleader & Idea Man, "were to get more of our liquid art into the hands of local retailers and beer fiends. We pulled it off and are mighty happy about it. Especially in light of today's sluggish economy."
"It's our first growth in production in two years," Jones adds. "It has allowed us to create a few new jobs in the brewery and recapture some of the momentum and mojo our place enjoyed in its earlier days."
(To meet growing demand for its beer, Wynkoop doubled the size of its brewery staff from three to six fulltime staffers in 2010.)
Another 2010 goal for Wynkoop's brewing arm was to attract new fans by expanding its brewing reach into new styles of beer.
An expanded Wynkoop beer list that includes higher strength, barrel aged, firkin and sour beers has helped meet that goal. It has led to increased sales and new Wynkoop customers and excitement at the brewpub.
"Along with our list of classic beer styles at our pub, we now have a list of new boundary-pushing beers," says Wynkoop head brewer Andy Brown. "Many of these beers are dramatically different from what we've been known for in the past. They're helping us bring back old fans, draw new beer customers and elevate our status in Denver's beer culture."
In the next few weeks Wynkoop Brewing will complete the details of a planned joint venture with Denver's Breckenridge Brewery. Among other things the venture will allow Wynkoop to brew and package its canned beers at Breckenridge's Denver brewery.
Wynkoop is also launching an expanded effort to sell and promote its year-round and seasonal draft-only beers to area establishments.
Wynkoop beers are canned one can at a time on a tabletop machine from Canada's Cask Systems.
Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and a group of urban pioneers that included Mark Schiffler (current Wynkoop COO) and Ron Robinson, Wynkoop's current GM.