Breckenridge Brewery & Pub signs 11 year lease after dispute with landlord over its longtime home
BRECKENRIDGE — A deal has been struck to keep Breckenridge Brewery & Pub in its current location into the next decade.
The announcement comes after months of fighting over a lease between Anheuser-Busch, which owns the brewery, and its landlord Richard Squire, who originally founded the brewery 30 years ago.
“We’ve signed the lease to keep Anheuser-Busch in the building for the next 11 years,” said Graham Squire, Richard Squire’s son and one of the general partners of Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate, which owns the building.
Richard Squire sold the brewery to Anheuser-Busch in 2015 but remained the owner of the building at 600 Main St. in Breckenridge. Then in May 2019, a conflict emerged when the two parties clashed about whether there was an agreement to renew the building lease.
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The brewpub — which is the longest running in Summit County and third oldest in Colorado — filed a lawsuit accusing the brewery’s landlord of accepting terms for a new lease in a February 2019 email exchange that detailed rental rates and a five-year time frame. Richard Squire vehemently disputed the lawsuit had merit and framed the case as a beer giant’s attempt to ride roughshod over the little guy.
The case never went to court as the two parties reached an agreement to renew the lease through May 30, 2020. Richard Squire said he planned to open a new brewery in the building after the lease ended. But on Nov. 17, 2019, Richard Squire died at age 78, leaving the question of whether the remaining partners would carry out his vision for the building.
When Graham Squire was reached in November, he was unsure what his father’s company would do with the building.
“We’re still really in an exploratory mode at this point,” Graham Squire said at the time.
1990: Breckenridge Brewery opens on Breckenridge Main Street
January 2015: Brewery sold to Anheuser-Busch
May 2019: Lawsuit filed over lease dispute
August 2019: Agreement reached to keep Breckenridge Brewery in current location until May 30, 2020
November 2019: Richard Squire dies, leaving Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate to partners
February 2020: 11-year lease agreement reached between Anheuser-Busch and Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate
After meeting with partners of Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate, Graham Squire said they decided to let Breckenridge Brewery stay for over a decade before deciding whether to renew the lease again.
“The restaurant piece, that was kind of my dad’s vision,” Graham Squire said. “And then when he passed, we just got together with the partners and we decided it was in the best interest of the partners to just sign the lease.”
Graham Squire said it was clear that the current brewpub owners wanted to stay and were able to work with him and the other partners to reach a mutual agreement.
Breckenridge Brewery Head Brewer Jimmy Walker said the brewery celebrated the security of the brewery’s home as well as the brewery’s 30 year anniversary Friday, Feb. 7.
“We were just always focused on trying to stay, and now that we are, it’s awesome,” Walker said. “We had a big group toast on Friday night. We have a special beer that we put away called sexy motor oil. We broke that out and had a couple toasts.”
Now that the brewery has security in its location, Walker said they plan to make some improvements.
“Now that we’re staying long term, we want to spruce up the place a little bit,” Walker said. “We’re looking to put in a new brewhouse, as well. We still have the original 30-year-old equipment.”
Walker said the brewery plans to replace equipment like the mash tun, brew kettle and the control panel.
“Thirty years ago, people weren’t making really strong beers, so we need a bigger mash tun,” Walker said. “More alcoholic beers require a bigger mash tun.”
Walker added that the main brewery is in Littleton, but Breckenridge Brewery makes beer to be sold locally and experiments with new beer formulas in-house.
“We’re just looking to continue and keep making awesome beer,” Walker said.
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