Breckenridge Brewery taps into philanthropic beer with new saison |

Breckenridge Brewery taps into philanthropic beer with new saison

Breckenridge Brewery's Cranelito brew.
Hugh Carey / |

The brew-gooders at Breckenridge Brewery are spreading the holiday beer this Christmas season by tapping into a tart saison made with a heap of real cranberries.

They’re calling the new cranberry-infused, small-batch brew the “Cranelito,” and they’ve balanced out the sourness of the cranberries with sweet orange peel and a just hint of cinnamon, all in the name of charity.

“This one’s technically a sour beer,” head brewer Jimmy Walker said. “We did kettle sour on half of it, to drop the pH, get the acidity down, and we added a ton of cranberry puree three days into fermentation so you get the nice color and the cranberry essence, but a lot of the sugar is fermented out so it’s still really dry.”

The sweet orange peel and cinnamon bark come in after fermentation, he said, adding they add a “subtle layer of complexity” to the cranberry brew.

“I love it,” Walker said of the final product. “I’ve been drinking it all day. I’m so excited how it turned out.”

The beer was produced in a partnership with 10 Barrel Brewing Co., which like Breckenridge Brewery, is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest beer-maker.

What’s more is 100 percent of the proceeds from the Cranelito sales will go to Food Bank of the Rockies, which supports more than 600 hunger-relief programs in northern Colorado and Wyoming and reportedly distributes nearly 133,000 meals a day through its partner agencies.

The cranberry beer can only be found on tap at Breckenridge Brewery and the company’s Farm House restaurant in Littleton, though people may take the beer to-go in 32-ounce cans or growlers.

They’ve made about 600 gallons of the Cranelito, and it will be available until supplies run out.

If that’s not enough, Breckenridge Brewery and the Farmhouse also have a dog-inspired beer called the ZIPA, that’s also aiding another charitable effort at the brewery.

First tapped in May, the ZIPA has so far raised over $14,000 in support of the Freedom Service Dogs nonprofit group, according to a brewery spokeswoman.

The service dog in training for whom the beer is named, Zipper, just turned 1 year old on Monday, and the Littleton brewery celebrated by hosting a “bark-day” party for the young pup.

The spokeswoman said the brewery hopes to raise $30,000 through its ZIPA sales in Littleton and Breckenridge, adding that is the average cost for Freedom Service Dogs to run a dog through its training program.

Once a dog is aligned with a client with disabilities — and has been custom trained for that individual — the nonprofit gives the dog to that client free of charge.

Beyond that, Breckenridge Brewery is supporting Summit County’s annual Adopt an Angel program which, entering its 23rd year, has been shifted from being coordinated by the town of Silverthorne and Silverthorne Police Department to the Family and Intercultural Resource Center.

FIRC is accepting financial donations to help buy the toys and clothing for children this holiday season, and Angel Trees have been placed throughout the community, including at the brewery, where someone can purchase a gift for a certain child.

Last year, Adopt an Angel trees allowed an estimated 800 children from 367 families to enjoy a brighter holiday season. For more, go to

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