Owners of Broken Compass in Breckenridge go in different directions
The owners of Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge are going in different directions, and Summit County could soon have its eighth brewery as a result.
David Axelrod and Jason Ford are parting ways after a difference in opinion over the direction of the brewery, Axelrod said Tuesday, confirming that he is selling his share of the business to Ford with plans to focus on a new venture where the Backcountry Brewery used to be in Frisco.
Axelrod added that he wishes Ford the best.
Attempts to reach Ford over the phone and in person at Broken Compass were unsuccessful Tuesday.
A worker at the brewery said Ford was out of town. The worker didn’t want to speak for the owner but expressed great confidence Broken Compass will continue to do business as it has in the past while Axelrod goes a new route.
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That new path will apparently take Axelrod to Frisco, to the now-defunct Backcountry Brewery, which first opened at 720 Main St. in 1996 under Woody VanGundy and Anthony Carestia.
Brothers Charlie and Joe Eazor bought Backcountry Brewery in 2010, and Charlie Eazor finalized the sale of Backcountry Brewery business to Broken Compass on Oct. 31 last year.
Details of the sale were not released, and the owners of Broken Compass were tight-lipped at the time about their plans in Frisco.
Now, it’s clear that Axelrod, along with a new team, is moving into the two-story restaurant and brewery with plans to open a brand-new brewery and tap house there sometime this spring after a complete remodel inside. The work is currently underway.
Axelrod also has some new partners, too.
Joining him in the endeavor are Carrie Knose, who co-founded Living the Dream Brewing in Highlands Ranch; Breckenridge restaurateur Chris Galceran, who’s a partner with multiple local restaurants, including Park & Main, Empire Burger and the Briar Rose Chophouse and Saloon; and Jason Wiedmaier, a local adventurist who previously worked for Broken Compass and went on to found Lone Tree Brewing Company.
Dave Simmons, who has a long history with Pug Ryan’s, is the final piece of this puzzle, Axelrod said.
“We are so excited about this team we have,” he continued. “This started off as a second Broken Compass, obviously, but (Ford and I had) different visions so it’s turned into this great opportunity with such a great team.”
The location of the Frisco brewery is hard to beat.
The building sits on the corner of Main Street and Summit Boulevard, one of the most driven intersections in the county, next to the Frisco Marina and a bookend for the heavy foot traffic that frequents Frisco’s Main Street.
“Woody and Anthony created such an amazing place here,” Axelrod said of the location. “It’s really great to help build on their original dream, and really just have fun with it.”
The building is also right next door to what’s expected to become the one of the county’s premiere venues for live music, 10 Mile Music Hall, once it’s built.
“I love music, man,” Axelrod said, explaining how he used to clean toilets to secure free entry into live shows. “It’s really exciting to have these guys coming in, really exciting.”
Provided everything goes according to plan, the new brewery will join seven others in Summit County after it opens, including Pug Ryan’s and Dillon Dam Brewery in Dillon, Angry James and The Bakers’ Brewery in Silverthorne, Outer Range in Frisco and Breckenridge Brewery and Broken Compass in Breckenridge.
But people shouldn’t expect it to be anything like Backcountry Brewery was prior to Broken Compass buying the property, according to Axelrod and his partners.
“We are going to be a brewery and tap house that also serves food,” Galceran said, referencing one major change in how they plan to do business. “We are not a restaurant that serves craft beer.”
As for what they’re going to call it, Axelrod explained they’re still working on that.
“I don’t think we want to throw that out because we still have to trademark it yet,” he said with a good laugh. “And we may have a naming contest, too. But we have a couple of ideas — this is really recent — we’re tossing them about.”
Axelrod admitted he feels somewhat apprehensive leaving the business in Breckenridge, a town he still calls home. But he doesn’t really see it like that.
“I’ve owned my house there for 20 years,” he said. “This opportunity was so incredible.”
“And it is a short commute,” Galceran interrupted.
“Yeah, exactly,” Axelrod continued. “I don’t think it’s really leaving Breckenridge. This location (in Frisco) is so central for Summit County, and I always think of it more as Summit County than Breck or Frisco, Dillon or Silverthorne. It’s one community, as we all know, so I ain’t leaving. I’m just getting in the middle of it.”
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