Frisco’s HighSide Brewing to open new Breckenridge taproom, relocate brewing operations to Fairplay

Brewery’s Frisco location also to see consolidation to just one floor but with an expanded taproom, bar and food scene

Robert Tann/Summit Daily News
The sign for Highside Brewing in Frisco is pictured on Thursday, May 4, 2023. The brewery recently announced a slew of changes including a new taproom in Breckenridge and a consolidation of its Frisco space.
Robert Tann/Summit Daily News

HighSide Brewing, a Frisco favorite for cold craft beer and hot food, announced it will open a new taproom in downtown Breckenridge, relocate its brewing operations to Fairplay and consolidate its Frisco space to just one floor. 

The changes are expected to take place over the coming weeks, with staff eyeing a mid- to late-May opening of their Breckenridge location, which is set to house 15 taps in a dog-friendly space on the north end of Main Street. Its Frisco space, located on the east end of the town near the marina, is planned to be revamped and reopened to the public in early June. 

After opening the brewery in Frisco five years ago, HighSide founder and owner David “Ax” Axelrod said relocating brewing operations to Fairplay made sense.

“We have exponentially more room and we should be able to play around with that,” Axelrod said. “We do a lot of one-off beers that are a couple of kegs, and now we’ll be able to do that in smaller batches.”

With an expanded space, the site will afford head brewer Thomas Larsen about 50% more fermentation space and help the business’s environmental goals by using solar thermal energy to heat the water. The relocation will also support Larsen, who lives in a two-bedroom condo above the brewery’s taproom in Fairplay — which HighSide opened last summer.

While HighSide had been renting the two floors at its Frisco location, it now owns the first floor and plans to use it for an expanded taproom area with a new auxiliary bar, game and event space. It will also provide a permanent home for its sister company, Colorado BBQ. 

The space will house a BBQ food truck that will act as a service window, where customers can order smoked brisket and pulled pork, complete with a kitchen behind it. 

While the Frisco location will continue to boast all the amenities it’s become known for, the Breckenridge taproom will be for beer purists only — serving no food, wine or cocktails.

Nick Yannett, HighSide’s marketing and events coordinator, said the new taproom will feature many of the brewery’s staples while also offering a new, diverse selection of brewed creations.

“We’re obviously super excited to be another brewery in the currently thriving brewery scene in Breckenridge,” Yannett said, adding that he hopes the Breckenridge spot can host a “a fun, late-night music scene” as well.  

The Breckenridge expansion is a personal endeavor for Axelrod, who has lived in the town for the past 25 years — 12 of which were spent teaching skiing.

“It’s sort of a homecoming,” he said. “It’s going to give us another anchor in the community.”

As the brewery looks to celebrate five years in business this month, it will host musical performances at its Frisco location on May 20 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Performances will include High Country Salmon — featuring Andy Thorn and Drew Emmitt from the Boulder jam-band Leftover Salmon — as well as other Colorado artists including Melissa McGinley, Benny “Burle” Galloway, Eli Emmitt and local support from Summit County’s High Five and John Truscelli. 

“I can’t believe it’s been five years,” Axelrod said. “We’re just really excited about the next five.”

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