Summit County breweries team up to create new beer benefiting High Country Conservation Center |

Summit County breweries team up to create new beer benefiting High Country Conservation Center

Summit County Brewer's Association pose near Highside Brewery's brewing tanks in Frisco. Clockwise from top of ladder: Marshall Shaw, Highside Brewery brewer; Greg Cook, Angry James apprentice brewer; Cory Forster, owner of Baker's Brewery; A.J. Brinckerhoff, owner of Angry James; David Axelrod, owner of Highside Brewery; and Jon Zatkoff, Highside Brewing head brewer.
Deepan Dutta /

FRISCO — Summit County’s local brewers gathered at HighSide Brewing in Frisco on Friday to collaborate on a joint beer that will benefit the High Country Conservation Center. 

Members of the Summit County United Brewer’s Alliance — Angry James Brewing Co., Breckenridge Brewery, Dillon Dam Brewery, HighSide Brewing and Pug Ryan’s Brewery — were all involved in creating a new beer that will be released at the conservation center’s Party for the Planet fundraiser event on March 6.

Cory Forster, owner of The Bakers’ Brewery in Silverthorne, gets a big whiff of El Dorado hops at HighSide Brewing in Frisco on Friday, Feb. 21.
Deepan Dutta /

The brewers’ summit will produce 60 kegs of “Green Machine,” a hazy mango pineapple milkshake India pale ale. The tropical concoction includes dry El Dorado and Hallertau Blanc hops in the base, which are brewed with lactose and punched up with pineapple juice and fresh mango chunks.

“All the breweries being able to come together to support the High Country Conservation Center, it just shows how community-oriented each brewery actually is, and our willingness to support local organizations,” said HighSide Brewing brewer Marshall Shaw.

HighSide Brewing head brewer Jon Zatkoff pours lactose into a brewing tank while Angry James Brewing Co. apprentice brewer Greg Cook looks on at HighSide Brewing in Frisco on Friday, Feb. 21.
Deepan Dutta /

Angry James’ namesake owner, A.J. Brinckerhoff, said that the local brewer’s association have done collaborative brews for years, each time for a good cause. In the past, the brews benefited the Summit County Search and Rescue, and have now expanded to benefit other causes. 

This year, the collaborative beer benefits High Country Conservation Center, the county’s premiere recycling and energy conservation nonprofit. The beer will be sold at every one of the county’s breweries for as long as it lasts, with $1 from each purchase directly supporting the center. 

The beer will be officially introduced at the conservation center’s Party for the Planet fundraiser, formerly known as the Tim McClure benefit, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Breckenridge on Friday, March 6, from 6-10 p.m.

A label for a tank carrying the “Green Machine” collaborative beer benefiting the High Country Conservation Center at HighSide Brewing in Frisco on Friday, Feb. 21.
Deepan Dutta /

Aside from doing something good, Brinckerhoff said that the collaboration encourages residents and visitors alike to check out the county’s booming brewpub scene.

“Any time we get together and make a beer for a good cause, it really makes people want to come out and hit the breweries,” Brinckerhoff said. “If they haven’t gone out to see all the breweries in Summit County, this is a great way to check out a new beer, support a good cause and see a new brewery.”

The Bakers’ Brewery owner Cory Forster, who describes himself as a “man with many hats and little time off,” said the collaboration brews also serve as a good way for the county’s guild of brewmasters to reconnect and share knowledge.

“These collaboratives are one of my favorite brews of the year,” Forster said. “It’s great to get together with all the guys, get a couple of beers, and it’s always such a learning experience. We talk about new techniques, new technology, etcetera. Being an owner, you get wound up in a lot of the other stuff and get pulled away from the brewing side a little bit, so it’s nice to catch up and learn some of the new things from these guys.”

HighSide Brewing owner David Axelrod, who has an MBA in sustainable business and sits on the conservation center’s board, said he was personally invested in ensuring the success of the collaboration.

“One of the reasons I got into the brewing business is because I want to be able to contribute to sustainability, and to set an example for other businesses in terms of energy conservation and resource utilization,” Axelrod said. “It’s so I could have a bigger impact both as an advocate and as a business owner, and with this collaboration we are trying to give back to the community by helping (the the conservation center) with their business energy programs, home energy and recycling programs.”

Lisa Hueneke, marketing and events manager for the conservation center, said the organization was very appreciative of the brewers’ efforts.

“I think it’s really incredible, and we so appreciate all the time and energy they’ve put into this,” Hueneke said. “They are so busy running their own businesses, so it really shows a commitment to what (the conservation center) is trying to do in the community with our conservation programs and doing their part to raise awareness in a collaboration beer.”

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