Breckenridge Brewery reaches agreement to stay in its original location through May 2021 — then they’re out, landlord says
Summit Daily News
BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge Brewery is staying put, at least for now.
Breckenridge Brewery & Pub has reached an agreement with the property owner, Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate, which will keep the brewpub at its South Main Street location through its 30th anniversary, according to a statement from the brewery.
“We have been lucky to call the South Main brewpub our home since 1990, and throughout the nearly three decades we’ve been in business, the support shown by neighbors, who quickly became friends, has been nothing short of amazing,” said Jimmy Walker, head brewer at the Breckenridge Brewery, in a statement to the Summit Daily. “Over the past few months, as we faced losing our home, we felt that support stronger than ever as you visited the pub, spread the word and shared memories of our brewpub.”
According to Richard Squire, an original founder of the brewery and managing general partner with Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate, the new lease agreement will allow the brewery to stay at the location for the next 21 months, with a deadline at the end of May 2021.
While an agreement has been made, Squire said residents shouldn’t expect the brewery to stick around longer than the current lease. After it expires, Squire still plans to open a new brewery at the location.
“We came to what I would call a compromise with them,” Squire said. “And on May 30, 2021, they’re out of there. We’re taking the place over on that date, and once again, we intend to reinvigorate, redo, respiritualize and give it a new reason for being.”
The conflict between the brewery and the property owners began to pick up in May while the two parties were negotiating a new lease agreement. Breckenridge Brewery — which was sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2015 — felt that a new agreement was in place based on email correspondence between brewery officials and Steven Squire, Richard’s brother and another partner at Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate.
The property owners disagreed, and both parties filed lawsuits to determine whether there was a binding and enforceable lease agreement, along with seeking damages. The case was set to be adjudicated on Sept. 30, though the new agreement will keep the case from going to trial.
But after months of bickering, bad blood remains. Richard Squire said he has no intention of renegotiating or renewing Breckenridge Brewery’s lease and plans to open a new brewpub immediately after the current lease ends.
“We are opening a brewery called The Brewery,” Squire said. “I’ve had that on ice for three years. It’ll be a bright, cheery and fun place for locals and tourists alike. It’s dark and dingy and old and tired now, and we’re going to change that. … We’re happy with the arrangement. It’s perfect for us. It gives us 21 months to get our stuff in order.”
Squire continued to say that employees at Breckenridge Brewery would be offered jobs at The Brewery, with the exception of Walker and the management team.
In a phone call with the Summit Daily on Wednesday afternoon, Walker lauded his staff for sticking around as the brewery’s future remained in question, noting that not a single employee left during the legal battle. He also said, in an ideal scenario, the brewery would find a way to stay at its original location past the next 21 months but noted that they’d search for other Breckenridge locations if an agreement is impossible.
“I think we all regard this as hallowed ground,” Walker said about the brewery’s location. “And this would be our first choice to stay here. But from what I understand, from the higher-ups — I brew beer for a living, not negotiate lease agreements — is we always plan on having a pub in Breckenridge. If it’s not here, we’ll find a place somewhere, somehow. At least now we have some time to do that, and we have some time to change (Squire’s) mind.”
Even with a deadline in place, Walker said spirits were high at the brewery after they got the news.
“We’re pretty psyched,” Walker said. “We’ll all be celebrating with all the locals coming in and giving us high-fives. … I think the big thing is I’d just like to thank everyone who stood behind us, and the locals who carried us through these 29 years and were worried about our future. It’s going to be a fun happy hour today here at the pub.”