Wynkoop Expands Brewery; Releases Third Canned Beer

Wynkoop Brewing Company celebrates their first brewery expansion in 13 years. Plus, their newest release and third canned beer, B3K Black Lager, is now available in stores throughout Denver.

[Press Release, February 9, 2012: Wynkoop Brewing Announces Brewery Expansion and 2011 Growth]

DENVER, CO–Since June of 2011, Wynkoop Brewing Company (Colorado’s first brewpub) has been at full brewing capacity and unable to pursue new accounts for its small-batch draft and hand-canned beers.

Despite that scenario, the pioneering brewpub (founded by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper) boosted its annual sales for distributed beer by 33% over 2010.

The brewery also produced 3870 barrels of beer in 2011, up from 3500 barrels in 2010.

To help increase the supply of Rail Yard Ale, Silverback Pale Ale, and its other beers, Wynkoop has just completed its first brewery expansion in 13 years.

The company’s four classic “open” fermenters have been moved from the main-floor brewhouse to a newly built space downstairs in the Wynkoop beer cellar.

In place of those fermenters, Wynkoop has installed two 20-barrel unitanks in the main-floor brewhouse.

The two new tanks increase Wynkoop’s brewing capacity by 20% and allow for more aging time of the company’s lagers (including newly released cans of B3K Black Lager) and specialty beers.

“We’re making the best beer of our 23-year history,” says head brewer Andy Brown, whose brewing team landed a pair of medals at last year’s Great American Beer Festival. “The expansion helps us continue that improvement and gives us a better chance to meet demand for our liquid art.”

With this additional capacity Wynkoop will also be able to produce a new line of extra-limited-release canned and kegged beers that the brewery had hoped to begin producing last year.

Those beers were postponed due to high demand for its canned microbrews.

Wynkoop beers are currently hand-canned on a tabletop machine from Canada’s Cask Systems.

Wynkoop began hand-canning and self-distributing its canned and kegged beer in January of 2010.

Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by former Denver mayor and current Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and a group of urban pioneers that included Ron Robinson, Wynkoop’s current GM.


[Press Release, February 9, 2012: Wynkoop Releases Third Canned Beer. Pioneering brewpub’s B3K Black Lager–a two-time Great American Beer Festival medalist– hits Denver area shelves]

Denver, CO – Wynkoop Brewing Company releases its third canned beer, B3K Black Lager.

A luxurious German-style schwarzbier, the beer has won two recent medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

In 2008 it won a gold medal in the German-Style Schwarzbier bracket. In last year’s GABF it won a 2011 bronze medal in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category.

A richly flavored but thirst-quenching version of dark beer, B3K is an unfiltered small-batch wonder with a creamy body, chocolate and coffee aromas, and a hint of smoke.

It is an immensely quaffable beer of just 5.5% ABV.

“B3K has been a staff favorite for years,” notes Wynkoop “Beer Pedaler” Clarke Boyer,  “and has a cult following at Wynkoop and our other places. That following and its two GABF medals made it the obvious choice for our third canned beer.”

B3K is built with German base malts, Caramunich malt, debittered black malt, beechwood-smoked malt (from Bamberg, Germany) and a blend of noble hops.

Wynkoop’s first canned lager, it ages for a lengthy five weeks.

“It requires nearly three times as much tank time as our canned ales,” says head brewer Andy Brown. “But it’s worth it when you taste how smooth B3K is for a dark beer. And our new expansion of the brewery gave us the capacity to start putting it in cans.”

The beer pairs exceptionally well with an array of gourmet foods, from grilled and smoked meats to chocolate desserts.

B3K is packaged in a glorious black can (produced at the nearby Ball Corporation can-making plant in Golden, Colorado) and hand canned (on Cask System’s trailblazing two-head canner) at Wynkoop Brewing Company.

The beer is available in sixpacks and 15.5 and 5.2 gallon kegs, and is now appearing at Wynkoop accounts in the Denver metro area.

Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by then out-of-work geologist (and current governor of Colorado) John Hickenlooper and a group of urban pioneers.

Wynkoop Brewing is Colorado’s first brewpub and a pioneer of America’s craft beer movement. The brewery brewed some of the first styles of craft beer ever seen in Colorado and the US.

The Brewers Association’s annual award for innovation is named after Wynkoop’s original brewer Russell Schehrer.

The brewpub was a key catalyst in the rebirth of Denver’s formerly decaying lower downtown section (now known as LoDo).

Wynkoop began hand-canning and self-distributing its canned and kegged beer in January of 2010.

Full details on B3K are available on the Wynkoop website.

About Jossie Auerbach

Jossie is mostly behind-the-scenes at the Wagon--editing articles, advertising, and the like. And by day she does Marketing & Communications for Denver start-up, Forkly. Follow Jossie for mostly food-related posts on @JSWAuer & @Forkly. If you're interested in advertising on our site, email jossie@denveroffthewagon.com.