Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stranahan's Licenses Name To Breckenridge Brewery.

The phenomenon that is Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey just keeps rolling along. Now, according to Westword, Stranahan's has given its Denver neighbor Breckenridge Brewery exclusive rights to use the Stranahan's name on barrel-aged beers. This is another first for Stranahan's. I know of no other micro-distillery that has extended its brand through a licensing agreement.

The first product will be called Stranahan's Well-Built ESB, which will be conditioned for three months in barrels that previously held Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey.

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey is unique in being a malt whiskey, like scotch, that's aged in new charred oak barrels, like bourbon. Since Stranahan's can only use the barrels once for its whiskey, it needs a re-use market for them. Breweries are a natural. Other distilleries have done that but I don't know of any who have turned it into a brand extension.

I have a personal history with Breckenridge Brewery at their original Breckenridge brew pub location. They were close to where I stayed, had good food and great beer, and we tended to go there daily apres ski, if not to eat then to at least pick up a couple of growlers for the evening.

That's another advantage Stranahan's has over micro-distilleries in, say, Illinois. Local products in major vacation areas are sampled by people from all over, who may not only like the product, but also its association with the place and pleasures of a fun vacation. They talk it up to friends and urge their local bars and liquor stores to carry it. Both Stranahan's and Breckenridge have access to that cachet, which is priceless.


Harold Bussell said...

Chuck, At one time Stranahan was purchasing their beer from a local brewery and then distilling it. Are they still doing this and if do is it from this brewery?

Chuck Cowdery said...

The distillery was Oskar Blue, not Breck, and Stranahan's now does its own fermentation.

BMc said...

I had read that it was Flying Dog, not Oskar Blues, that used to supply the beer.

Doctor Tarr said...

Bluegrass Brewing Company (the microbrewery, not the brewpubs) at once made a "Jefferson Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout", although now it's just "Bourbon Barrel Stout".

That's not the same thing, though, especially when we don't know for sure where any of the barrels came from. My guess is Heaven Hill both then and now.

Chuck Cowdery said...

If I remember correctly, and I might not, it was Flying Dog originally, then they moved, then Stranahan's had a deal with Oskar Blues to supply wash, then they switched to doing their own fermentation.

Chuck Cowdery said...

Jefferson's creator Trey Zoeller has never been shy about identifying Heaven Hill as his principal whiskey source.